Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date:  January 10th, 2012

Godspeed was once fueled 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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

I didn't really think A Millions Suns could be better than its amazingly good predecessor, Across the Universe.  I was actually pretty worried about my high expectations of this book, and whether it could possibly measure up.  When an author makes such an outstanding debut, they often have somewhat of a sophomore slump...  I can tell you with certainty, that there was none of that here.  A Million Suns was PHENOMENAL!

This book starts off right where Across the Universe left off, and it starts with a HUGE, and entirely unexpected reveal.  Elder finds out something is really wrong and has to find a way to remedy it, all while being seen by a lot of the population as not necessarily prepared for his duties.  Add to that his ever-growing relationship with Amy, whom everyone views as a freak; people are not sure of his leadership ability and low rumbles of mutiny begin to emerge.  BUT...  Orion had other plans for Godspeed and those who live on her, and even from his frozen state, he begins to lead Amy to the truth through a series of clues.  As the clues are uncovered, the surprises keep coming, each more shocking than the one before.  A Million Suns is full of action and intrigue right up until the end.  That said, this book has so much more than the plot and pacing going for it.

The characters were mostly the same as those in Across the Universe, but we learned so much more about each of them.  Beth Revis has a gift for character development; she writes everyone with such depth that often I find myself not able to hate people who do hateful things, or like people who are generally good.  When you learn of the reasons behind the actions of certain characters, you understand, and find it difficult to judge.  That's good character writing!

If you read MY REVIEW of Across the Universe, you know that I loved Beth's world-building, and it was no different in this book.  As the reader, you will become immersed in the world that these people live in; you understand why some people want to stay on Godspeed and others, like Amy, are desperate to get off.

Overall, I felt like this book was better than Across the Universe.  I hope Beth Revis has a great story for the third book, Shades of Earth, because my expectations are higher than ever.  That said, after her sophomore home-run, I am not in slightest bit worried.  She's a pro!  I predict that come December, A Million Suns will have no problem making my Top 25 Books of 2012 list!

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ +

Grade Level Recommendation:  As with Across the Universe, which I recommended as grades 7 and up, there is some sexual content (rape/attempted rape).  There is more violence in this book as well, as the seeds of revolution and mutiny are sown, including several murders.  Even so, these things are tastefully handled so as not to become inappropriate for the audience this book is intended for.  This could very well be taken seriously as Adult Sci-Fi, but for its intelligence, not content.  It stand by my conservative 7th grade+ recommendation from the 1st book (ages 12+), however I would not rule out allowing a well-read, mature 5th or 6th grader to read it (my daughter, 10, has).

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