I shall warn thou that mild spoilers are scattered on almost every brink of this review (except for those huge revelations to which I tagged as spoilers).
“But there’s a difference, isn’t there? Between saying goodbye and death.”
Have you ever been in love with a series that just hits you incorrigibly in the heart and you just stare at the cover with a myriad of perplexed thoughts? Finishing Shades of Earth was disorienting and unbelievable but at the same time relieving. It started right off where A Million Suns ended and it went on from there. There was definitely a whole lot of action going on within the characters, most especially after learning the truth that Centauri-Earth was just within their reach and the story itself invest on another huge world-building (after landing on Centauri-Earth) miens. It was fast-paced and every chapter ended with a bunch of cliffhangers hence I found it very hard to take a break whilst reading this lest another cyclopean clandestineness might be disported. There were also a lot of revelations being divulged in the book. Most of them had a part in connecting to what was really the exact mystery, however, there were still a huge number of the revelations that just didn’t fit and a majority of them were just fillers. But even so, the plot didn’t fall flat. Although it wasn’t that horrific since there were still moments wherein I indulge myself in the new world they had discovered, but it wasn’t appealing to me as much as the first book did. I could say though that I had shared a few frustrated moments within the story as well as the insensible and terrifying silent scream I let out after reading the whole Elder-Amy hormonal kick-ins. They had sex. OH GOSH.
The reason why Shades of Earth forced me to push my decision of giving it a 3.5 rating instead of a 4 or a 5 that I was kind of expecting:
The love triangle. Right along the lines of Across the Universe, I already knew (and accepted that mere fact) that the series wasn’t going to dive headfirst into a sea of love interests. While there were some circumstances wherein Elder and Amy beholds their love for each other discreetly and protectively against each other as if they’re afraid one wrong step forward might crash the foundation they had already built upon the walls of their so-called “friendship”, it didn’t really affect me as much as the other contemporary romance would. But comparing the two genres might be a different story.
In Shades of Earth, Amy had found another companion, a young military dude who might just be a few years older than Amy. Now, what was interesting about this character (at least, to Amy’s perceptions) was his eccentric blue eyes. They were bluer than the bluest of the blue. UGH. And I hated the fact that this was the reason why she was easily attracted to him. Was it really that necessary for the author to add another character when the main protagonists themselves weren’t even sure about their incongruous feelings? It didn’t make sense, really. The whole point of trying to distract the readers by using this love triangle adage didn’t work out as what the author might have expected. It came out depthless, shoal and weak. There wasn’t a connection between Amy and that annoying blue-eyed guy named Chris. (How unfortunate because every time I read his name, I keep imagining Chris Hemsworth and it’s not fair. A guy named Chris is supposed to be a good guy.)
It only frustrated me at its most and I just can’t bear to look at the dreadful attraction that Amy and Chris. I was glad it didn’t happen in the end. Above all, it was totally unnecessary.
What I did love about the story however was the tension going on in the new planet. From the moment when they sank deeper into Centauri-Earth’s atmosphere, it was as if you could sense something was going wrong. Even when the story was just beginning to take a toll into the whole new world-building fiasco, there was already an epic-ness to its existence. I loved the mysteries and the puzzles and everything in between.
Apart from that, I also loved the bit where Elder took a turn for things and decided to break his promise to Amy. I had felt every raw emotion coming from Amy’s point of view. It was such a heartbreaking, not to mention a heart-stopping phenomenon, that it made me shed a tear or so. I think it just made my eyes water. WHATEVER. For a moment I thought it was the end. That Elder wasn’t coming back. That this was going to be just another last book of a good series that the main character dies. If it weren’t for the last chapter, the one where I hoped I’d see Elder again, I don’t know what to do. So, thank you, Beth Revis, for considering how awful it is to get your main character to die all of a sudden. I LOVED THE TWIST!
Amy and Elder had grown so much over the past books and I adored their love for each other, the way they handled every situations and get on with it as the day goes by. The faith that they had was unbelievable. It struck me the most to realize that after several―probably a hundred or so―castigations and hindrances, they still had each other.
While the series wasn’t perfect, it was definitely fast-paced, full of action and everything was just ready to pounce at a certain moment. The tension it brought me was enjoyable all throughout and that, for me, was a factor to a successful series. There wasn’t a moment in this ground-breaking trilogy wherein I found myself bored and unenthusiastic. It threw me off into a whirlwind of excitement and the lusting power of incredibility.
It is pretty sad to see the series come to an end. Unfortunately, nothing is permanent. But I know, deep-down, that my obsession with the series isn’t comparable to any other. It’s just…I can’t say more without thinking of missing everyone.
The ending was sweet, totally uplifting and cute. At first I was like, “WHAT? THAT’S IT? NO MORE ‘WE’RE PUSHING YOU TO A BATTLE, YOU FREXING FRX LUNATICS!’? WELL THAT’S FULL OF SHITE―” but when I reread the chapter again, I told myself that it didn’t matter if a war breaks between the two opposing planets. It didn’t matter at all. Because I know that with Elder beside Amy, nothing was going to stop them.
Now, excuse me as I unload a whole box-full of tissues and pretend to cry, just so I have these feelings of disheartened disposition after reading a good trilogy with a happy ending.