ARC Book Review: Across a Star-Swept SeaAuthor: Diana Peterfreund
To Be Published : October 2013
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #2
Genre: Ya Fantasy/Dystopian
The Setting - Taken from Goodreads
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.
My Two Cents
After reading For Darkness Shows the Stars, I was hoping the second book had a little more action and a little less pouting. Peterfreund did give me action but it was not at all what I was expecting...and the pouting was still there. To be clear, Across a Star-Swept Sea is not an immediate continuation of Kai and Elliot's story, but rather more like a companion. Think of Graceling and Fire by Krisitin Cashore, who I adore by the way.
First off, I want to say that Across a Star-Swept Sea is not a book that you should read drowsy. The politics and scientific explanations of the Reduced, Aristo and Natural were important to keep straight and therefore needed alertness from the reader. So don't read this book late at night! But the intricate world Peterfreund created from this was romantic, clever, and very entertaining. I loved the witty Persis and the dubious Wild Poppy. The absent minded Justen was just as charming and clever. And of course, there were many times when I shouted out loud "what is the matter with you?! Just tell him/her!". But the secrets were never spilled until the end of the book, which kept me turning to pages to see what the reactions would be when "the beans were spilled". Overall, I really enjoyed Across a Star-Swept Sea, 4.5 out of 5 stars. But how will Peterfreund end this series? Will the last book be inspired by old classics like the first two (Jane Austen's Persuasion, and The Scarlet Pimpernel), or will the final book in the series have a plot of its own? I'm excited to find out!