A Million Suns
Across the Universe #2
Published January 10, 2012 by Razorbill (Penguin)
A Million Suns was an absolutely enthralling read, one that was highly enjoyable despite a few glaring plot holes. This series is definitely worth a read even if you're not a scifi fan!
A Million Suns swept me up and wouldn't let go until long after I turned the last page. Even more so than Across the Universe, it was an extraordinarily compelling book. Unlike many second books in trilogies, A Million Suns is obviously no filler, but a very exciting story.
However, wonderful as it was to read, A Million Suns is not without its flaws. The most critical was the scavenger hunt the entire plot rested upon, which never really seemed necessary. Supposedly Amy would need time to accept the answers she needed to find, but I was neither surprised nor shocked at what the clues, in the end, revealed. There is no obvious reason why the information couldn't have been imparted clearly, and then the characters could have taken all the time they spent hunting for clues and dealt with all the other things going on. And when they finally did find the information, they just sort of dismissed it and went on with their plans, so after all that buildup, it wasn't very climactic. This issue undermined the very premise of the book, which was annoying, though it clearly didn't ruin the story for me. (Sorry for all the obliqueness. I'm trying to be spoiler-free!)
Second, despite being raised for it, Elder is really not a very good leader. Granted, the other half of the story rested on this fact, but he didn't really have a good reason for keeping his role on the ship. He didn't like being the leader, and the only explanation for not giving it up might be to protect Amy. However, the leadership dispute ended up being the better of the plotlines, so I can't complain too much.
Having multiple first-person points of view doesn't always work, but once again it's very effective in Amy and Elder's case. They were both a bit whiny in this book, but since they had good reason to be upset, it wasn't nearly as irritating as some other books. The two of them make very good main characters: different enough to make their separate narratives distinct, but alike enough to have more or less the same goals.
Overall, although it had a few plot holes and some glaring unanswered questions, A Million Suns was even more addictive than Across the Universe. I can't wait to see how Beth Revis will wrap things up in Shades of Earth.
A Million Suns is similar to:
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Acorna by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball
Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon