Professor Birdbrain: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Professor Birdbrain is back, and after a short hiatus after finishing Across The Universe, he's moved onto A Million Suns. Professor Birdbrain is what I call my husband, he's a cross between Phil Dunphy, the One Man Wolfpack and a walking Big Bang Theory episode, hence the name. So with a little help, he's ditched the Xbox and composed his second review.

May contain spoilers for Across The Universe.
A Million Suns (Across The Universe: Book Two)
Written by Beth Revis
Published January 2012
386 Pages
Godspeed was once 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. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to act on his vision, no more Phydus, no more lies. But when Elder learns shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a mystery that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier. Their success, or failure, will determine the fate of the 2,298 passengers aboard Godspeed. But with each step, the journey becomes more perilous, the ship more chaotic, and the love between them more impossible to fight.

Beth Revis catapulted readers into the far reaches of space with her New York Times bestselling debut, Across the Universe. In A Million Suns, Beth deepens the mystery 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.
The pace set by Beth Revis in Across the Universe, was rather slow until midway. This time however, strap into your gravity chair, because we are travelling at warp five Scotty. Orion may be out of the picture, but a trail of breadcrumbs left behind will drive Amy to impossible situations. This becomes her very essence and reason to discover the truth, peeling back one layer of the onion at a time. Some of the discoveries Amy and Elder will make will shock, and others will surprise you.

Soon after the people are free of the drug Phydus, the population shows they are capable of advancement in their culture, but sadly with freedom of individual thought also comes darker thoughts, being greed for one. Friends turn on one another, as unrest rears it's ugly head in the former utopic society. The ship descends into chaos, as Elder's grasp on power is fading away. Still, he is driven by Amy but can he put the ship and it's inhabitants first?

Professor Birdbrain's Thoughts

I thought the pace in A Million Suns was far better than the first, but that was to be expected with the author providing a brief history of the characters and technology. The constant hints at a greater hidden truth intrigued me, and the strategically placed doubt kept my attention. I felt like a detective, who wanted nothing to more than to discover the riddle alongside Amy and Elder. The Characters also came to life with greater in depth backgrounds and personalities that draw the reader to emotionally invest in them. I also felt as if the main characters were not as rigid as once before, perhaps a symptom of the Phydus and was necessary in the first novel, to perhaps project them as unquestioning emotionless zombies.

At times I despised Amy's inability to think of anything or anyone outside her field of view, with the only exception being her parents. Some events in the book should perhaps have been researched a little more. Regardless of it being fiction, some aspects are far from believable and would have benefited from being more plausible, especially for the scientifically minded. The characters develop much quicker in the second novel than the first. Amy developed a deeper and quirky side to both her emotions and humor. She is clearly tackling the idea that she may actually love Elder, but is torn weather or not to tell him. Elder's development is more external than internal. The inhabitants on board notice the leader emerging, but internally he is still just a teenage boy with juvenile ideals. The most dramatic character in A Million Sons is Bartie. Taking the plunge from a character hidden within the shadows, to a staring role. You'll see the progression of a true leader. His application of words left me wondering if Bartie may be the ultimate politician.

A Million Suns was well written, though some flaws remain from Across the Universe, such as the explanations of how the technology works. It would fare better if it were explained on a deeper level, to allow the reader to fully engage in the environment upon the ship. It's still an improvement on book one, but could have been explored further. Amy's inner dialogue is still irritating, often inciting colourful cursing. Though more often than not, even though the technical aspect doesn't align with the actual science, I still recommend this series to those with a sense of wonder, exploration and love of space or science.

Shh. No one tell him I added a Phil Dunphy to his post.


  1. Haha, this is great, Kelly! Kudos to your husband for reviewing! I keep trying to get my boyfriend to review (he's a big reader) but he won't do it :P

    1. He isn't a big reader, he's more of a gamer. But he really took to the series and wanted to review it. I was thrilled when he wanted to get involved. He's read two books since this one (reviews will be coming up), but he really enjoys the science fiction space dramas. I'm hoping he'll read These Broken Stars next.

  2. Haha, love the Phil gif!

    So, I skimmed this as I am still yet to start this series, even though I have had book one on my shelf for sooo long. I'm glad it was good overall and it's nice to not to read a hyped up review :)

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

    1. Professor Birdbrain likes to tell it how it is. Being a guy, he likes facts and his reviews are pretty much to the point. I should use a few of his methods I think. He's already read and reviewed the final in the trilogy, so hopefully I'll be posting it before the end of the weekend.

  3. I read Across the Universe and thoroughly disliked it, because of the lack of world-building, so I'm sad to hear that it doesn't improve with the 2nd book. :( Amy's monologues annoyed me as well, and it doesn't look like those improved either!

    Nonetheless, despite its flaws, I'm glad he enjoyed it! I think I'm going to give it a miss, but I have no doubt that it will intrigue a lot of other readers. Thanks for sharing, and <3 the feature! :D

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    1. I really didn't like it either Zoe, you're not alone there. It was just too space opera mixed with science fiction and all over the place for me. I really enjoyed blended genre books, but it missed the mark. He's loved the series though. So I figure, If I enjoyed it, don't pass it onto him, he won't like it.

  4. Hahaha! It's adorable how you let your husband review this, Kelly.

    I'm glad he enjoyed it overall. I think book three's a book he'll either love or hate, though!

    1. He loved it! He got through book three so quickly, and moved onto Divergent. He finished that as well. He's gone from not reading, to powering through them now.

  5. Awww, this is so sweet. Professor Birdbrain is the most splendid name I've ever come across. Now if only I can convince my boyfriend to do the same ;)

    I pretty much agree with your husband here. There were times I felt frustrated with Amy, but I think we were meant to feel that way in the end. She was left in the dark most of the time. And the mystery of the situation really kept me on my toes as well. The author has a knack for it, much better than Ann Aguirre, in fact.

    I really hope your husband loves the finale. That was my favorite of the trilogy!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  6. Well done professor birdbrain and your 2nd review! Glad to hear he enjoyed it overall, even though Amy was kind of annoying at times.


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