Title/Author: Across A Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars #2) by Diana Peterfreund
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, October 15th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
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.
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.
***WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1***
Guys, I ADORED For Darkness Shows the Stars, I think it'll be one of my favourite reads of 2013. So of course I was excited to read this companion novel!! And seriously, I'm now convinced I'm going to need to read Diana Peterfreund's full backlist! Because her writing just makes my heart happy!
And you know what? It was SO interesting to learn more about the science part of the Reduction! The people on Albion and Galatea are eons ahead of the Luddites and Posts as far as technology and science goes and it made the geeky part of me do little happy dances! While I didn't get all the answers I wanted, I'm still pretty satisfied with the things Diana Peterfreund did tell us. One thing I'm really curious about is how exactly the society formed, because they branched off from the Luddites and Posts and that was never fully clarified.
I really liked Persis, she's willing to sacrifice her own reputation for what she believes in and I like that! She doesn't make things easy for herself and even when she knows she's in danger herself, she puts her friends' safety first. I've always been told that it takes a really intelligent person to believably act stupid (you know, like Rowan Atkinson is really smart, but he plays Mr. Bean, who is really not smart) and in this book it's definitely true! And really, being an infamous spy at 16 is just impressive.
I could relate to Justen. I mean, we share the medic-thing and I can remember times where I've forgotten to eat because I was just so busy at work! I get it. While I wanted to shout at him to @#$& OPEN HIS EYES and see Persis for who she really is, it wasn't really his fault. I mean, she had everyone fooled, how does a guy who knows her for only 2 weeks figure it out if other people can't? And I respect that he's devoted to his work and figuring out a cure for Darkening, which is seriously horrible and reminds me to pray that they'll find a cure for dementia in the real world.
I did at times think he was a bit of a snob for thinking Persis was beneath him because he thought she wasn't as smart as he was.
There was a lot going on and at times I could only stare in horror at the cruelty of the Revolution, it kinda reminded me of the French Revolution in a way. It made me wonder how people justify those acts and I was glad this was actually adressed in the novel, because the logic is just faulty! And really, to take someone's mind, I just, I can't even... There are no words to describe how wrong this feels for me.
And through everything, I was just rooting for Persis and Justen to get together. They had moments in which I was just swooning and waiting for Justen to see what was really going on so they could be happy together! And seriously, one of the only things I want to complain about is: at the end, not only Persis wanted a real kiss, I wanted it as well! And the book ended before I got it!
I did love the guest appearance of the crew from For Darkness Shows the Stars!
I can in all honesty say that Diana Peterfreund has made me fall in love with these characters and their world and her storytelling in general! This is me begging for a third book, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE, which will hopefully include a cure for Darkening! I have never read The Scarlet Pimpernel before, but I now feel like I should!
My rating: 5 stars
Made me crave: chicken tikka massala with mango