Title: Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars #2)
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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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.
I been dying to read this book since I saw it, I love the cover and the synopsis sounds very interesting and I have read great reviews about For Darkness Shows the Stars, the previous book, so my expectations were sky high and I do not feel disappointed. Across a Star-Swept Sea is a retelling or reinterpretation of The Scarlet Pimpernel, a classic that I haven´t read yet.
Before reading this book, I read the prequel or short story: The First Star To Fall (is FREE), and I really enjoyed it a lot, because although they are only 34 pages, it allowed me to learn a little more about Persis Blake to meet her before she became the Wild Poppy and what was to drive her to became a spy, she is portrayed as a very smart girl who is against injustice and despite being of the aristocrat, she´s not willing to stay with her arms crossed and do nothing.
In Across a Star-Swept Sea, Persis Blake is the lady in waiting of Princess Isla and she´s considered a hollow and dumb girl, that she´s just concerned about fashion and to look beautiful and gossiping with other aristocrats at the court. But that´s just a cover, because she is a spy, whose purpose is to rescue the prisoners from the island of Galatea that have been "reduced" (they were administered a drug that affects their brain) and are transported to the Island of Albion for shelter and treatment. Only a small group of Persis´s friends know of her activities as a spy and they´re part of her team.
So when the Galatean Justen Helo, comes to the Island of Albion seeking asylum, Princess Isla decides that she doesn´t want a conflict with their neighbors from the Island of Galatea, so he must pretend to be madly in love with Persis Blake something that neither of them want to do but they end up pretending been in a relationship for the sake of appearances. So while pretending be in love with Justen, Persis must maintain her clandestine activities and ensure that no one discovered her secrets.
This book is seen from multiple points of view, but Persis´s and Justen´s are the main POVs, I usually don´t like so many POVs but this time it work for me because I could see what was thinking and feeling Justen, and how slowly he began to have romantic feelings for Persis and I liked that it wasn´t an insta-love. And I also liked the villain´s POV.
Overall, this is a beautifully written book, I really enjoyed it, despite not having read For Darkness Shows the Stars, but I do know that some of the characters of the previous book made a cameo in this book, so now I will be looking forward to read For Darkness Shows the Stars, because and I was intrigued by their story. Also I liked the world building of Across a Star-Swept Sea, it was a technologically advanced world and I felt that it is necessary to read its prequel The First Star To Fall, to understand more this world, what´s Reduction and its source. And about the ending of this book .... it´s a good ending but it was a little open for my liking (I don´t like open endings), so I hope there is another book and I get to see a cameo of Persis and Justen in that book.
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review.