Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: Across a Star-Swept Sea

Across a Star-Swept Sea
by Diana Peterfreund
Companion to For Darkness Shows the Stars

Publication Date: October 15, 2013

Book Description
Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the island of Galatea, an uprising against the aristocracy 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 neighboring Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous teenage aristocrat Persis Blake. 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.

Justen is hiding things, too—his disenchantment with his country's revolution, his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he's pretending to love. Persis is also falling for Justen, but when she discovers his greatest secret—one that could plunge New Pacifica into another dark age—she realizes she's not just risking her heart, she's risking the world she's sworn to protect.

Now, this book doesn't come out for a while, but I really loved the advance copy I got to read, so I wanted to share it with you anyway.  Keep an eye out for it this fall!

Like For Darkness Shows the Stars(see the gold star review here), this book is based on a classic. This companion book is actually inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I've never read, but having read the description I can very much see how the Scarlet Pimpernel inspired Persis' Wild Poppy.

I found Persis herself to be a fascinating character. Uber-intelligent, Persis realizes that in order to do the best thing for her country, while it's on the brink of war, she must actually play dumb. Persis becomes the epitome of a superficial socialite in order to defray any order to let the Wild Poppy remain undiscovered. She is SO good at her scheme that even her parents have no idea what she's really up to... Experiencing the dichotomy of Persis' two worlds, the whirlwind of the posh Lady-in-Waiting and the dangerous rescue missions as the Poppy... it was so exciting, I felt like I could drop right into her world.

I loved watching the relationship develop between Persis and Justen. I like that DP does not do "insta-love." These relationships have major ups and downs, and often the characters really have to work at it for things to work out. That makes them feel SO much more real to me. I like the added depth and the gratification I feel when they finally head in the direction I'm dying for them to go, LOL. [And, yes, for those who are wondering, we do get a connection back to FDStS in this book...]

Can I but hope for a third book in this world???

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