Title: As They Slip Away
Author: Beth Revis
Synopsis: Taking place on the spaceship Godspeed before Amy Martin wakes up and Elder takes leadership, this novella describes life at the Hospital during Eldest's reign. Focusing primarily on background characters, readers will see fan-favorite characters Harley, Orion, Victria, and more.
Selene is a singer on a spaceship that only values people who can provide important skills that enhance survival. As her friends--fellow "loons" in the Hospital--start to join apprenticeships to turn their skills into valuable labor, Selene is sent with a handful of other students to learn about the importance of art from the Recorder, Orion. The assignment pairs her with a young sculptor, Luthor, and their dangerous romance proves just how terrifying living trapped on a spaceship under the rule of a heartless dictator could be.
This tragic tale explores the background of a previously unknown character, linking the history of the ship and its residents to Amy and Elder, giving depth to the world of Godspeed.
Available for free here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/119788927/As-They-Slip-Away
I love when authors are able to write short stories as companions to their series. Especially when it uses known characters to introduce new ones and gives more depth to minor characters. Revis does an exceptional job of introducing a new character, Selene, and growing the world of the Across the Universe series without giving away too much. Plus, we get to see Kayleigh before she dies, which is really cool. I've always thought she would have been an interesting character in life, and I really enjoyed seeing her and Harley interacting.
Selene might be one of my favorite characters in the series, and I was so sad that she isn't in any of the other books. She's different from the rest of the people on the Godspeed in that she's artistic, but she's also different from the other "loons" in the Hospital. Whereas her friends have useful talents, like painting and sculpting, all Selene can do is sing. I love when music is incorporated into stories, and it's done so well here.
I also loved that we got to see more of the minor characters. Although most of them help Amy and Elder in their quest to solve the mysteries aboard the Godspeed, it's so hard to get to know them through their short interactions. But now, after reading this, it's so much easier to imagine what they all would have been like and why they are all so willing to help Elder and Amy. Plus, it answers some of the minor mysteries and questions surrounding the Hospital that I had completely forgotten I had.
I almost wish that this had been a whole prequel novel instead of a novella, but Selene's story is so beautifully told in such a limited space that I really can't complain. I would definitely recommend this to fans of the Across the Universe series. A fantastic novella! 5/5. Plus, it's free!