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Posted August 19, 2014
When I first read For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfre
When I first read For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund I was swept up into a future dystopian society so unique, and yet so familiar, that I just knew the I needed to read its companion novel, Across a Star Swept Sea. I knew it would be equally fantastic, and boy was I right!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Across a Star Swept Sea had all the sci-fi, dystopian romance one could ever need, all wrapped up inside a clever and emotional retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel. The story revolves around Persis Blake, a seemingly ditzy aristocrat who's sole purpose in life is telling her princess best friend what clothes she should be wearing, and Justin Helo, the revolutionary grandson of the woman who singlehandedly saved an entire class of people and who is bound to follow in her footsteps. Oh, how two descriptions could be so wrong! Persis, for all her glamour and glitz, is living a secret life as The Wild Poppy, Albian's most illustrious spy. And Justin, no matter how hard he wants to do good for his people, seems to only be able to help his uncle, the tyrant ruler of Galatea, commit atrocities against them. Once these two, from warring countries, come together it's impossible to put the book down.
Persis plays up her stupidity to keep her secret identity, well, a secret. And Justin, never suspecting empty-headed Persis could possibly be the country's greatest rebel and the only hope for his people, gets incredibly annoyed with the dumb blonde. He picks and pokes at her lack of intelligence, casting her aside when he's trying to think. But, even with Persis playing up the dumb act, he still finds things about her to like and respect, which is why I liked Justin so much. He isn't the type to say "Hey, this girl's dumb, but super hot!" He states a few times that while he finds Persis physically attractive, he could never seriously be with someone he couldn't hold a conversation with. I respect that in a guy. Though, his attitude toward Persis could be annoying at times since, as the reader, we know her ditzy act is just that.
And poor Persis. No matter how much she accomplishes for the good of humanity, she's brushed aside because no on can ever know that she is The Wild Poppy. No one can know she has a solid head on her shoulders and cares more about philosophy than fashion. But she puts up with it because of the people she can save and because someone needed to do something to try and stop the horrors Justin's uncle was committing. I really enjoyed her as a character. She's a strong, courageous heroine who's willing to make sacrifices for the greater good. And I loved her relationship with Justin. Even though she liked him, she always put her people before her love life. Persis was definitely a heroine I admired.
Across a Star Swept Sea starts out looking enough like a companion novel, with the characters from For Darkness Shows the Stars make a brief cameo, but the stories of both books are intertwined to the point that it feels more like a true sequel. As I mentioned, it's also a retelling of The Scarlett Pimpernel by Emma Orczy, but since I've never read or seen any of the movie versions I can't say if it's a true retelling. I can say that I probably enjoyed this modern version far more than I would the original.
At its heart, Across a Star Swept Sea, is a tale of equality and what it truly means to be a hero. If you enjoy sci-fi or romance Across a Star Swept Sea is sure to suck you in and keep you begging for more.
Posted June 3, 2014
Posted April 4, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Across A Sta
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Across A Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
Book Two of the For Darkness Shows the Stars series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Rating: 5 stars
Source: ARC from the author
Summary (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.
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.
What I Liked:
It's been several hours since I've read this book, and I still don't know how to read this book. This book... it was so, so amazing, you all. I know I'm not going to be able to do this book justice, with this review, but I'm going to try. I loved it so much, I don't even have words.
Persis is the Wild Poppy - the person that is smuggling Reduced people out of Galatea, and into Albion. No one knows that she is the Poppy, because they think that she is the flitty, silly, shallow, obnoxiously girly handmaid/best friend of the princess regent, Isla. She has everyone fooled, and she plays her role perfectly. Justen Helo is an excellent medic and the grandson of Persistence Helo, a famous scientist. Everyone in Galatea knows and reveres him. When Justen goes to Albion, Persis is charged by Isla to fake a relationship with him - the two of them must prepared to be dating, to protect him and enhance her image. But things are dangerous in both Albion and Galatea, and both Justen and Persis have something to hide...
I loved the story. At first, the length of the story deterred me a bit, because it's longer than the For Darkness Shows the Stars. But the story really was engaging and interesting. So much happens in this book, but it's very subtle and slow-moving. This pacing did NOT bother me though - I liked the pace of the book, because it really fit the story.
