November 29, 2012

Latest Read: A Million Suns

Here are the basics ...
Book: A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2)
Author: Beth Revis
Site: http://www.bethrevis.com/
Category: Young Adult - Dystopian / Science Fiction

Summary:  The life Amy always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may be hope: Elder has assumed leadership. 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. (Adapted bethrevis.com
My thoughts…
The good:  A Million Suns picks up right where Across the Universe left off.  The Godspeed is more chaotic and more lost than ever and there's this immediate sense of urgency from the first page.  This feeling that the ship and everyone on it is one ticking time bomb about to go off.  Like the first book, it was well-paced but more focused.  Amy has "settled" onto the Godspeed, more or less, but she's restless too.  So when Elder pieces together some shocking information about the ship and they find out Orion left clues for Amy about the Godspeed's past - it gives them a greater sense of purpose.  They're on a mission.  Although, Elder is already drowning in responsibilities and purpose since he's in charge of everyone.

This book continues to alternate chapters with Amy's point of view and Elder's.  Amy became a lot more complex in my eyes.  She was darker, angrier and more desperate than ever to be on a planet with her parents.  The ship is clearly suffocating Amy and half of Elder's descriptions of her involved her constant pacing.  But in her eagerness to be "free," she doesn't stop to think about what that means to Elder and the people who have been born and raised on Godspeed.  She's unsympathetic to their fears of the unknown (which is everything outside the ship) and while that made her bratty and frustrating at times, I think it was a very realistic portrayal.  I admit though, sometimes I wanted to shake her and tell her to be more understanding.  That it's not just about her.  On the other hand, I think Elder grows up a lot in this book.  He's still in love/infatuation/whatever with Amy (and vice-versa though she continues to fight it) but more than anything, he's trying to lead his ship and keep his people safe and happy.  He's constantly battling this moral dilemma - let people think freely but deal with the chaos (now people are violent, fighting, stealing, getting depressed, refusing to work) or reinstate the use of a calming drug which will allow him to keep his ship running smoothly. Ultimately, he wants to be a strong enough leader that he doesn't need the drug but as time continues on, it gets harder and harder.

It's an interesting (and scary) look into science and morals while balancing it out with two people struggling to find their place and falling for each other in the process.

(Potential) reservations:  In a lot of ways, I enjoyed this book more because of the reveals and what the characters go through.  But I missed the presence of Harley, their friend from Across the Universe.  He provided a balance to the chaos of the ship and Amy/Elder's will-they-won't-they relationship. So much happened but it was missing an emotional connection.  I think it needed that.

Do I recommend?: I do, it's a really interesting science fiction series that's a quick read and makes you think.  Considering how this one ended (!), I'm looking forward to what the third book has in store.

Happy reading!

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