Just Finished Reading ... A Million Suns

A Million Suns
by Beth Revis
January 10, 2012
Source: ARC traded with a friend
Mature content: References to rape. Multiple murders.

This book is a sequel to Across the Universe, published in January 2011.

I've struggled with how -- or whether -- to review second or third books in a series. It's hard to write something that makes sense and is spoiler-free for readers who haven't tackled prior books.

But, hey, I'll give it a shot. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Across the Universe begins as Amy and her parents are cryogenically frozen in preparation for a 300-year journey to a new planet, Centauri-Earth. But Amy is inexplicably unfrozen fifty years too early and has to face life on the spaceship Godspeed, alone among strangers. To make matters even worse, someone is unplugging her frozen counterparts and watching them die.

Elder is heir apparent to Eldest, the leader of Godspeed. he's intrigued by Amy, who is not only the only person his age on board the ship, but the only person he's ever seen with pale skin and red hair. He fights both his attraction to her and his fears about becoming a leader, while Amy struggles to adapt to life on Godspeed.

These books are one part sci-fi, one part dystopian, and one part thriller. The concept is unique and the plotting clever. In A Million Suns, the characters continue to face plenty of obstacles, both emotional and literal. Amy misses her life on earth and longs to be reunited with her parents, who are tantalizingly close but heartbreakingly silent in their cryo-boxes. Elder finds leadership abruptly thrust upon him and struggles with his confidence.

As all good dystopian novels should, A Million Suns raises weighty philosophical and ethical questions. How can political power be wielded fairly and justly? How much dissent and individual thought can a society bear? What is the nature of freedom?

For the most part, Elder is the one pondering such questions. As in the first book, Amy spends much of the book hiding for her own safety. Reminiscent of the main character in Fire by Kristin Cashore, red-haired Amy is stared at and feared as a freak by the homogeneous residents of Godspeed. In Across the Universe, Amy was nearly raped and is understandably still shaken and afraid. So she wraps up her hair and hides her face and goes on a scavenger hunt for hidden messages that reveal secrets about Godspeed and its mysterious mission. Meanwhile, Elder deals with a mutinous population, a tail of bodies left by a mysterious killer, and his own self-doubt.

A Million Suns ends with a brand-new cliffhanger as the residents of Godspeed face a difficult and frightening choice.

I hope that in the next book of this series, the long-suffering Godspeeders do make to Centauri-Earth so that Amy can finally come out of hiding.

I'll definitely be on board for book three -- I like the way this series inventively mixes genres and always keeps me thinking.


  1. I struggle with whether or not I will read this book. I read the first and didn't feel a strong connection to the characters but did think that there were some weird similarities to Battlestar Galactica. Was it only me? I heard the second book introduces characters much like some that were killed off in the first. Is the second book enough of a departure from the first book for me to give it a try? Give me hope!

    1. I've only seen a few episodes of BG -- not enough to have an opinion.
      I do think that these books tend to a be a bit more plot and idea driven and a bit less character driven. But I like the fact that the author puts her characters in difficult, often impossible, situations and then does not take the easy way out by giving them superhuman responses.
      As for characters similar to those killed off, I'm not quite sure. Thinking about that...

  2. This is why I created my Series in Review feature--it is really hard with some series to talk about one book without giving away too much. Plus sometimes there are books within a series that I am not a big fan of even though I love the series! :)


  3. Series in Review is a great idea! It's very hard to read someone's opinion of book 2 or 3 in a series if you haven't read book 1.

  4. Looks like I'm going to have to read the first book soon. Great review!

    I also wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a versatile blogger award: http://bibliophilesthoughtsonbooks.blogspot.com/2012/01/versatile-blogger-nomination-nominees.html

    1. Christina, thanks so much! I am honored.
      Better go check this out.

  5. I'm not sure how I would like books about outer space... It just might be a little out of my genre of preference

  6. I must say I am looking forward to reading A MILLION SUNS.


  7. I wanna read this!! Roar! Muah! As soon as my library gets it, I'm gonna get my hands on that book I tell ya!

  8. I LOVED this one! It is hard reviewing series books because I don't want people lost so I try to draw you in with some plot details but I hate to give anything good away.


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