But yeah, the plot. It was so twisted and crazy and scheming and awesome! I love the intelligent side of this book - politically, it is FABULOUS. I love when books have a political side to them, because it makes the book seem very smart and intriguing. I like politics - well, I like reading about them.
I also love the science and medical part of this book. Peterfreund is heavy on the science in this book - there is a lot of technology and medicinal practices and things like that, and I love it. I'm a sciency person, and I love reading about science-related subjects. The Albion society is very advanced in technology and medicine, so it's interesting to see how Peterfreund uses these advancements to her advantage, in the story.
My favorite thing about this book - the romance. Oh, the romance. In the first book, it's very subtle, because the entire time, Kai is acting like a child, and Elliot does nothing. But in this book, it's still subtle, but it's more obvious that Persis and Justen have growing feelings towards each other. Neither really act on their true feelings - they ARE in a pretend relationship, so they pretend to be in love. But then they really fall in love, and it's so cute to watch them dance around their feelings and blame their actions on the pretense of being in a fake relationship.
I'm a huge fan of Persis. I think she is AWESOME, and a wonderful actress. She is a kickbutt heroine, super smart, caring, noble, and all-around fabulous. I have massive respect for her, for acting ditsy and shallow, in order to hide the fact that she is the Wild Poppy. I really enjoyed reading about Persis.
I really love Justen as well. His role in this book is not a love interest, and that's it. He plays a pivotal role in this book, and not just because he comes to Galatea, or that he is a Helo. I can't say what his secrets are (that would be spoiling things), but they are serious and they eat away at him. I love his character, his personality, his guilt. He's also a fantastic love interest, but primarily he is a terrific protagonist. I love how well Peterfreund crafted him, as a character.
The world-building in this book (and series) - oh, how I love it so much. The world is very unique, in my opinion. I don't know a single book that has a world that similar to that of For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across A Star-Swept Sea. And I also love the writing style - Peterfreund has a beautiful writing style. If you liked the writing of The Winner's Curse, you should read this book (and its predecessor), for the writing style along. It's lyrical and fluid - I love it.
I also love how this book is a companion novel, and how I barely remembered anything from the first book, yet I could read this book perfectly. I was afraid that I would be totally lost in this book, despite the fact that it's a companion, but I wasn't confused. I like that Peterfreund ensures that old readers won't be lost, and new readers will understand the new world and characters and whatnot.
I've never read The Scarlet Pimpernel, so I have no idea how this book matches up with the original story. But I must say, I really love the story that Peterfreund has created, the world, the characters. She is such a talented writer, and I definitely love her brand of fantasy.
What I Did Not Like:
I honestly have nothing to say in this section. Don't judge me.
Would I Recommend It:
YESSSSS! If you love beautifully written, poignant, gorgeously structured, intelligent novels, definitely check out this book and series. Not only are the covers absolutely stunning, but the content matches amazingly. I am so glad that I got the chance to read this book - I was really sad when I was rejected on Edelweiss several times. YAY for Diana and the Baltimore Book Festival.
5 stars. This book is so beautiful! I loved the first book, and this companion novel is brilliant. I loved it even more than For Darkness Shows the Stars. I almost wish that Peterfreund would write another companion novel for this series... but it's a perfect book and series and I love it as it is.
Posted December 27, 2013
In Across a Star-Swept Sea, Diana Peterfreund introduces a land
In Across a Star-Swept Sea, Diana Peterfreund introduces a land just as broken and in need of healing as the one in For Darkness Shows the Stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Persis is a much bolder noble-born girl than Elliot. Though both have a strong sense of duty, Persis takes a flashier approach to her definition of duty by dropping out of school and taking on two personas: (1) the superficial socialiate that gets on her own nerves and (2) the Wild Poppy, super spy and savior of the Galatean political prisoners. Though I'm not typically fond of the rebellious teenager, Persis is easily relatable. Sure, she doesn't always listen to reason, but it's clear that her heart is in the right place and she actually has a brain, which isn't always apparent in the rebellious teenager of YA lit. I can't say as much for Justen, who falls closer to the genius scientist stereotype; he's research crazy and feels like he has to solve the world's problems on his own. Still, he's a likable enough character, if a bit flat.
