Book Review: Across a Star-Swept Sea

Book Review: Across a Star-Swept SeaAcross a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #2
Published by Balzer + Bray on October 15th 2013
Pages: 464
Buy on Amazon

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.

Ever since I finished For Darkness Shows the Stars, I have been on pins and needles awaiting to see what would happen next. With Across a Star-Swept Sea, my initial thought was I was getting a direct sequel, but sadly, that wasn't to be the case.

Across a Star-Swept Sea takes place in the same world as For Darkness Shows the Stars, but not the same place. Think of it along the lines of Kristin Cashore's Graceling Realm series. Same world. Just in different places with new characters. At first, this was a little confusing for me. The switching of not only characters but also this new setting. But that's ok. The world created here was just as great, and arguably even better than For Darkness Shows the Stars.

This time around instead of the romance being the higher focus, Across a Star-Swept Sea zooms in more on the rebellion and Reduced. In a lot of ways, I wish that Across a Star-Swept Sea could have been book one. I had a lot of lingering questions about the Reduction and the Reduced left over from For Darkness Shows the Stars, and they finally get answers. But I feel like it would have been better for the world-building as a whole if I had gotten some of these answers sooner.

One detail that I love, love, loved about Across a Star-Swept Sea was the reappearance of some old friends. The detail didn't exactly turn out the way I thought it would, which was nice. Plus, it gives the possibility for the two story lines to (possibly) merge into one. Crossing my fingers.

Final Verdict:

Looking at it overall, Across a Star-Swept Sea really was the totally package. There is action, adventure, romance, and espionage. Really a little bit of something for everyone. And while the romance wasn't as over the top emotional like it was in For Darkness Shows the Stars, it still pleasing. Persis Blake was a fantastic character. She has the ability to stand out in the most unique ways. Both as Wild Poppy and herself, the bumbling socialite.


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3 responses to “Book Review: Across a Star-Swept Sea

  1. I'm just in the middle of For The Darkness Shows Stars and I'm already looking forward to this one!

    Have you read the two ebooks? I feel like Among the Nameless Stars really set the scene for FTDSS 🙂

    Great review!

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