WARNING: As this is the final book of a trilogy, this review will inevitably contain spoilers for those who have not read the previous two books, Across the Universe and A Million Suns.
Ever since Amy has been awakened early, chaos has rippled through Godspeed, leaving her and Elder to make groundbreaking decisions and discoveries. But now the time has finally come to land on a new planet, no matter what new struggles may await them. And there will be struggles; they know that much already. What they'll have to face will be utterly alien to them, even to Amy, who has known what it's like to live outside of a spaceship. In a time that requires good leadership and a strong will to survive, there's already a lot to deal with, but they also are unsure of who they can trust.
It's certainly no secret that I have adored the first two books in Beth Revis' Across the Universe trilogy, and I already knew ahead of time that Shades of Earth was going to be really different from the first two books based on the new setting alone. I must admit, even though I was excited to read the story's continuation in a new setting, I was also a bit nervous that I wouldn't enjoy it as much. However, this change turned out to be fantastic. I love reading about Centauri-Earth. I suppose that before I began reading this installment, I thought that there'd be less mystery on Centauri-Earth, but c'mon... It's Beth Revis - why would I ever expect that? There's plenty of mystery! As with the first two books of the trilogy, just when you think you understand the situation at hand, Revis throws a couple curveballs. This is unquestionably one of the best aspects of these books.
Furthermore, everything about the plot is just so cool! I'm about to jump up and down in a fangirling craze as I type. I loved the new species; the new revelations concerning the past, present, and future; the new characters. The FRX isn't what I expected at all, and to an extent, neither is Centauri-Earth. I'm almost always proven wrong (I did guess one major thing right this time though) and that makes it more fun.
But as far as the characters are concerned, Amy and Elder have had so much on their plates for the past couple of books, and all of that seems to climax in Shades of Earth. They're pushed to their limits. Elder cares so much for his people yet he is still underestimated by those who don't know the whole truth of what he's been through, and all of the bad things that happen to Amy make her a stronger person. There are definitely more sad moments in this final installment, but even more hope. There are still softer moments here and there; just because there are more dreary moments doesn't make it a dreary book in any sense. There's no questioning when it comes to Amy and Elder's relationship, and even though it's more out in the open than ever, this is still far from a romance novel. Shades of Earth is full of action, as per usual with this trilogy. I couldn't put it down.
Needless to say, I loved this book. I loved all three books, and hence, Beth Revis' Across the Universe trilogy is one of my favorites EVER, and I definitely recommend it to science fiction fans. I couldn't be happier!