Thursday, 20 June 2013

Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

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.

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.

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Expected publication date: 15/10/13

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. 

While waiting 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!

Rating:

25 comments:

  1. Ooooh I still have a copy of For Darkness Shows the Stars, but I've yet to read it. The fact, Renu, that you love it definitely has me far more intrigued now. Plus, I love that Across the Star Swept Sea sounds as though it follows in the same vein, and with excellent characters, I'm sold! Great review! :)

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  2. Ahhhh Renu! I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS!!! Like you, I adored FDStS, and I cannot wait to see what Diana does with this retelling. Persis sounds like an amazing character, and I like the role reversal with Justen - the fact that she's the funny, witty, charming one is super exciting. And yay for Elliot and Kai!!!!

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  3. I can't wait to start this one after loving For Darkness Shows the Stars. Do Eliot and Kai make only a brief appearance or are they significant parts of the book?

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  4. I haven't read the first book yet but I like that this is a companion novel instead of a straight-up sequel. YAY for girl power and great friendships too!

    -Lauren

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  5. OH MY GOSH I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!! I feel like I'm dying waiting. Okay, that may have been a little but dramatic but seriously I need this book now!!
    K @ My Favorite Escape

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  6. I am so happy I have this for review, I read somewhere it was a remake of The Scarlet Pimpernel which is a book I adore. I also love companion novels, I hope to get the first book read as well.

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  7. You had me at "so much girl power". For a second I debated whether or not to read this one first, but I'd feel stupid if I read the second one before the first one... But your review definitely makes me want to pick up this book and the prequel!

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  8. I still can't get over the gorgeous cover. Even though I haven't read the first book yet, I do intend to, so it's promising that you liked the sequel. And yay for girl power! I really can't get enough of that. :P

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  9. I can't wait to read this book! Loved the first one . . . so I'm pretty sure I'm going to love this one as well. Great review! :)

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  10. I've been meaning to read this series for some time now. The covers are adorably magical. GIRL POWER FOR THE WIN! Hah ;) I'm glad the characterisation flowed easily here.

    Lovely review, Renu! <33

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  11. Great review sweetie :D Glad you enjoyed this book. <3 Haven't read book one yet, but I am going to, someday :) The covers are just so, so pretty. <3

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  12. I am mad at myself!! I have a copy of this and FDSTS and I keep putting them off :P (at myself)
    Your review was wonderfully thorough and intriguing.
    Poppy sounds awesome! I cant wait to read more about her and get to know her character.
    I think your blog is adorable too!
    Have a wonderful weekend :)

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  13. Thank you for reading, Renu, I'm really glad you liked it.

    Allison, to answer your question about Elliot and Kai, I guess it's somewhere in the middle? They are definitely secondary characters, but they aren't just mentioned in passing. They are an integral part of the plot and there's even one scene from Elliot's POV.

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  14. Eek I'm so glad you loved this one! I love when there's a lot of girl power in a book, and the characters all sound absolutely awesome and amazing. I still have yet to read For Darkness Shows the Stars, but I definitely am considering it after you said how much you loved it :)

    Fantastic review, Renu!

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  15. Haven't read the first one but I loved Diana's other series about the killer unicorns. I LOVE slow building romance and well... GIRL POWER! Great review :)

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  16. YAY! glad you enjoyed this. I can't wait to read it. I love For Darkness Shows the Stars! It's one of my fave books of all time. Thanks for the lovely review :)

    -Dannielle

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  17. This sounds so amazing! I still haven't read For Darkness Shows The Stars but I'm hoping to get to it soon, especially after reading your review of this one. Great review :)

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  18. Yay, Elliot and Kai make an appearance! I loved them and For Darkness Shows the Stars. It was one of my faves last year too. So glad you enjoyed this one and I can't wait to read it! :)

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  19. Oh yay! I'm glad to hear that this is a companion and not a sequel. Sometimes a girl just wants a story to wrap up. Nice to see you enjoyed this one as well, Renu. I plan on picking up the first one soon. Great review! :)

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  20. I still haven't read the first book in this series even though I've heard some amazing things about it. I'm so happy that the sequel didn't disappoint. Great review! :)

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  21. A companion novel focusing on girl power and friendship? AWESOME!!

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  22. Oh wow, now I feel bad about not reading the first one. Must rectify that soon! ASSS sounds fabulous and it gets bonus points for girl power. I need to buy the first one soon. Thanks for the awesome review, Renu!

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  23. Great to hear it is a companion novel that doesn't disappoint!

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  24. Killer Unicorn series? Must look that up. ;) Really glad you enjoyed this book, Renu! I have a strong feeling that For Darkness Shows the Stars will work for me, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I'll definitely have to change that later this year. Nice to know that I can expect good things from this book too! Great review. :)

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  25. So glad you enjoyed this, I am so looking forward to it!

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