Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review: A Million Suns

Author: Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #2
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Pages: 386
Source: Gift from Evie @ Bookish :)
Read it in: 3 days
Summary: 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.

~LC's Take~

Ever since I finished Across the Universe, I knew that I would be reading the sequel-- the unique setting in the emptiness of space, the mystery and suspense that kept me turning the pages, the tension build-up with the characters, and Beth Revis' awesome and humorous style of writing-- all of these things had my totally hooked! In A Million Suns, we have the continuation of Amy and Elder's story aboard the spaceship Godspeed, destined for some far-off planet called Centauri-Earth that is supposed to be habitable for humans.

So my general impression of this second book was definitely a good one, but because I tend to over-analyze everything, there are a couple things I have to rant about *a little* because they sort of annoyed me.  First, the good things:

One of the GREATEST aspects of this book-- and this series so far-- is Beth's amazing ability to throw her readers for a complete loop, again and again. There were so many mind-blowing twists and surprises in A Million Suns, as we learn some of the darker secrets of Godspeed, and what the heck is going on with its mission... there was a definite sense of foreboding and impending doom throughout this book-- clearly, Godspeed is not going to last forever and it's only a matter of time before the energy and other resources on the ship run out, leaving thousands of people stranded in space. This really increased the intensity level of the plot and had me anxious to see how things would turn out.

And yes, the SECRETS we learn in this one?? OMG, totally had me freaking out!! Just when you're getting over the last plot twist, something else even bigger is revealed, and you're right back to furiously turning the pages to see where all this is headed-- Beth, you are a GENIUS at keeping the reader on the edge of their seat! :)

I also really loved the tension and conflict going on between Elder and Amy, and the very good question that Amy poses- if she had a choice between Elder and other guys, would she still choose Elder? Or does she only have feelings for him because he's the only other person like her on the ship? I thought this added a really interesting dimension to their relationship, and I'm looking forward to seeing where things go with them in the last installment.

So onto a couple things that bugged me (WARNING: Some *mild* ranting ahead)...

The main thing was how old-fashioned the society on the Feeder level was, given the fact that they're all on a spaceship in 2300-whatever-it-is. Because seriously, there's one part where Elder and Amy go into the city and I felt like we were stepping back into the 1800's-- Why are there guys using hacksaws to manually butcher cows with flies buzzing around and people hand-spinning clothe like ye olde folke from ye dayes of yore?  I mean jeez, this is the 24th century, they do have sanitation measures, no? Laser cutters, automated robot weavers, something?? I just didn't understand why there is this super-modern ship with futuristic technology headed to the outer limits of space, and then an archaic society that still has farmers and peasants and guys butchering meat in the market-- yes, these people still have basic needs and they need to be kept busy on the ship and I know that Eldest was trying to keep a big secret from them all, but wouldn't it make more sense if they were doing experiments or monitoring space stuff or trying to communicate with alien lifeforms... haha I don't know, something futuristic?? Just my opinion there, we'll leave it at that.

Also-- and maybe this is just me-- but didn't anyone on Godspeed think that maybe, just mayybeee, everyone was going to go ape-shit and rebel against the Eldest leader once they were taken off Phydus, the mind-controlling drug? You'd think they might have done some gradual experimentation with that first to see what the effects would be before just pulling the plug, especially on a flipping spaceship where there's nowhere to turn for help if things get out of hand. Along the same line, it sort of blew my mind that there was hardly anyone aboard the ship who knew what was going on, or how to run the ship, or what to do if Godspeed ever landed. Everyone was pretty much clueless, bumbling along not knowing what to do, and this came across as a bit unrealistic to me.

I know, I know, I can be over-critical of certain details in books, but overall I really did enjoy A Million Suns. There were so many layers to it-- the mission, the internal politics aboard the ship, the mystery Amy is trying to figure out, the troubled romance between her and Elder-- all of these things kept me reading, and there was never a dull moment. Add to this Beth's unique and engaging writing style, and a story filled with mystery and suspense, and you have the recipe for a great series. I would absolutely recommend these books to any sci-fi fan, or any reader looking for something that is intensely action-packed and completely different from anything they've read before!

~Cover Talk~

LOVE. Absolute and total love with this cover. Honestly, it breaks my heart to see the new covers for this series, because both this one and the cover for Across the Universe are absolutely breath-taking, and the new ones, in my opinion, are completely "meh." I do understand the reasoning behind repackaging this series-- the new covers definitely will broaden their appeal to a larger audience because they don't scream "YA" like the old ones, but as a huge YA fan, I'm biased towards the gorgeous old versions. This one in particular is so beautiful-- the picture of Elder and Amy holding hands, looking out of Godspeed into the galaxies beyond-- it catches my eye every time I see it! I wish Penguin would at least release a version of Shades of Earth in the original cover style...

Which cover versions do you like better??

~About the Author~

Based on my personal experience, Beth Revis is freaking awesome-- and hilarious. I had the opportunity to chat with her in a live author chat online back in May, and she seriously cracked me up. Here is a little more about this amazing author!

Beth Revis wrote her first books as a student in classrooms, when the professors did not hold her interest and she jotted down stories instead of taking notes. Beth writes science fiction and fantasy novels for teens. Her debut novel, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, was published by Razorbill/Penguin in Spring 2011.

You can check out more about Beth on her OFFICIAL WEBSITE, or on her BLOG on writing!

~Fan Site!~

If you are a fan of the Across the Universe series, you're going to want to check out this awesome fan site that has an interactive version of Godspeed, and added info about the series! 

~LC's Rating~
Another frexing awesome book in Beth's Across the Universe series. If you are looking for a story with a unique and otherworldly setting, mystery, suspense, and great characters, I would highly recommend adding these ones to your TBR List ASAP! :)

~Get It!~


  1. Oh I want to read Across the universe because of you and now a want A million sun.
    Thanks for this discover.

  2. So glad that you enjoyed this one! And I completely agree about the covers - the originals are perfect. Such a shame that they changed them :(

    Nice review!

  3. Your review has just made me want this book even more! I really cannot wait to get back to Godspeed, Elder and Amy. Great review! :)
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