“A Million Suns” by Beth Revis

“A Million Suns”
by Beth Revis
Read By Tara Carrozza & Lucas Salvagno
Published by Penguin Audio
10 hours and 18 minutes

Young Adult fiction is one of those great genres that appeals to all ages, and can be a hit or miss. Recently the “Twilight” series of young adult vampire romance took the world by storm (hopefully that waste of time is over), before that there was Harry Potter and now “The Hunger Games” has been released as a movie. So the young adult fiction genre is one worth checking out, no matter your age. Many of the stories are extremely well written and just having the main characters as teenagers puts them in the YA category. While listening to this audiobook, I was (and still am) listening to another YA audiobook. This one is science fiction and the other is a Zombie Apocalypse YA book. So as you can see lots of directions you can go with this genre.

This book is book two of the “Across the Universe” trilogy with the third book due (at the time of this posting) early 2013, so If you haven’t read the first one or listened to the audiobooks you still have some time so get going. Being the second book in the series there are some things that need to be stated to help you get caught up. The ship Godspeed is a multigenerational ship that has been sent on its 300 year mission to a planet that orbits the twin suns of Alpha Centauri. The crew consists of a group of people who have been set up in the ship with specific duties to keep the ship running generation after generation. The citizens of Godspeed are led by an Eldest who trains an Elder to rule the next generation. The ship’s main cargo consists of around a hundred or so people from various walks of life who are frozen in cryogenic chambers to be thawed upon arrival at Centauri Earth.

There has been a bit of a mutiny in the Eldest/Elder community where one Elder is thought dead and a younger Elder is being trained to replace Elder. The missing Elder has taken the name Orion and started unthawing the “frozens.” Amy has been thawed out and joins Elder in solving the mystery of who is killing the frozens. Amy discovers that there are engine problems and that Godspeed may not arrive for another 50 years. Soon Orion is caught and frozen to be thawed and tried by the other “frozens” upon arrival at Centauri Earth. But not before it is revealed that the population of Godspeed have been controlled through drugs, and fooled for generations about the arrival at Centauri Earth.

Here in book two, Amy now has settled with the fact she may never see her parents again (they are among the “frozens”) and has to start her life on Godspeed and decide if she is going to have a relationship with Elder. Elder is now in charge of the Godspeed, following the death of Eldest. He is determined to be different in his leadership style, no more lies and no more drugging his people. But rebellions begin rising up, laziness threatens food production, and there’s another murderer onboard. Meanwhile, Amy stumbles across a thread of clues left behind by Orion, explaining his extreme actions and revealing more secrets that will affect the entire ship, leaving Amy and maybe Elder with a choice to make. One of those secrets is that Godspeed is no longer moving through space, not merely moving slower than expected.

This story mixes a coming-of-age type story with mystery, romance and adventure with some superb science-fiction. The science-fiction aspect should be the one that grabs you but with all the rest thrown in, it’s pretty hard to resist.

Both teen and adult science fiction fans will enjoy this extraordinary coming-of-age story. Filled with intense suspense, adventure, mystery, and a bit of romance – A Million Suns is pure excitement from beginning to its cliffhanger ending. This fantastic space opera trilogy is a must-read.

The book is separated with each chapter told from the point of view of either Amy or Elder and the team of Tara Carrozza and Lucas Salvagno doing the reading the story flows perfectly. Each able to capture the main characters and all their personalities, as well as vary their voices well enough to still allow for the multiple character’s dialogues to be perfectly translated.