A Million Suns: Across the Universe #2
by Beth Revis
The killer in book one has been captured, and Elder is beginning his leadership on board Godspeed in the aftermath of the discovery that Godspeed will never see the new planet. However, when Elder’s first command—discontinue the mind-control drug FIDIS and let the people function as free individuals—is executed, all hell breaks loose. Now Elder must try to manage the chaos and find out who is now killing people on Godspeed. And Amy? Amy discovers clues left for her by the killer in book one, clues that may help them land on their new home sooner than anticipated.
Book two in the series focuses on two main conflicts. First, there is a new killer on the ship, and second, Godspeed is in turmoil. The plot examines life after a dictatorship and the problems that ensue. Elder struggles to keep ship functions running smoothly with a community of individuals unaccustomed to thought, let alone free speech, and Elder’s former friend Bardy does nothing to facilitate the transition. Flaws begin to surface on Godspeed, and the previously drawn utopian ship is revealed for the prison it was. With the ship falling apart, food production slowing, and a new murderer on the loose, Elder has little time to invest in his relationship with Amy, yet Revis skillfully allows Elder and Amy to grow as individuals while at the same time exploring their relationship with one another. Elder struggles with his feelings of inferiority as a leader, feelings that are well-earned. Truthfully, Elder is a very poor leader, and at times it’s difficult to empathize with him or even root for him, but it does allow the reader to wonder if they would do better in his situation. Amy, on the other hand, never loses faith in Elder, even when facing her own grief and a life she never imagined living aboard Godspeed. What I love about the developing relationship between these two is that it is slow to grow. Amy realizes that she doesn’t have to love Elder simply because he is the only guy around her age. All of this being said, it may sound like this book is a bit on the dull side. Not so! Revis, in the same riveting style of book one, manages to weave in two mysteries rather than one! And when both are solved, a tantalizing conclusion makes the reader (myself included) scour the library for book three. Truth be told, I’ve already read book three! I gobbled it immediately after I finished this one! This is one series I would totally love to see hit Hollywood. The special effects would be amazing, and the conflicts engaging enough to guarantee a following.