Review: As They Slip Away by Beth Revis

as they slip awayTitle: As They Slip Away

Author: Beth Revis

Series: Across the Universe #0.5

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads)

Taking place on the spaceship Godspeed before Amy Martin wakes up and Elder takes leadership, this novella describes life at the Hospital during Eldest’s reign. Focusing primarily on background characters, readers will see fan-favorite characters Harley, Orion, Victria, and more.

Selene is a singer on a spaceship that only values people who can provide important skills that enhance survival. As her friends–fellow “loons” in the Hospital–start to join apprenticeships to turn their skills into valuable labor, Selene is sent with a handful of other students to learn about the importance of art from the Recorder, Orion. The assignment pairs her with a young sculptor, Luthor, and their dangerous romance proves just how terrifying living trapped on a spaceship under the rule of a heartless dictator could be.

This tragic tale explores the background of a previously unknown character, linking the history of the ship and its residents to Amy and Elder, giving depth to the world of Godspeed.

Review

I’ve been dying to read Beth Revis’ work ever since I saw the beautiful cover for her debut, Across the Universe. The final book in the trilogy just came out, I think, or is coming out very shortly, and this is the first time I’ve managed to get round to reading something of hers… Shocking. But there we are, it goes like that sometimes.

So, I’m not familiar with the world of Across the Universe, and I think that’s partly why I’ve not given this a full 5 stars. The writing was engaging, the set up and premise interesting, but I just didn’t know enough about anything – the sorts of things that would be expanded on in a full length novel – to really enjoy this to the full.

As an intro to the writer and the series though, this is perfect. It starts with a creeping sense of menace that only builds as time goes on. Romances are developed, then discovered to be not all they are thought to be, and a chilling verdict is delivered about the value of human life on board the ship that is at once abhorrent and totally believable.

Revis is probably drawing on her own experiences of fear – fear that her work isn’t good enough, that it’s not valued, not as beneficial a contribution to society as, say, being a doctor. But like Selene, Revis is very good at what she does, so I’m glad that fear was overcome or ignored.

And I’ll be doubly looking out for copies of Across the Universe. I might add it to my ‘if you complete your goals’ treat list.

Rating: 4/5

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