Professor Birdbrain: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Professor Birdbrain is making another appearance, this time to review the final installment in the Across The Universe trilogy, Shades of Earth.
Contains spoilers for books one and two
Shades Of Earth (Across The Universe: Book Three)
Written by Beth Revis
Published January 2013
369 Pages
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Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh, to build a home on Centauri Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled twenty five trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant Pterodactyl like birds, purple flowers with mind numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who, or what else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed, friends, family, life on Earth, will have been for nothing.

Orion's words still hang thick in the air. Amy and Elder think they've discovered all there was to know from Orion's archives and cryptic clues, but they couldn't have been more wrong. Strap into the gravity harness and brace yourself for turbulence, this is finally Planetfall. The division of power, and those willing to give up Godspeed is evident, when some decide that Godspeed is their home and feel safe enough to orbit Centauri Earth for eternity. Elder chooses his heart over his ship, but not before completing his mission and landing on Centauri Earth.

Professor Birdbrain's Thoughts

Picking up where A Million Suns left the audience hanging over a switch, Shades of Earth does not fail to deliver on any level. Finally scientific explanations that I was searching for arrived. The narrative also seems to have matured, by way of moving towards a darker theme once the crew of the shuttle touch down. One word to describe Centauri Earth, is Brutal. Many struggles await the colony, and the time has come to wake those who remain frozen. The reunion is not quite what I expected, Amy's father is now leading the military contingent, charged with the safety of the colony. Dark secrets brought to light are bound to shock readers.

Questions raised in the dying breaths of the trilogy, went unanswered in a somewhat open ending. Thankfully the poor scientific explanations  were not only addressed, but created plausibility within the storyline. Unlike the explosion on the bridge in A Million Suns, the massive decompression would have killed everybody within the vicinity almost instantly. Shades Of Earth provides feasible explanations, surely to satisfy fans of science fiction. A Million Suns was more so science fiction, where Shades of Earth could be seen as science fact.

But matter not now it does young Skywalker.

A flurry of new characters joins the colony, but the lack of depth in the background characters is just enough to make them feel cohesive. Amy finally stops her annoying inner monologue and is finally filled with a sense of responsibility, as a liaison between those frozen and those shipborn. Amy finally works through the issues that holds her at arms length from Elder, and admits her love for him. Amy's father for some reason reminds me of a character Richard Dean Anderson played on Stargate. He is all about mission first, and at any cost. Illusive and seeming to be vying for total power, he comes across as a version of an armed Eldest. Willing to use sabotage and subterfuge to succeed in his mission set out by the FRX, Financial Resource Exchange.

Elder finally shakes the shackles of teenage ideals, and acts internally and externally like a man, the leader of the shipborn citizens and officially the colony. He is now questioning and possesses thinking patterns he previously did not.

Shades of Earth is a novel worthy of an adrenalin rush and bouts of fear amongst anger and sacrifice. I can relate to the story at a primitive level, as I think most people would. Shades of Earth will draw you in to the story, you will feel as the characters feel. In the end, it leaves one specific question looming about our species as a whole. I think that's what makes me keep thinking about the book, and what decisions would I have made in their shoes. 

This whole series, hands down, is the best science fiction I have ever read and in my opinion rivals Star Wars.

This series will make you think deeply about the future of our species, and are any of the notions achievable by Humanity as a whole. Sadly, I disagree. I can't see Humanity working together on anything this large or for any length of time, unless our very existence is under severe threat.


  1. YOU USED STAR WARS REFERENCES. I LIKE YOU. You need to review more on here.. I DEMAND IT! I am sure Kelly won't mind.. much :P

    Hold on a minute though.. nothing is as good as star wars *flips hair and walks away*
    *comes back to finish her comment*

    I actually read the first two books of this series in one go a year... and a half? ago and have had the 3rd book for over a year now but... still haven't picked it up yet. I am a little worried about how everything will work out .. and after reading your review, I am worried about Amy's dad as well now! I was quite looking forward to the reunion and I really hope he doesn't let me down!

    Fantabulous review, Birdbrain! :D (Btw, great nickname Kelly :P)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  2. WOW WHAT RIVALS STAR WARS did I even read right :O Woah, I'm glad Professor Birdbrain enjoyed it to THAT extent!

  3. I really want to read this review but I haven't read Shades Of Earth yet so I can't :(

  4. I need to catch up so bad now! I skipped down to the last couple of lines because I still haven’t read A Million Suns and seeing that you think this rivals Star Wars makes me want it oh so bad!

  5. Hello, Professor Birdbrain!

    *descends slowly towards earth*

    I think this is the first time I've ever commented on your review, and I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the series. And YODA! I've yet to start this series, but your review makes me want to do it soon!


    *flies to another blog*


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