A Million Suns by Beth Revis

I really liked Across the Universe, so this was pretty eagerly anticipated.  It picks up just three months later and in that three months since Elder has become the leader of the ship Godspeed and taken all its residents off of Phydus (the drug that kept them docile and hardworking) things have not gone so well.  Having their own minds and emotions means people are discovering their own power and not so eager to blindly follow a leader.  For the first time there is violence, injury, and even death.  And in terms of the ship itself things are going poorly too-the food supply is running low and things are not functioning properly.  And then there’s Amy-the prematurely defrosted teenager from Sol-Earth.  There are two main stories going on in this second book.  There’s the trouble with the residents of Godspeed and the brewing rebellion and then there’s Amy’s mystery.  It turns out that Orion (the troublemaker from book one, now frozen) has left her a series of clues she must track down.  A lot of the book is spent reading about how there’s a big secret and and in fact, there are actually two big secrets.  I read this really quickly because I couldn’t wait to find out what they were, but I’ll admit that I wish I’d found out even sooner.  I think that’s the trouble sometimes with the second book in a trilogy.  There’s going to be some resolution, but mostly more buildup to the finale in book 3.  And I am super excited for book 3, which apparently is not coming out until next January.  Regarding the uprising of the residents I found it surprising (and maybe unlikely) that it didn’t occur to Elder right away to offer a new form of leadership and government.  And if it didn’t occur to him then surely Amy, from Earth, would have clued him in that he needed to have a new form of governent that allowed the “Feeders” a voice.
Whatever quibbles I have with that I did like this and really liked just thinking about this future world and self contained life and the voyage to a possibly new world.  I thought a lot about The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell, which is a simply amazing book blending space travel, new worlds, science, and religion.  This does not compare, but both do tell stories about brave (?) pioneers.  It also made me think a little bit about that new tv show that I gave up on, the one where they escape earth by traveling back in time and living amongst dinosaurs.  What must that be like to colonize a planet where no humans are? A classic sci-fi story that is endlessly interesting.


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