Series: Across the Universe #2
Published by Razorbill Books on January 10th 2012
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
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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.
I’ve been really eager to read A Million Suns for a while now. I’m a Sci-Fi geek and I’m not afraid to admit that. (Hear that, Kennedy?! I’m owning that!) So I think, in a way, I am prone to getting swept away with this series. And just as with Across the Universe, I was immediately sucked into the story, walking around my house with my face glued to the book, sitting on the edge of my seat trying to figure out the mysteries surrounding Godspeed. Because if there is one thing Revis does right, it’s anticipation.
I struggled with deciding what to rate this book. On one hand I really liked it much better than Across the Universe, but on the other hand the ending let me down a bit. I suppose I should back track a bit and actually talk about the things I loved first. Be warned: the second half of the review will have spoilers.
The best part of the book was the plot and pacing. Elder is trying to maintain peace, but the people are making that very difficult. After being enslaved to Phydus for years, some are depressed, rebellious and paranoid. A few citizens prey on those emotions and cause doubt of Elder’s ability to lead the people. The result? Chaos and not the beautiful kind. This puts Amy in a very precarious situation because the people blame her for their downward spiral. But Amy and Elder have another issue to handle after Amy discovers Orion has left clues to the Godspeed‘s biggest secret. I really liked how it felt like the reader’s job to help Amy and Elder solve the mystery because this book is very fast paced. The sense of urgency is definitely there throughout the entire novel, never letting the reader catch his/her breath!
I also really liked the character growth from Elder. In Across the Universe he was very unsure of himself and for a moment he is that way in the beginning of A Million Suns, but you get to see him grow a back bone along with a matching pair of gonads. This made me really happy because let’s be honest, it was about freakin’ time! We also get a chance to see Amy work her way through the personal issue on how she feels about Elder. She struggles with this at first because she isn’t sure she is in love with him since they are the only two teenagers. She questions whether it is really love when you don’t have any other choices. I would have liked to see more development from Amy besides whether she wanted to be with Elder or not.
And that leads us into the bad.*spoilers ahead*View Spoiler »What really ticked me off with this book was the ending. Everything was going perfectly well until the villain and the ship’s secret were revealed. Orion has left Amy a series of video recordings of this huge secret he is sitting on and he tells her only she can make this choice and how it is such a huge decision…yada, yada, yada. That’s great. Really. I can totally get down with that. What I can’t get down with is the actual secret. We find out that Godspeed has actually been at the new planet since the “plague” popped up generations ago. But they haven’t landed because planet scans reveal that whatever lives on the planet isn’t friendly and they will probably have to go to war once they land. So the Elder system and Phydus were created to keep the people in check and prevent anyone from finding out the truth. So for all those years, Godspeed has just been orbiting around the new planet. All the while the food supply is quickly dwindling and the ship is falling apart. But what I don’t understand is why they didn’t communicate with Earth and GO HOME? Whose brilliant idea was it to stay on the ship that is falling apart FOREVER? *smacks forehead*
Then we had a few plot inconsistencies. At one point in the novel people are rioting over the lack of food. They even go so far as to burn down the Food Distro building, but suddenly at the end we are fed this: “The scientists agree that the internal functions of the ship could last for at least a generation, maybe indefinitely if the biosphere is maintained and energy conserved.” Then a few pages later Elder tells Amy they have enough food for a few more generations. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? You can’t tell us one thing and then completely say, “Oops, my bad, guys. My bad.” at the end of the book. You do not get to change your book canon just to take an easy way out when it comes to ending your story.
Oh, and remember that little flop at the end of Across the Universe? You know the one where Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion are completely ignored? Yeah, that one. That little issue is cleared up in the very first chapter, but I noticed something that was a little off. Elder is told that the shippers lied to Eldest about the engine, that he didn’t know the engine had stopped working. He thought they were still moving. But later when Amy is busy discovering Orion’s clues we are told Eldest knew they were right next to the new planet and like the Eldest before him, he was keeping this from the people because he didn’t think it was a good idea to land. Now, wait one damn minute. If Eldest knew they were right next to the planet and didn’t want to land, then how is it he didn’t know about the engine not moving the ship? O.o
And finally Amy, who suddenly became bit TSTL in the final chapters. So we all know Amy was almost raped in Across the Universe and that guy continues to stalk her until she and another character extracted vengeance on him. This made me very happy because Amy actually did something for once besides running around the ship. But then when the guy is found dead she hesitates before launching his body into space. I wouldn’t have been able to push that button fast enough. But, okay. Fine, Amy. Then when the villain reveals himself and has a gun pointed at Amy saying he’d kill her, she later tells Elder she couldn’t kill him even though there was a chance he could have killed them. Okay, maybe I can understand that. But here is where the sense falls apart. The villain had started to reanimate Orion and you know what Amy says she wants? To let Orion drown in his cryo liquid! Now I admit, Orion wasn’t the best guy in Across the Universe, but his crimes do not stack up against the rapist or the villain in A Million Suns and yet Amy has the most anger and hostility towards him. The guy who revealed to her that they had arrived at the planet. This does not compute! She even goes as far to have a tantrum about it like a 4-year-old. I’m sorry, but that makes no sense. /end rant « Hide Spoiler
Yet, despite all of my complaints, I did really enjoy this book. It had an unputdownable quality to it that can’t be ignored. Fans of Across the Universe will more than likely enjoy A Million Suns. I’d even go as far to say even more so than Across the Universe. I just really wish the ending concluded on the same level of awesomeness that it began. I’ll definitely check out the last book because I NEED to know how it ends!