Review: Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

Written By: Kellie - Oct• 16•13

across a star-swept sea

Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: October 15th, 2013
Source: ARC
Goodreads

Rating: 4/5 Stars – A fantastic continuation of this wonderfully imagined future-Earth.

About the book: Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine. -Goodreads

Review: Guys, I have become SUCH a Diana Peterfreund nerd. This series has rocked my world not one time, but twice now. This is the only series I’ve read by this fantastic author, but I think it’s about time I try out something else, because there is absolutely no question that she is capable of writing books that are impossible to put down. I have recommended For Darkness Shows the Stars to anyone who will listen, and I’m sure Across a Star-Swept Sea will be forced onto just as many of my friends and family.

Admittedly, it took me a little longer to get into Across a Star-Swept Sea and figure out what was going on, which is why this one got a lower star rating, but in the end I just really, really loved this book. Persis and Co.’s story takes place elsewhere from Elliott and Kai’s, in New Pacifica where the Reduction was cured two generations ago, but things aren’t exactly stable. Class issues are still running rampant, and one of the two nations featured in this book is hell-bent on revenge. Anyone “aristo” born is a potential target for a drug that can strip you of your mind–essentially reducing them, though the effects are a lot more severe (I’m guessing this makes a lot more sense if you’ve read book one).

The book follows Persis/The Wild Poppy, a high-born girl who is also the most notorious spy in both Albion and Galatea. And as great as the plot and world building are (and seriously… so good)  it’s Persis who makes this book. The other POV characters are kick-ass females as well (plus Justen, who is also fantastic), but Persis was definitely my favorite. She’s been pretending to be a flakey socialite version of herself so that no one will suspect what she does in her spare time, and she plays both roles SO well. But I don’t want to give too much away.

If you haven’t read For Darkness Shows the Stars yet, not to worry. Both stories stand completely on their own, and there are benefits to reading this one first (though it does give away the ending to FDStS) but book one will blow your mind, so if you haven’t read it yet… get on that!

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