Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos. It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to act on his vision—no more Phydus, no more lies.
But when Elder learns shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a mystery that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier. Their success—or failure—will determine the fate of the 2,298 passengers aboard Godspeed. But with each step, the journey becomes more perilous, the ship more chaotic, and the love between them more impossible to fight.
Beth Revis catapulted readers into the far reaches of space with her New York Times bestselling debut, Across the Universe. In A Million Suns, Beth deepens the mystery with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers for the first book in the trilogy, Across the Universe. If you haven't read it yet, I highly suggest you do that before reading this review. My review of Across the Universe can be found here.
I read and absolutely adored the first book in Beth Revis's science fiction/dystopian trilogy in fall of 2011. I eagerly anticipated the next book, but then found myself wanting to wait especially when I heard that there was a killer cliffhanger. So, I decided to wait until closer to the release of the third, and final, book before tackling A Million Suns. And I am so glad that I did since I now am jumping up and down waiting to get my hands on Shades of Earth!
NINE THINGS I ENJOYED ABOUT A MILLION SUNS
1. One of the main reasons that I love this trilogy is the character of Elder. I find him to be an original and fascinating hero who has experienced things that normal YA characters never do. The entire Eldest system is intriguing and I like that Elder is still devoted to it despite Eldest's example. While it may not be my first choice of a form of government, I have to admire Elder's determination. He is a sixteen year old who has been thrust into power over people who are older than him and, while he does fairly well with his responsibilities, he still acts like a teenager which makes him more relatable to readers.
2. I also enjoyed the evolution of Amy's character. In Across the Universe, I had a difficult time getting a handle on her though I really sympathized with her plight. This book allows Amy to show her strength of character and how much she has been changed due to her experiences on the ship. She is definitely not a damsel in distress, but she also rarely ventures into dangerous situations of her own making. I really liked watching her try to solve Orion's clues in order to help Elder yet she never forgot about her parents who are still frozen on the ship.
3. The romance between Amy and Elder really picks up in this book. Because of the dual points of view, readers are shown how each character views the other and how differently they react to the development of their relationship. I found it to be very refreshing that the hero, Elder, believes strongly in his feelings for Amy while she is still a bit hesitant though never annoyingly indecisive. I thought that having Amy really think about the reasons behind her feelings for Elder was a mature plot point that isn't found very much in young adult books.
4. One of the biggest changes that readers discover when diving back into the world of Godspeed is how different things are on the ship. Now that Elder has eliminated the use of the Phydus drug, the inhabitants are starting to develop their own opinions about the way things are run. And, like with any group of people whose worldview suddenly changes, there are positive and negative aspects that come from such changes. I liked how non-judgmental Revis was when depicting the protests and riots that crop up throughout the book. Political intrigue is always fascinating to me so this was one of my favorite aspects of the book.
5. Besides the main story which follows Elder and Amy's personal journeys, there are also two mystery sub-plots to keep readers on their toes. The first deals with a set of clues that Orion left for Amy which he says will help her understand the truth behind Godspeed and what is really going on with the delay in arriving at Centauri-Earth. The second involves Elder and the fact that someone is using Phydus patches to kill people and claiming to do it in honor of Elder's leadership. This puts a wrench into Elder's attempts to calm the fears of the ship's inhabitants and takes some pretty nasty turns that I wasn't expecting.
6. Like in Across the Universe, this book is full of side characters who help build the world of Godspeed and give it life. Readers meet some new faces such as the ship's second in command in addition to the return of some old ones like the doctor and Elder's friend turned rebel, Bartie. I liked how Beth Revis developed unique personalities for each character, no matter how small of a role they played. It was very obvious while reading that each person has a purpose in the overall storyline and it made for an interesting reading experience.
7. The action of A Million Suns starts from the very beginning. Unlike the first book which had a slow-burning introduction to the world, this one jumped right into the fun and did not stop until the end. This is a true example of a page-turner and I found myself reading late into the night telling myself just one more chapter. I admire writers that can cause such a reaction from readers and I give major props to Ms. Revis for that.
8. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I waited more than a year before returning to the world of Across the Universe, but it felt like I never left. Revis did an amazing job of re-introducing fans to Elder and Amy's world without resorting to pages of information dumps. I was able to smoothly re-acclimate myself with the characters and the setting without feeling too overwhelmed which I appreciated.
9. And, finally, I have the mention the cliffhanger of this book. This is reason that I am so glad I waited until close to the release date of Shades of Earth to get caught up on the trilogy. I can only imagine what it was like having to wait a year to know what happens to Elder, Amy, and the rest of the Godspeed crew. The timing of the cliffhanger was perfectly done and just has me impatiently waiting to read the finale.
Across the Universe
1. Across the Universe
2. A Million Suns
3. Shades of Earth
Twilight by Vanessa Carlton
**For Elder's space walk.
Riot by Three Days Grace
**For all the political unrest on Godspeed.
Mad World by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules
**Regarding the mysteries of Orion and his sanity.
BOOK CHALLENGE ENTRY