Author: Beth Revis
Genre: Young Adult // Sci-Fi // Romance
Publication Date: January 13, 2013
Source: Borrowed (Library)
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 25 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.
FUELED BY LIES.RULED BY CHAOS.ALMOST HOME (goodreads).
Beth Revis ups the ante by adding a Jurassic Park element to this sci-fi series and even more deaths!
Plot: Immediately after the events of A Million Suns, Amy and co find themselves crashed landed on a brand new Earth. Although it's unfair to call it a new "Earth," Centuri-Earth has evolved into a land of its own with creatures and plants that are toxic to both Shippers and the original Earthians. Beth Revis keeps the mystery going as many humans are disappearing from camp and turn up dead in an unusual manner. What I like about Revis' writing is that she knows how to unveil an mystery without giving too much away or frustrating the reader. Enough is revealed to hold my attention while maintaining a decent amount of character growth.
Characters: I mentioned earlier in previous books that I found myself drawn to Elder's narration more than Amy's, but I found the complete opposite to be true in Shades of Earth. Amy is presented with new difficulties and it was interesting to see how the dynamic between her and her parents changed after three short months. It was clear that she didn't belong to one world strictly speaking, and both parties, Shippers and Earthians had difficulty accepting that.
I also really liked how Amy and Elder's relationship shifted. In Across the Universe, Amy was worried that her attraction to Elder was because he was the only boy her age that she was around. Things change and Amy finds herself in the presence of another boy and she and Elder must understand if what they had was ~love~ or just a fleeting fancy.
World Building: I found a bit disjointed from this book in comparison to the other titles which were strictly sci-fi stories. Shades of Earth feels more like Jurassic Park with the introduction of brand new man-eating dinosaurs and plants. It took a while for me to adjust to the change in world and had difficulty at time imagining anything but the world as depicted in Jurassic Park.
Short N Sweet: Shades of Earth is quite different from its predecessors but the heart and the characters are still there. This was not the conclusion I had expected, but I closed the book feeling satisfied.