Shades of Earth ( A YA Book Review)
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
Shades of Earth picks up where A Million Suns left off. The shuttle has landed on Centauri Earth and it’s definitely not the utopian world Elder and Amy were possibly expecting (despite Orion’s warning about monsters). Which begs the question throughout the book, who are the real monsters?
First, Amy begins the process of unfreezing the Frozens, including her parents. And to be honest, her parents aren’t all that likeable, especially Colonel Martin who is now first in command after the murders Orion committed. And Colonel Martin is very black and white in his beliefs, labeling “Earthborns” and “Shipborns” and trying to push Amy toward his right-hand man Chris, as opposed to Elder.
Which leads me to Chris, who is also not likeable. He’s shady and clearly up to no good. He also has no personality besides being smitten with Amy.
Now for the bigger spoilers. At first is Earthborn vs Shipborn but it quickly turns to Human vs Alien which eventually evolves to Human vs Human Hyprid, the result of Sol Earth sending probes and discovering this solar glass that can be used for clean energy and weapons. They then use a tesseract to get to the planet before Godspeed, which over 300 years had outdated technology, and start a colony of slaves using Phydus. However, some of the hybrids have a mutation that causes them to have heightened senses but none of Phydus’s mindlessness. This leads the self-proclaimed Rogue Hybrids to rebel and want to kill of the FRX that funds the missions and enslaved them to manufacture the solar glass and send it back to earth.
There are some twists and turns. Elder sacrifices himself, but later it’s revealed in the last few pages that he survived his mission. Which made me happy because I hate when authors kill of the protagonist or another main character. The world building in this book and series as a whole is magnificent, and I can really picture it, but for me the characters lack something. Dimension maybe? I found Amy frustrating and kind of wishy-washy. She’s all about choice and wondering if she’d choose Elder if she had a choice. And I don’t like how for a while she seems to flirt and encourage Chris, which is just immature. Granted, she’s only a teenager. But for someone who eventually becomes the commander/leader by the end of the book I’d expect more maturity than that. I feel like some of the growth Amy made in A Million Suns was undone a bit in this book. That said, Elder is my favorite character. I feel that he is the most believable in his naiveté and that he changes his beliefs based on what he learns. He isn’t stubborn, but does his best and overall is just a likeable person. The awesome world-building but so-so characters led me to give this 3.75/5 stars (bumped up because Elder actually survived).