Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tea Time: A Million Suns

**Warning: Spoilers May Abound**

A Million Suns, Beth Revis (Across the Universe #2)

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 spaceshipGodspeed.

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. (source:goodreads)

Cover-What I love is that this cover takes after the cover of the first book; it's literally the same section of the Godpseed, and everything (I checked). Personally, I love it when the covers match up so well; when it's the same, but different. In this case the difference comes from the filters used on the photo: the orange and yellow, and the way that the metal looks like it's being heated up (whereas the first book had a frozen look to it).

It rocks. because the "heat" theme of it not only fits with the title (the "suns"), but also with the central theme and plot of the book: rebellion and chaos on the ship.

Narrative-As with the first book in this series (ACROSS THE UNIVERSE), this book is told from two points of view: Amy and Elder. We still have the constant alternation, as well, with every chapter being the other character so the reader can follow along in both of their lives as they intersect (because we obviously have shipped Elder and Amy from book one) and as they do their own things (as will be expanded upon in the "plot" section of this review).

I really don't have much more to say about this. Everything that is awesome about Revis' writing style with this series can be read in the review for AtU (here), but just to summarize and recap: Revis does a bang-up and envy-worthy job of giving Elder and Amy their own voices which, in first person, can sometimes be a hard thing to do.

Major Kudos.

Plot-In this book, things heat up.

I mean, really heat up. If you read ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (which, I hope you did/will do), you'll know that things got pretty wacky. Things in A MILLION SUNS gets worse. With people no longer on Phydus, they have thoughts. And with those thoughts, they start getting greedy and (in my opinion) taking their rage on the wrong person (Elder).

The effect of this is total anarchy and rebellion on the ship, including somebody killing people and basically framing Elder in an attempt to get people to tear him down. The ship is falling apart, and I say that both literally (from almost page one you find some strange things out about the Godspeed's mechanical workings) and figuratively (the people are legit going to destroy themselves and blame Elder while they do it).

Meanwhile, Amy has her own things to deal with. There's her parents, of course, who are still cryo'd beneath the ship's surface. The real fun, though, lies in the scavenger/treasure hunt that she winds up going on when she realizes that somebody on the ship is (or was) leaving her clues that lead to more secrets about the ship and its journey to Centauri-Earth.

I think what I really liked about the plot for A MILLION SUNS was that Revis separated Amy and Elder. They're still together-ish, of course, but while Amy is off one her hunt for clues, Elder is busy trying to lead the ship. So there's two plots all wrapped up in one, which means this book is like Christmas.

You know, if Christmas involved rebellion and murder and secrets and lies and it happened on a space ship trapped in the middle of space.

Characters-Many of the characters in A MILLION SUNS are the same as in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, with the exception of a few (you'll know which ones if you've already read AtU).

Of course, we get a lot from Amy and Elder, due to the narration coming from them. The most interesting one, in my opinion, was the development of Elder as a leader: while Amy is off basically ignoring everything that's happening (I mean, it's a safety issue having her around in some areas; also, the ship technically isn't her responsibility besides being one of its inhabitants. So...yeah), Elder is trying to stave off anarchy as people begin rioting and someone starts murdering people and trying to pin them on him. Plus, he's working with the engineers of the ship to figure out why the heck the ship hadn't landed when it should have, and how they can actually manage to touch-ground on Centauri-Earth.

Amy remains the same through much of this book: when she realizes that clues have been left for her, she follows them, because she knows that at the end she might be able to finally defrost her parents.

Elder, on the other hand, is forced through a  major character arc as he struggles to become a leader that the people of the Godspeed can look up to. I honestly found it fascinating, the choices that he made, which made him question his own character, resulting in him comparing himself to Eldest from the previous book.

What I appreciated? The decisions weren't black and white. Some of the things he did to control the people and ultimately keep them safe were completely troubling, and it made me wonder how I would fare in the same situations. It was bleak and a really great look into how far some people will go to ultimately protect the people they're put in charge of.

Besides Amy and Elder, a few new faces pop up as well as some old ones. Both work together to create a troubles atmosphere (particularly when you find Victria and Amy realizes something totally horrific: SPOILER. Ha! Ya'll thought I was going to tell ya'll, huh?).

Final Answer: 4.25 / 5

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A MILLION SUNS @bethrevis earns 4.25 / 5 stars from @Rae_Slater. Read why (Click to Tweet)

A sequel with a character arc that goes to the extremes. Check out A MILLION SUNS @bethrevis via @Rae_Slater (Click to Tweet)

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