Lately the YA market has been full of trilogies. Nine times out of ten the first book rocks and you are pumped for the second book and then you get it and it was just kind of meh. That’s what I like to call a filler book. It’s only purpose is to get you from end of book one to beginning of book three. Personally, I think you could just chop it out the middle book and extend the other two instead of creating this whole other book. Now the purpose of this post? To tell you A Million Suns is NOT that book!
I read Across the Universe shortly after it was released last year. I liked, not loved, it. The world that was created was unique and their quest was interesting, but I didn’t click with the main characters, and the minor ones I did like ended up dead. But it was still good enough that I was left wanting to read the sequel. I downloaded it on my kindle (which is how I read AtU) the day it came out and started reading a few pages, though it wasn’t until that weekend that I really got into the book. And once I did, I was hooked. By the end I was blown away by how great this story had become.
Recap of Across the Universe (provided by goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
We’re left at the end of the book with Elder coming clean about being the one to wake Amy and her forgiving him and asking him to never leave him. She doesn’t want to be alone.
Fast forward 3 months and Godspeed is in chaos. Elder is trying his best to rule without Phydus, a drug that keeps the people onboard the ship subdued. Without it, they are thinking for themselves, not wanting to work, and causing harm to themselves and others. Basically they are feeling for the first time. And not only are they feeling, but they’ve just had a bomb dropped on them that they won’t be making it to Centauri-Earth. I think I’d cause a little ruckus too.
The book starts out with Elder as he struggles in his role as “Eldest” (though he refuses to go by the name). He tries to act tough, but deep down he still struggles with the idea of using the Phydus. Elder’s problem is that he’s so wishy-washy. I hate to say, but he is one of my least favorite male MC’s or love interests in YA. I don’t know what it is, but I’m not drawn to him. In anyway. Looks, personality, nothing. But, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if that’s the point. If he were sweet and romantic and incredibly handsome (everyone on the ship basically looks like one another, except for Amy) of course Amy, and the rest of us, would be drawn to him. And if she wasn’t, we would question her sanity. But giving us a male MC/love interest that’s just an average run of the mill guy makes you think. We don’t question Amy when she doesn’t run into his open arms. Because that’s what this book is about, choice. The choice to tell the truth or keep it hidden. To make your own destiny, or go with the norm. To pick the only guy close to your age, or not. And Amy is all about choice.
Which brings me to her. We left off AtU with Amy forgiving Elder but when we get to her in AMS, she’s sitting on the floor in the cryo chamber–her parents melting beside her. She’s wondering if she can forgive Elder. If she should let her parents melt and join her on the claustrophobic ship. Yes, Amy is almost as wishy-washy as Elder. But one thing that’s different about her, one thing that I love, is she fights for what she wants, for what she believes in. If she really wanted to doom her parents, she would. But she knows their fate would become the one she’s living now, and I don’t think Amy would wish that on her worst enemy.
Now I’ll get into the best part about this book. It keeps you guessing! We know that the characters are trying to find a way to speed up this ship and get to Centauri-Earth sooner than they’ve been told. But it’s not that simple. There’s one thing after another that blocks their path to freedom and the real kicker–the one that had me gasping out loud–is what makes this book incredible. Because never in my wildest imagination did I see this plot twist coming and you can tell the characters didn’t even.
But this twist wasn’t just handed to us (or the characters for that matter). No. Orion, before he was frozen, made a treasure hunt of sorts for Amy. He knew she wouldn’t take the news about the ship and let it alone. So he fed her curiosity, one clue at a time, until her and Elder seemed to care about nothing else. And that twist. Wow. Just…wow!
Their shocking discovery and the end of this book left me wanting, no, NEEDING, to read Shades of Earth. 2013 can’t come fast enough. You better believe I’ll be downloading it the day it releases and jumping right in.