A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Godspeed was 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. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to enact his vision – no more Phydus, no more lies.
But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that’s growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled 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.

Oh dear. I have such mixed feelings about these books! On the one hand, they are fairly well written and different from most others things I’ve read. Points! On the other hand, SO UNHAPPY! Maybe it’s just me, but the plot just drags me down in a major way, even more so for this book than in the first. It’s one of those books that puts its characters in difficult situations and just when they start to get happy or hope for something fate just jumps in and snatches it away while yelling “fat chance suckers!”

I may have just gotten carried away. Let me explain. WARNING! THERE MAY BE SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK HERE!

A Million Suns pretty much starts up right where the first book left off. Everyone is still trapped on a giant spaceship together except now the general population is no longer controlled by a mind altering drug, (yay!). Of course this means they’re not unquestioning sheep who blindly follow the leader, which makes things pretty tough for Elder. In fact, people are starting to get downright violent (boo!). People don’t want to work anymore, productivity is down, food is in short supply, the ship is starting to show her age, things basically suck. But, you know, hooray for free will!

While Elder is busy dealing with all these problems, Amy has discovered a trail of clues left for her by Orion. It’s all very cryptic. Supposedly there are yet MORE secrets to be uncovered. Life and death type secrets. Amy is intrigued.

This book felt choppier than the first to me, but I think a lot of middle books suffer from that. The social unrest that begins to happen on board the ship is inevitable, but I was frustrated with how it played out. I mean, these people have a lot to be upset about. They’re trapped onboard a spaceship, they’ve been lied to for years, they’ve also been drugged and have no say in who their leader is. They have valid concerns. But the only faces of this revolution are decidedly unlikable so I ended up just feeling frustrated by their actions. The two main rebels that we’re shown are a rapist and an old friend of Elder’s who kind of just comes off as a jerk most of the time. Not very sympathetic characters. I wanted to see more dimension.

When I was reading these parts of the book I couldn’t help but think of Battlestar Galactica. I’m a huge fan of that show and, while I know there is a big difference between a book and a TV show, a lot of comparisons can be drawn due to the similar subject material. One of the things I liked best about BG was how multi-dimensional the characters were. There is social unrest and rebellion and darkness, but there is also balance. Even some of the most unlikable characters have their moments of goodness. It doesn’t make them nice, but it makes them more believable and it allows a momentary reprieve from despair. I really needed that reprieve in this book. Most of the time I was left feeling that the only decent people on the ship were the two main characters.

I really missed Harley.

The relationship between Elder and Amy continues to develop in this book, but it’s complicated. I really like Amy’s reasons for reluctance. I mean, aside from the fact that Elder almost killed her by waking her up in the first book. She makes a really great point; would she and Elder be as drawn to each other if they weren’t the only two teenagers aboard the ship?

I do have other quibbles (Orion’s hunt for clues, overuse of slang, etc.), but in the end I do think it was a pretty good book. Revis hits on a lot of interesting ideas and manages to create a very unique world. It’s not one I necessarily enjoy spending a lot of time in, but I will be back to read the last book.


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