[Review] A Million Suns by Beth Revis
(Across the Universe #2)
Published: 10 January 2012
Edition: Kindle eBook
Summary: Godspeed was once fuelled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos. It’s been three months. In that time, Amy has learned to hide who she is. Elder is trying to be the leader he’s always wanted to be. But as the ship gets more and more out of control, only one thing is certain: They have to get off the ship.
I was super excited for the release of the Across the Universe sequel. The finale had left me on a worrying high and I knew that things were going to get worse for the people on Godspeed and our heroine Amy. The murderous bad guy Orion was safely put away and Elder finally come into his rightful place as Eldest. He has taken Amy’s humanitarian advice and all the ship’s inhabitants are now off the Phydus medicine patches, a mood controlling drug with tranquillising effects. But there is still the problem of the ship’s engine. Has it really stopped? Well.. yes… kind of. I felt like this was the real plot thickener that would make A Million Suns better than Across the Universe. After all a ship can’t last forever and if they’re stuck in space with a broken engine well what on earth can be done? Doomed situations make for the best drama. Instead the book dragged out like a treasure hunt for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the twist was fantastic and while I have heard people say that the plot was predictable, I definitely didn’t see it coming. Ironically enough it is this twist that is making me really excited for the third, and final instalment of the Across the Universe trilogy.
Perhaps Beth Revis is really good as plot building and twists, but when it comes to the meat of the story I just felt like nothing was happening. Elder was losing control of his people, and while Revis made a thick, obvious link to the French Revolution I found myself disagreeing with the connection she was making. Yes, Elder is a leader of a group of people and the people are under his authority. (Check) But Elder never shows any signs of squandering wealth and privilege like King Louis XVI and his family did. The people on Godspeed started going into a famine because they were refusing to work, not because their money had been wasted on a war and bad financial management. I can understand how Revis tried to make the connection. She was looking at the French Revolution from the standpoint of the idealogical views that were fought for by the upper middle class: liberty and equality. But these ideas were only reached after the people witnessed the greed of the wealthy upper class and nobility. If Revis really wanted to make this connection she should have shown Elder to truly be greedy. It wasn’t enough to hear Bartie make weak connections between the autonomous leadership of a corrupt government on Sol-Earth with that of the Eldest-Elder system, especially when everybody knows that he has taken them off the drugs that their previous leader had been controlling them with. Was that history rant a little too much? I’m sorry, let’s move onto some positive aspects of the book!
I really enjoyed reading the blossoming Amy/Elder romance. I’m a sucker for the love stories in YA. I often feel like a book is missing something if it doesn’t have some form of romance. Maybe it’s because Elder is more open with the reader about his feelings for Amy that I connected with Elder more in A Million Suns than I did with Amy. Amy was missing something in this book. I know this is horrible to say, but the plot about Amy almost getting raped seemed like it was holding her character progression back a bit. I understand that anybody who goes through an experience like that would act like Amy does, but how important was it to put that plot thread in this book? Something of that magnitude clashes with the hunt for Orion’s clues and I wasn’t sure what direction Amy’s character was going. In one chapter she would be holding the quest for clues together, being the leader and pushing Elder to give it priority and then in another chapter she’s the weak, meek and scared girl who is too scared to turn the corner lest she bumps into her wannabe rapist. I really do like Amy, and I don’t have a problem with her fears about never getting off Godspeed. I know I certainly wouldn’t handle being stuck in a ship full of lookalike humans!
If you haven’t been turned off by my review please pick up A Million Suns for a quick read. It is worth it, and I will be sticking with Revis until the end of this trilogy. If you agree/disagree with my opinion please let me know in the comments below!