For What It's Worth

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mini review: Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars #2) by Diana Peterfreund


16102412Centuries 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 | Author | Amazon

Source: ARC provided by the publisher – Balzer + Bray via BEA

My thoughts: What a refreshing change of pace to have so many well developed, intelligent characters in a YA novel! Especially female characters. Oh this book made my heart sing with all the complex female characters!

Across a Star-Swept Sea has very little action but I didn’t really miss it because instead it delivered an intelligent examination of political strife, class discrimination, our treatment of the mentally disabled and equality.

All while throwing in cool things like palm ports, flutter notes, a sea mink (I want one!) and a sweet romance. 

Across a Star-Swept Sea gives you a story that you can sink your teeth into….and have fun while doing it. A difficult thing to balance but Peterfreund does just that.

Quotables:
“But I've decided you're in fact terminally brave. And that should never be snuffed."

“No one is innocent in the tides of history. Everyone has kings and slaves in his past. Everyone has saints and sinners. We are not to blame for the actions of our ancestors. We can only try to be the best we can, no matter our heritage, to strive for a better future for us all.”

“We can only be responsible for what we ourselves do. Bad things happen in this world, and we are judged on how we respond. Do we take part in evil, or do we fight against it with all we have.?”
“How odd that an array of gorgeous dresses and a few well-placed dumb comments were all it took to disguise her true self, Was it because she was a woman?”

Across a Star Swept-Sea is a stand alone – companion novel to For Darkness Shows the Stars.

21 comments:

  1. I loved this too. Especially because I'm a huge fan of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I definitely liked the intelligent undertones.

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    1. I haven't read The Scarlet Pimpernel but ti's great that you liked her interpretation of it. So many retellings are awful.

      This is sad - but I can't even remember a book with so many intelligent girls in it.

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  2. I think one of the two sentences I wrote on my brief GoodReads reaction to this book was "WHERE IS MY SEA MINK?"

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I thought you would, I feel there are parallels in the mood/characters/complexity/pacing of this book to THE WINNER'S CURSE. That's what I've been pushing around the blogosphere anyway. ;)

    Now we both have to read book one.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. I know! How awesome was the sea mink??!!!

      It did remind me of TWC. Just when I start to lose faith in finding something original (although this is a retelling) and intelligent, my faith gets restored because of books like The Winner's Curse and Across a Star-Swept Sea.

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  3. Yeah I am so glad that you loved this one too :)

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    1. It was so refreshing! A really great story and characters.

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  4. I was not overly amazed by book 1 so dunno

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    1. I never read that one. I've had this one sitting on my shelf for alms ta year and thought I would give it a try.

      Some of the characters show up in this one but from what I've heard it's totally different.

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  5. I loved this one even more than the first book. Love the story world, love the idea of companion novels set in the same world.
    Thanks for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. A few people like this one more so I'm kind of afraid to go back and read the first lol

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  6. I so want to read this series. Love the sound of this one. Hm... sea mink? Curious! :)

    Darn it I think you just pushed the 2 books up my wishlist!

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  7. Woot for smart and well developed characters. I read the first but not the second yet

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  8. hummm.. I struggled with the first book unfortunately. I was starting to enjoy the world but it was a library book and I had to return it.. I might try again.

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    1. I haven't read the first one. Most people I've spoken to liked this one more and it's a completely different setting I think.

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  9. I've been looking forward to this since last year but I mistakenly thought it was a sequel, not a companion novel - how interesting! I'm so glad you loved it and the characters :)

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    1. I haven't read the first book but a few of the characters from that one make an appearance in this one. I didn't feel like I missed out on anything though.

      Apparently, it's an entirely different setting.

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  10. wow! that's awesome! I might need to read this!

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  11. yay, i read this and liked it a lot! i thought persis was a great character and loved her dresses, ha. i totally want a sea mink too. i think some of the book was a bit lost on me though esp concerning the politics.

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    1. I was SO lost when it came to the Reduction stuff at first. I felt like I missed out on the explanation in the first book but it all becomes clearer later in the story.

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