June 4, 2014 • Cee • Reviews

As They Slip Away (Across the Universe #0.5) by Beth Revis
January 11, 2013
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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.


First sentence: “I stare at the basket of hypodermic needles.”

I’ve never read the Across the Universe series, but have always wanted to just because of ~space. I have to say, I was definitely weirded out reading this novella. My face got perpetually turtle face-esque like so:

Is that a good thing? I don’t know. I haven’t decided.

 Questions I Have After Reading As They Slip Away

  • What does genetic modification have to do with this world?

It’s mentioned right in the beginning. It’s something that makes the main character, Selene, puzzled at first, but she decides against questioning the Elder. It’s a bit creepy. Nobody in this world seems to know or acknowledge that something’s amiss on Godspeed. (I guess that’s what sets off the chain of events that start Across the Universe?)

  • What happened to Sol-Earth? Why is everybody living in a space ship? 

It reminds me of Battlestar GalaticaThe 100, and Snowpiercer (the latter two were published after Across the Universe), only because Earth no longer exists, and everybody lives on ships (trains for Snowpiercer) and they’re trying to figure out where to settle to create “new” Earth. What happened? (I want to see how these people view and describe Earth. It’s fascinating to see what their perception of Sol-Earth is, especially when it’s been long gone.)

  •  Is Godspeed the only ship-city? Or are there more? 

The characters in As They Slip Away live in Godspeed, which is a spaceship, traversing through the universe. If it is the only ship, how the hell did they fit all the people? (It weirdly makes me think of Noah’s Ark. Ha!) Or is it just select people? Like how big is the ship? How is it being powered? Is it anything like the star whale in Doctor Who?  I have a lot of questions about the logistics of this ship.

  • What is the purpose of the Hospital and the inhibitors that some of the characters take?

It’s all a big mystery that I want to know. Why aren’t these people roaming freely on Godspeed? Why are they kept indoors? What are they trying to hide? Are these kids some experiment?

  • Does Luthor play a big role in the Across the Universe series? 

Most likely yes, right? Because As They Slip Away sets up Luthor as being this important figure that can help with the ship. I’m not looking forward to him because he’s really creepy and unhinged and possessive. TOTALLY NOT HERE FOR THAT. He made me all sorts of uncomfortable. Do I even want to put myself through that?

As They Slip Away doesn’t really make me interested in Across the Universe series. It makes me even more hesitant to pick it up because I’m not really a fan of what went on—mainly the gross “romance” and Luthor. I know my face will be turtle face-esque if I attempt to read the series. So, I’m meh.


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