I do wish that there was more character development. This is what's preventing me from giving that 5-star rating I'd love to give. Other than Persis, most of the other characters seem flat, which is further driven by their lack of page time. And as much as I love Persis and Justen, I just don't feel the connection between them. It doesn't help that Persis and Justen don't have anything between them other than what they can allow themselves to show each other. Because of this, they don't really know each other, and this is what makes the romance hard to believe. Justen only sees the supercial socialite Persis "Flake" (as she calls that persona), whom he doesn't view as being intelligent enough to consider a serious relationship, though he's attracted to her kindness and beauty. Persis admires Justen's intelligence and his heritage; however, she has trouble trusting him because of his connection to the revolution in Galatea. I would have liked to see more of their developing romance spread throughout the novel and definitely more interaction between the two. Then it wouldn't feel so much like insta-love at the end. The same goes for Princess Isla and her surprising love interest. In fact, I would have also liked to see more of the other characters, who are sadly missing for much of the story. Lacan especially was an interesting character that we don't see much of.
I would have also liked to see more world building. While there is backstory woven into the book, much of the focus is on Persis's ventures as the Wild Poppy, and we don't get to see much of the world outside of this. I would have liked to learn more about the politics of the New Pacifica countries and their relationship and how it has changed since the revolution. I would also have liked to see more of the happenings in Albion, especially as one of Persis's reasons for taking on the persona of the Wild Poppy was to protect her friend Princess Isla, who (being female) holds little power as the regent for her baby brother Albie.
Nevertheless, the writing is just as beautiful as I remember from For Darkness Shows the Stars, and the story was easy to follow. I also love how this book connects with For Darkness Shows the Stars and wish that more of this angle was explored. We can only hope that there's a third companion novel :)
Posted November 19, 2013
Being swept off my feet by the first book, I knew immediately th
Being swept off my feet by the first book, I knew immediately that I wanted to read this one. I love classics stories. And I love it when authors take a classic and put an amazing spin on it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Plot: From what I heard, this is an inspire tale of the classic The Scarlet Pimpernel. Though this is one classic I have not read, I certainly enjoyed it very much. The plot begins in a new world were genetic manipulation. Lots of people have suffered. The human race has suffered and the world if slowly crumbling. There are scientists trying to stop whatever damaged they can before it gets worse. And enter Persis Blake. A young aristo who is not who she seems. There are other minor characters who bring many more elements to the story that bring it to life.
Love: Now this one is one I enjoyed watching fully bloom. I love that this love is based on lies. Now, I know what your thinking. But Savannah, I thought you hate liars. Don’t worry, I do. But in this case, this lie is HUGE and changes everything. It makes you re-think what you knew about the characters and how AWESOME the character is. I mean, once I pieced it together I never felt so giddy and excited in my life!!
Ending: The ending is wonderfully concluded with much to reflect on. I adore letting all the pieces come together and just watching it live in my mind. Across A Star-Swept Sea is a fantastic story!
Posted November 6, 2013
Somehow I missed the whole, this is the second book in a series
Somehow I missed the whole, this is the second book in a series info when I picked it up. However I don't think it affected my enjoyment or understanding of the story a whole lot. The first book, from what I understand, takes place in a whole other part of the world, with a set of characters that you don't meet until later on in this story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I was a little confused with the terminology at the beginning, this is one of those books that you get thrown into the world, and learn the words and definitions as you go. Those tend to be a little more challenging, but worth it if you stick it out and keep going. By the end I was well versed in the terms and rules of this world.
The writing was beautiful. Many sentences painted pictures for you, in stead of just telling you what the world looked like. I felt more in the story than being told a story. I still, weeks later, find myself thinking about the characters, wondering how they are doing, if everything is ok, and if they are happy. Which is silly, they are fictional beings, but they became such a real part of my life that I still ache for them now that they are gone.
As young as they are, the characters have the weight of the world on their shoulders. And it is such a totally believable situation they find themselves in, victims of circumstance rather than masters of their own future. But they take the hand they have been dealt and deal with it in the best way they know how. And they exceed my expectations.
If you liked The Hunger Games, or other YA dystopian stories, this is certainly right up your alley. Do not hesitate to check this book out.
Posted December 17, 2013
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Posted February 18, 2014
No text was provided for this review.