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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

As much as some people might love this trilogy, I am not a fan. I wasn't after this last book and I definitively wasn't after reading book one. However, it did make me realise that even if I rate book one of a series pretty low, I shouldn't completely disregard the other books. As this series progressed, the writing and the story improved, and I actually ended up enjoying this last of the trilogy. I won't go out of my way to recommend SHADES OF EARTH to everyone, but I will tell people to finish the series, even if they weren't satisfied with the previous two books, like I was.

I agree that Beth Revis has a great imagination and that her science fiction world is truly original. However, the fact that all of her characters were in the dark about everything happening in the story, it made me feel as if she, herself, didn't know where her story was going. Up until SHADES OF EARTH, the flow of the series was irregular at best. In this latest installment, everything came together rather well and so many of the unanswered question were certainly acknowledged. I think what I like the most about this book is that the space crew has finally landed on the new planet they've been talking about since the opening page of the series. What surprises everyone from the ship however, is that the planet is already inhabited by sentient beings and that their space mission has more or less already been completed by another faster ship and crew.

Amy, one of the two main characters has definitively grown throughout the series. We first met her when she was about to be literally frozen so that she could wake up hundreds of years into the future, in order to populate a new planet. However, something went wrong and she woke up early.  The ordeals she deals with, the people she loses and the leadership role she acquires transforms her from a spoiled teenager into a capable leader. I would have liked to have seen her leadership qualities sooner but without a doubt, that would have changed the course of the story. Of course, her relationship with Elder remains a constant throughout the series (despite its ups and downs) and it's this relationship that makes the series worth finishing. It was neat how the dual point of views between Amy and Elder allowed us to understand their different ways of thinking and their very different worlds.

Another element that I really liked was Phydus, the drug that made people literally obey and become as passive as anyone can be. Phydus was first introduced in book one, and its history wasn't all that clear. With time, we slowly learn more and more about it and it's real purpose. It's scary to think that a drug could possibly turn a human into a mindless drone, and it makes you wonder if any pharmaceuticals on the market or in production right now could ever alter the state of mind of a patient. I'd rather not think about it and it makes me want to stay away from unnecessary medication even more.

For a science fiction book, it didn't have many science fiction elements, except space ships and space travel. SHADES OF EARTH was more a story about humanity and all of its weaknesses. I rather enjoyed this conclusion to the series, despite its slow and mediocre start. Many reviewers have been raving about the series, but not every books is made to please everyone. This one wasn't for me, but obviously I'm the minority when it comes to this one. What are your thoughts? Did you enjoy the trilogy more than I did?


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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