Tuesday, October 15, 2013

BOOK BLURB: Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars #2)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 464
Date Published: October 15, 2013
Genre:Young Adult Science Fiction, Dystopia


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.


 My Thoughts:

Across a Star-Swept Sea started with Persis Blake's term paper which basically sums up what happened in the past and how the war broke out. Just like with For Darkness Shows the Stars, I have struggled getting a good grasp on the history of New Pacifica. Luddites and Posts are out of the picture, and are replaced by Aristos and Regs. They are the same, just called differently in the two books. It was like a whole new whirlwind of information all over again and sometimes, its hard to keep up. But despite that, I really appreciate how Ms. Peterfreund created this idea of having a world where Reduced people exist as a repercussion of man's desire for perfection.

Setting aside my inability to fully absorb New Pacifica's history, the rest of Across a Star-Swept Sea is just as marvelous as I thought it would be. The moment I read the blurb, I knew I was hooked. Who wouldn't be if your heroine is a famous aristocrat disguised as mysterious spy called the Wild Poppy who rescues reduced and enslaved aristos from the other island? It was fast-paced and a lot more adventurous than For Darkness Shows the Stars. There was a lot more thrill and action in this one, and it really showcased how kick-ass and smart the heroine could be.

Although it was evident that Persis and Justen's blooming relationship was not the main focus of the story, the subtle romance still captured my interest. It was the slow and steady kind of relationship-building, and it was clear that the reason for the attraction was not just because of the physical attribute. Somehow, Justen Helo was able to like Persis despite her facade. And I love how Diana Peterfreud ended their story (or the whole book in general).

I don't really like to compare, but I can't help it. Another great distinction between the FDSTS and AASSS is how different their worlds are. As far as I remember, we have a gloomy and lifeless aura in FDSTS. In Across a Star-Swept Sea, there are two islands, Galatea and Albion. Galatea is chaotic, while Albion is full of life, eccentricities, and colors. And with the difference in the worlds, also comes the difference in kind of lead. Persis is your ideal hero - expressly courageous, smart, caring and loving, while Elliot is the meek kind. All these leads up to my main point concerning the cover of the book. Across a Star-Swept Sea's cover really depicted Persis and her personality. Although I have favored the cover of FDSTS over this, I believe that Across a Star-Swept Sea's cover fitted the book and the story perfectly.


The world-building, the turn of events, the characters... it was just wonderful. I love this book, maybe not as much as For Darkness Shows the Stars, but still. I'm not exactly sure why. But maybe because I was a little less engaged and engrossed with Across A Star-Swept Sea. But it was still awesome!


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