GoodReads Summary: 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.Expected publication date: 15/10/13
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.
- Add to GoodReads
Last year I read and fell in love with Diana Peterfreund's For Darkness Shows the Stars. It was in fact one of my favourite books of 2012. So, it's no surprise that I was ecstatic when heard that the author was planning on writing a companion novel. Across the Star-Swept Sea is every bit as brilliant as its predecessor, if you're a fan of sci-fi/dytopian books it's definitely worth checking out.
Peterfreund excels at characterisation. Persis is a smart, savvy, and capable mc, but she hides beneath a mask of shallowness to keep people from finding the truth: that she is in fact The Wild Poppy, the famous spy known for liberating the reduced Aristo's and Reg's of Galatea. Justen in comparison to Persis is sheltered, as a medic he spends most of his time in a lab doing research. So, when he comes to Albion it takes a while for him to adjust the lifestyle. I liked the growth in his character, his devotion towards his people and his younger sister made it hard not to fall for him. I also like how Persis was the one who was flirtatious, witty, and charming, while Justen was the 'sheltered' one. Usually it's the other way round.
There is so much girl power in this book. On the island of Albion females are treated like second class citizens, but the young women presented in AaSSS break free from the restraints of society and show just how capable and fierce they are. I also loved the relationship between Isla and Persis, I think there should be more friendships like this in YA fiction.
The build up of respect and the gradual romance between Persis and Justen was well-developed. To begin with there is a lack of trust between Persis and Justen, they make presumptions about each other based on appearances, rank, and status. But eventually this admirable and intelligent duo look beyond their prejudices and see each other for what they truly are. What's more is that even though I knew the pair would eventually get together it didn't make the journey to get there any less exciting. If anything, it increased my anticipation for the moment when they would finally admit to themselves that they were falling for each other.
impatiently patiently for Peterfreund's future titles I will definitely be looking into her Killer Unicorn series as I am eager to read more from this genuinely talented author.
P.S. For those that enjoyed FDStS you'll be happy to know that Elliot and Kai make an appearance!