January 14, 2012

Book Review: A Million Suns

What do you do when you are home alone, with no voice, with no energy, and a practically-swollen-shut sore throat?

That's a no-brainer (!), you lay on the coach and read an entire book of course!
(Yes, that means I stayed way up past my bedtime...
...can you say 11:30 p.m...
...for a sick girl?!)

Godspeed was 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. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies. 

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart. 

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled 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.

It's interesting.  Although I have always been an avid reader, I never thought that I would be particularly drawn to the science-fiction genre.  Yet here I am, clearly drawn to that style of novel, and loving every minute of it!  I read Across the Universe (the first book in the trilogy) about a year ago.  No one suggested the book to me.  I was just in Books-a-Million one day looking for an entertaining and engaging story.  The cover caught my eye, I read the synopsis on the inside flap, and just like that I was hooked!  Now, almost a year later, I asked Bo to buy me A Million Suns for my 28th birthday (and have it shipped to me by two-day delivery!).

I swore that I would read A Million Suns slowly, rationing the chapters and savoring every word.  In the end, I received the book on Wednesday evening, and I read its last word on Friday at 10:30 p.m. Oh well.  At least I had good intentions, right?!  Regardless, maybe you would like to know why I like the Across the Universe trilogy (and in particular, A Million Suns).  Here are just a few reasons, in no particular order:

  • First things first, out of 13 reviews on Amazon, 100% gave A Million Suns five stars!  Therefore, even if you don't trust my raving review, it seems as though I not the only one who holds this opinion. :)

  • The plot will keep you guessing, all the way up to the final page!  I found myself needing to go to the restroom to tinkle (hehehe), but then would find myself three. chapters. later. still sitting on the couch reading.  I couldn't put A Millions Suns down because, although it was inevitably something unexpected, I had to know what happened next!

  • Several deep, philosophical questions serve as the theoretical underpinnings of the trilogy.  For instance:
    • What is leadership?
      • Is leadership the ability to rule peacefully over a population that has no propensity for (or ability to practice) individual thought? or;
      • Is leadership only present when empowered and free-thinking individuals support, and have respect for, an individual and their ability to lead?
    • Is it acceptable for a supreme leader to compromise a people's free will in order to ensure collective safety?
    • Utilitarianism, also known as "the greatest happiness principle," is an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall "happiness" of a community.  Revis' trilogy asks, does utilitarianism work?
    • What is the role of freedom, and free thought, in a society where everyone must work, and contribute equally, in order for the society to survive?

  • Revis makes the reader feel as though they are a part of the emotional journey of the books' main characters.  In Across the Universe I felt Amy's panic-stricken claustrophobia upon discovering she is trapped on Godspeed; and In A Million Suns I felt both Amy and Edler's fear of revolution and mutiny.

  • This trilogy is meant for adolescent and adult science fiction fans alike!  Everyone can relate to this coming-of-age story!

  • The book ends on such a cliffhanger that I can't believe I have to wait until NEXT JANUARY to read the trilogy's conclusion...ARGH!!!

Question of the Day:

Do you like science fiction books?  If not, what is your favorite genre of books?

Ally and Bo

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