WARNING: ACROSS THE UNIVERSE SPOILERS THROUGHOUT
By: Beth Revis
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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 spaceship Godspeed.
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.
Okay, you all know that I read and loved ACROSS THE UNIVERSE a few weeks ago. I started reading this sequel, A MILLION SUNS almost immediately after I finished the first book, but then the TRUTHWITCH ARC showed up, and I had to read a few other things, so I ended up not being able to get fully immersed in A MILLION SUNS until a few days ago. When I picked it back up, it was almost like I was never away. I was instantly sucked right back onto Godspeed, following Amy and Elder as they were entangled in their latest mystery aboard the ship.
There isn’t much I can say about the story without any spoilers, because this book literally opens with a HUGE plot twist that I never saw coming! All I can say right now is that this book was honestly every bit as good as the first book — verging on the possibility of maybe being better? I could have easily gave this book a full five stars, but I’m still holding back that final half-star because, even though it’s great, I’m holding onto that five star rating incase SHADES OF EARTH is as good as I’m hoping it will be!
When ACROSS THE UNIVERSE ends, Amy and Elder are in a pretty half-decent situation; Eldest is dead, Orion (the previous Elder) is frozen, and the mystery of Who’s-Unplugging-the-Frozens? has been solved. I thought that maybe this book would be nice and peaceful and follow Elder as he becomes the great and just leader that we want him to be, and Amy starts to integrate herself into the society on the ship, and together they make everything perfect. *HUGE OBNOXIOUS BUZZER NOISE* WRONG. Right from the very first chapter, Elder learns that Eldest’s revelation that the ship is going too slowly wasn’t the whole truth; instead, the ship is just stopped. It’s just hanging there in the middle of nowhere, going nowhere. And Amy is having to go to greater lengths to hide herself and who she is, because the population of the ship is off of the Phydus drug, so they can all think for themselves, and that means that they understand Amy’s difference. Honestly, I didn’t think that the plot could be topped from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. I thought that the murder mystery was so intense, and so engaging, that A MILLION SUNS would end up suffering. I couldn’t have been more wrong. In this sequel, there are two extremely interesting and mind-blowing plots happening at the same time; Amy wanting to follow the treasure hunt that she finds that Orion has left for her, and Elder adjusting to life as the Eldest while a revolution is brewing amongst the Feeders. It’s almost super cliché to say that you’re hooked on every page of a book, but it’s honestly just what happened with me and this book. The plot was fantastic the whole way through, from the treasure hunt, to the mutiny, to learning a few more heartbreaking facts about Harley and Kayleigh, to explosions on the bridge and discoveries in the lower levels. Every point in the plot held such a monumental purpose, and I can’t imagine that anything could have been changed or added to make the story better. I don’t say this a lot, but in terms of plot… this book had one that was possibly perfect.
The characters also undergo some massive changes in this sequel, both in good and bad ways. Amy seems different in this book, and close to the beginning it’s clear to see why; in a heartbreaking way, she’s starting to forget home; forget Earth. Every day she spends on Godspeed, she loses a little bit of home, and it’s so painful to watch her go through this transition. And it makes it even harder that Elder isn’t there a lot, because he’s now so busy with his life as the Eldest. And when we look at how he’s doing, it’s painful in a different way. I wanted him to be the perfect leader, but now that the population isn’t being fed Phydus, it’s proving difficult to lead the ship. People are starting to question authority, especially Elder’s authority, questioning; what makes Elder deserving of being the leader? The revolution scenes with Bartie and his preaching are so intense, and the ‘Follow the Leader‘ murders are genuinely scary. And we have to often question ourselves on whether or not Elder is justified in some of his actions. We really see some morally gray decisions made in this book, particularly in the scene where Elder uses the same punishment on Stevy that Eldest used on him. Reading it, I thought that Elder made the completely right decision, but in hind-sight, was it? It’s little things like that which make the characters so flawed, but perfectly so. Towards the end, the characters start to feel like they’re real people that you’ve spent two novels learning about; even side characters and minor characters. Despite the fact that Luthor is one of my least favourite characters of all time, I couldn’t help but wonder if he deserved to be killed. I was devastated when Victria revealed that she was pregnant with Luthor’s child, and even more devastated when she was holding the gun towards Amy. And Doc; I never once suspected that he was the murderer. I don’t know much to say about it, but he’s another character with the morally gray decision-making. Sure, he’s wrong in everything he’s done…. but, is he? Don’t his motives actually sound quite… agreeable?
As with the first book in the series, there are a number of twists and turns in this book. I don’t want to go through all of them, but I will say that I managed to correctly guess a few (particularly the fact that Godspeed has stopped because it actually arrived at the new planet early, yisss, go me!). I don’t think that takes anything away, though; in fact, it actually adds something to it. I genuinely had to work and do a lot of thinking to figure out what was going to happen at through the little hints scattered throughout the book.
That’s something that I love about these books so far; they really make me think. Throughout both of them, Amy and Elder’s situations are making me think about the real world, and how the things that happen in these books relate to the real world. I’ve only read the first two books in the series, but I can already tell that it’s probably one of my favourite series in recent years, maybe even of all time. The characters are phenomenal, the stories are gripping and highly entertaining, and Beth Revis continues to impress me with her writing which has gotten even better with the sequel. I’ll hopefully be getting to SHADES OF EARTH soon, but the thought of finishing this series soon is actually making me a little sad. I could read so many more books set on Godspeed following Amy and Elder in their perfect and messed up little lives.