Diana Peterfreund – Across A Star-Swept Sea
The blurb: 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.
My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, dystopia, romance, science-fiction
Date I started this book: 03/02/2016
Date I finished this book 06/02/2016
What did I think? While I will always have a place in my heart for its companion novel For Darkness Shows the Stars, I must admit that Across A Star-Swept Sea really brought my love for Diana Peterfreund and her writing to new heights. Her characters are incredibly well-drawn, riddled with complexities and flaws that make them more human. But even more than that, her story is told fantastically, with twists and turns that will definitely blow readers away. The combination of these two elements set against a world that’s lovely, lush and very different from its predecessor is really what makes this novel such a phenomenal hit.
Persis is, by far, the strongest character in this novel, particularly because she leads a double life. Her unquestionable intelligence, and her ability to slip from one character into another, make her the perfect candidate to play the role of the Wild Poppy, who comes to the aid of those in need. She’s also a wonderful daughter and friend, who is loyal, kind and always willing to help those she loves. It was marvelous to see her capabilities shine in this book, even when faced with the most dire of situations. Persis Blake is most definitely kick-ass, and I absolutely adored her for it!
The story in this book is very clever, as it combines the romance, the Wild Poppy’s adventures and the political ties between the neighboring islands of Galatea and Albion. Having too many plot threads could have been potentially confusing, but Peterfreund certainly handles each one skillfully. With an equal balance of swoon-worthy moments with adorably nerdy Justen Helo, tense encounters as the Wild Poppy and revelations that caught me off guard, it’s no surprise that Across A Star-Swept Sea is one of my favorite reads this year.