Book Review: A Million Suns

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Almost three thousand crewmembers reside on Godspeed, their entire lives confined to the ship as it makes its way from Earth (Sol-Earth) to Centauri-Earth. Godspeed also carries future colonists in its hold. Amy was one of those colonists, held in cryogenic sleep until someone regenerated her years ahead of schedule, and she’s struggling to adapt to life on Godspeed. She’s also struggling with her feelings for Elder.

Elder knew he would someday take command of Godspeed, but after the unexpected death of their leader, Elder has to step into his new role much sooner than planned, and the transition isn’t going well. Some passengers argue that at sixteen he’s too young to lead. Others don’t like the changes he wants to make. Murmurs of rebellion start, and then a series of murders point to Elder as the guilty party, driving the ship to the verge of mutiny.

Nothing has been the same for Elder since Amy woke from her cryogenic sleep. While some of the crew blame Amy (and Elder’s attraction to her) for his new ideas, Elder knows that Amy is exactly what they need to break away from the mistakes of his predecessor. She also might be the only one capable of putting together the clues that someone left behind—clues pointing to a secret that will forever change the lives of everyone aboard Godspeed.

A Million Suns by Beth Revis continues the story she began in Across the Universe. Revis does an excellent job of blending the individual stories of Amy and Elder into the bigger story of a ship in crisis, creating a complex, fast-paced plot. Revis also gives us a compelling look at human nature and how the choices we make define who we are. There’s nowhere to hide on Godspeed. Nowhere to run. As tempers flare and violence breaks out, we glimpse the dark side of human nature, but we’re also reminded that we can choose to rise above that nature. A Million Suns is a well-rounded book that both entertains and makes you think.

If you decide to read A Million Suns, you definitely want to read Across the Universe first, and you have plenty of time to read them both before book three—Shades of Earth—is released in January.

©2012 Kim Vandel

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