Shades of Earth - Beth Revis
Shades of Earth ends the Across the Universe trilogy with Amy and Elder finally arriving on the new planet. The other frozen passengers are finally revived, including Amy’s parents, and much of the novel deals with the tensions between Earth- and ship-born people as they forced to work together to survive.

Revis’ alien world is very Earth-like, populated with similar trees and animals; however, this actually plays into the plot as the colonists discover ruins that seems a bit too suited for human habitation. It soon becomes apparent that others are already living on the planet, and are not too keen on the new arrivals. The central mystery is pretty well done, and ties together Godspeed and its funding source, the FRX; the 500 year duration of the mission has meant changes back on Earth as well.

The romance between Amy and Elder is still present, but as it is already well established by this point it’s much less interesting compared to the action. Chris, a young soldier, seems a potential rival for Amy’s affections, but fortunately the reader is spared any love triangles. Chris also plays a larger role in the main plot as well, so his increasing presence is not merely a romantic distraction.

There were a few liberties with science, the largest being large scale genetic transformation, although this can be attributed to advances in technology. The use of the term “hybrid” was a bit of a distraction for me personally, as this usually refers to the offspring of two genetic variants in terms of breeding. Ordinarily, a transformant would not be referred to as a hybrid, but as “transgenic” or “genetically modified.” Another small annoyance was the cover redesign, although this shouldn’t really be a deterrent to reading the book. It would have been nice to include a reversible dust jacket though, as with the original hardcover of Across the Universe.

Overall, this was yet another addictive page turner with well-developed characters, and a fairly satisfying conclusion to a great series. I’m looking forward to what Beth Revis comes out with next.