Todd and Kim here! Back again to continue our joint reviews of the Across the Universe trilogy! (Book 1 review is here). Picking up shortly after the end of book 1, Revis takes us back into space aboard the Godspeed. Unfortunately, the ship, which was once governed by lies, is now fueled by complete chaos.
At the start of A Million Suns, we pick up soon after the death of Eldest and the beginning of Elder’s rule as the leader of the ship. Phydus use has been discontinued, and Elder and Amy have agreed to keep the population Phydus-free in order to preserve everyone’s sense of individuality and commonality. You’d think we were at the dawn of a new and happy age for the people of Godspeed. Unfortunately, however, this cannot be further from the truth. Once the workers of the Feeder Level realize that they can get away without coming to work, or relying on others to do work for them, discord begins to spread. Fights break out, and many doubt Elder’s leadership. Bartie, once Elder’s friend, has now risen to an almost cult-like status, with many viewing him as the face of the revolution that seems to be building momentum. Adding to this, Elder and Amy discover a series of clues that Orion left behind that lead them to a secret so huge and unthinkable that it will change the face of life of Godspeed forever. Will Elder be able to keep control of the ship’s population? Will Amy still want to be with him after he has to make unpopular decisions for the good of the ship? What is this massive secret that Orion has alluded to?
Kim: I seriously have never been so angry at myself for picking up a trilogy before it’s been completely published. Revis is a mastermind at making the reader CRAVE more. There were so many twists and turns in A Million Suns that as Todd was reading the book I’d grab it out of his hands and count the pages until the next “big event” happened so we could discuss! I was so antsy reading the entire second book! Following the scavenger hunt all along the entire ship and trying to decipher what all of the clues meant was absolutely riveting. I haven’t been glued to a book series like this since The Hunger Games!
Todd: I definitely agree with Kim! I cannot wait for the final book in this trilogy to come out. Revis has written an amazingly good follow-up to Across the Universe. The character development of Elder and Amy is fantastic, as Elder is thrust into a job that is made for someone with a lot more experience, all genetics aside. The interplay between his character and Amy is really interesting, as they represent such polar opposites that it’s so cool to see how they interact and bring out different parts of each other. Adding to this the backdrop of the HUGE secret that comes out towards the end of the novel, and I was flying through the pages trying to finish reading.
Kim: When I was reading the tag line for A Million Suns about how the ship was run on lies and is now fueled by chaos, I couldn’t wait to see what that all meant. The transformation of the ship’s passengers from one book to the next was really well done. Imagine finding out that you’ve been drugged and lied to for years…of course you’re going to start rebelling and mistrusting everything that you’re being told. I found the deeper character conflicts taking centerfold in A Million Suns vs the individual conflicts that occurred in Across the Universe. We’re treated to the bigger picture this time, and it’s just as hectic and chaotic as the relationship between Elder and Eldest was in Across the Universe. In Suns we’re offered an opportunity to learn more about the ship, its history, and the other people living/working on board. By taking this route Revis has made Godspeed its own character – complete with secrets and stories still waiting to be told.
Todd: I agree completely. I happen to like this work better than the first based on the inclusion of more “big picture” events. I don’t want to downplay the importance of the relationships between the characters, or the fact that the first novel had to spend a good amount of time introducing us to this whole world of The Godspeed in the first place, but I kept thinking about what all the lies in the first book were actually covering up. After I finished it, I was so excited to start this book as it’s really the “meat” of the story. We find out that lies that seemed big in the first novel are minuscule compared to what Elder and Amy find out about the ship in this novel. Revis’ writing style is great because she is slowly leading us to the big reveal: her third work. The scale has increased from book to book, and she’s definitely set us up for an amazing story in Shades of Earth. I don’t know if I can stand the wait!
Kim: I know I am DYING, waiting for Shades of Earth. Anyone else out there read this series and losing the will to wait longer?!?
So there you have it, both of our takes on Beth Revis’ wonderful second book in the Across the Universe trilogy. If you haven’t read the first one yet, go get it. And if you have read Across the Universe, why are you wasting time reading this review? Get reading!
Kim’s Rating: 6 out of 5 Stars
Todd’s Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Hardcover: 400 pages