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YA Book Review: 'A Million Suns' by Beth Revis

Posted on the 31 October 2012 by Pocketfulofbooks @PocketfulofBooks

A Million Suns
(Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis
YA Book Review: 'A Million Suns' by Beth Revis
Published: January 10th, 2012 Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Bought From Amazon Format: E-Book Pages: 386
Cover Art

I actually think that this cover is rather nice. The purples and blues with the stars is a nice effect. Again, as with 'Across the Universe' the couple are a main feature, which kind of sells it as a really romantic book. These books are really not that romantic!

Plot Synopsis

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.

My Rating:

YA Book Review: 'A Million Suns' by Beth Revis
First Line: "This isn't going to be easy," I mutter, staring at the solid metal door that leads to the Engine Room on the Shipper Level of Godspeed'

Pocket-Size Review I disliked the first book in the series, 'Across the Universe', but I hoped this would be better due to all the rave reviews on Goodreads. It wasn't. Highs: I managed to finish it? Lows: Elder is so overly moral and nauseating. And a tad creepy IMO. Not what I look for in a love interest.

* If you haven't read Across the Universe then this review will SPOILERIFY you.*
This review is going to be short because I have almost nothing to say about this book. It was blah. Worse than blah: it was painfully dull. I found it extremely difficult to finish because every time I picked it up I got this kind of dullness induced headache that comes with forcing yourself to finish a boring book. I know I sound really grumpy, but this book annoyed me. At least if you're going to be bad do it in style. Harumph.

Four words sum it up perfectly: more of the same. Which, for me, was not a good thing. I didn't enjoy 'Across the Universe' (my review here) and I didn't enjoy this sequel either. It has such high praise on Goodreads, and is rated over 4 so I thought it would be an improvement on its predecessor. Sadly, for me, it wasn't. I don't feel excited or tense reading these books, even though some of the events are supposed to make you fear for the characters and induce some kind of atmosphere. I think I just find the whole concept of being trapped on a spaceship, unable to go backwards or forwards and lost in space until you die much too depressing a concept to enjoy any of the action that occurs on said spaceship. The fact that they are drifting hopelessly through space kind of puts things in perspective and I just think: what's the point of all this drama between characters and little flirtations between Amy and Elder and worry about people arguing: you're all going to die anyway. Obviously, events take a turn and things do become a bit more hopeful, but that just feels contrived and obvious because it is the ONLY place that this series could've gone. The spaceship is such a small, enclosed space to find things to go wrong that everything ends up going wrong, and that just irritated me. I don't like to feel stressed out and worried over food budgets and water purification when reading ma fiction.

My other main problem with the series is the characters. Elder has nothing going for him. He is narrow minded, cheesy, slightly pervy, has a masculinity complex and makes all the wrong decisions all of the time. I find myself so irritated by him that, again, it spoils my enjoyment of the book. He occasionally errs on the side of sounding horribly aggressive and a shade rapey as seen in this quote which occurs whilst Elder is staring at Amy's lips and she asks him what's wrong:

'A beastly roar rises up in me, and I force myself to swallow it down. What happened? I can't control myself around her, that's what happened. I want her so much that it overrides everything else, every thought in my head, every instinct, every restraint. My want is consuming- and I'm afraid it won't just consume me, but her too.'
Amy can do so much better than Elder. I unship this couple so hard. Amy would probably be a decent, strong, funny character if she wasn't surrounded by douchebags who are constantly looking or feeling her up and calling her a 'freak' because she is a ginge (red hair rules). She is so lonely and angry for the entirety of this book that the character never really gets the chance to blossom and show much personality. 

Two more niggly things that irritated me: Orion left Amy clues to follow to find out more about the inner scandals and conspiracies regarding the ship. WHYYYYY? Why would he do that?! Why not just hide a letter explaining everything in her laundry or something? It is merely a plot device to slow down the unraveling of the mystery and I find it so annoying when authors fail to use subtlety and include something so stupid and unnecessary. It makes no sense. The second thing that is grating about these books is the slang Revis has invented for the ship. The main offenders are 'frex', 'chutz' and 'brilly'. It reminds me a lot of the slang used in Scott Westerfeld's 'Uglies' series, but it seems even more irritating and forced in the spaceship due to the fact that the only methods they have of learning any language is through materials from Earth, so why not use their swear words? Again, I just felt these things were thrown in with no sense and no explanation.

All I can say is that these books are not for me. Revis' writing is fine and nothing shockingly inconsistent or idiotic happens within the bounds of the world she creates, so I can't say they are BAD books. I just don't enjoy them. However, if the premise turns out to be a Planet of the Apes 'it was Earth all along' conclusion, I will be scoffing at all people who think this is a good series. That's right SCOFFING.

Other Thoughts
This Book has Inspired me to Read: The good thing to come from reading these books, is that I have now realised how much I hate this kind of Sci-fi and will be avoiding it in future. Any mention of cloning or crygenically freezing people, and I will be walking away.

Memorable Quotes: 

'Just that if I was back on Earth instead of on this damn ship, if I had met Elder at school or at a club or on a blind date, if I had my choice between Elder and every other boy in the world...Would I love him then? Would he love me? Love without choice isn't love at all. 
"Just that I don't want to be with you just because there's no one else."

'A million suns stretch out beyond me, their light piercing the darkness. The ship seems to glow. I scan it, looking for whatever massive secret Orion told me I would find.'

Three Words to Describe this Book: Forgettable, Chaotic, Claustrophobic.

But Don't Take My Word For It...
  • Blog Reviews of  'A Million Suns': 
Narratively Speaking says:

'I have to start by saying that for a series I love, I found it really hard to get into this book, not helped of course by the fact that I got sick and had to stop reading for a while because I couldn’t concentrate. However, when I DID get into it, I really enjoyed it.'
Reading with ABC says:
'Wow! I think I like A Million Suns more than Across the Universe! It’s a book full of mystery and discovery and I loved it.' Books Worth Remembering says:
'Oh my goodness, Beth Revis has once again impressed and amazed me and left me wanting more. When it comes to second books in a trilogy my expectations are never high however A Million Suns pleasantly surprised me and I found myself loving it as much as I had Across the Universe.'

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