Read Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund Online


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’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....

Title : Across a Star-Swept Sea
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062006165
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 449 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Across a Star-Swept Sea Reviews

  • Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
    2019-04-16 13:36

    Ok. Be prepared, guys. I'm basically going to fangirl all over this book.You all know my love for Diana Peterfreund - I've read pretty much everything she's written, and she's totally an auto-buy author for me.With Across a Star-Swept Sea, Diana has completely surpassed herself. This is the best YA book she's written. If you loved For Darkness Shows the Stars, you will ABSOLUTELY love Star-Swept (not least because there MAY be a little cameo by some of your favourite characters). If you enjoyed Rampant and Ascendant, you HAVE to read this book, because there are some themes that are similar that I feel are explored more interestingly in this book (I know, don't kill me, but I really think it's true). And if you love Secret Society Girl, think Amy's sass and secrets turned up to eleven.The best part of this book is how brilliantly the world-building, plot, and character development come together. The world is SO detailed, so vibrant, and so logical. You really believe and understand why Albion, the more indulgent of the two islands of New Pacifica, would end up as the more gengineering-obsessed place, and you understand that, as a result, people in Albion are a lot more interested in fashion and appearance. In contrast, Galatea, the other island, is much more suspicious of gengineering using bodies, and thus, their appearance and their clothes are much more natural and practical. It's no wonder that the citizens of Galatea revolted against their excessive queen.The details of the world, and the fact that, in Ally Carter's words, "no one is more underestimated than a teenage girl" make Persis and her story so believable and so enveloping. I sunk into Persis' story and her world so deeply that by the end of the book, I wanted Diana to write a comprehensive history of New Pacifica. This is Harry Potter levels of detail, guys.Because of the world building, the story is complex (as you can see by my four paragraph synopsis) - it's not just about the Wild Poppy and the revolution, there's also another major plot about finding a cure for a disease, and of course, there's the romance. Diana brilliantly weaves together the strands of this plot, allowing us to see not just Persis' viewpoint, but that of Justen, her love interest, and a few of the other characters as well.But let's get back to the romance. Persis and Justen are...SO cute. This is one you guys will ship - it's full of push and pull, sass and flirting. It's really a meeting of two minds...with a lot of fun, double-meaning dialogue, because Justen struggles with the idea of liking a girl as frivolous as Persis pretends to be, even though he keeps getting glimpses that she's not a silly aristo, while Persis is struggling with how to be her fake self with a guy as awesome as Justen, and whether she can trust Justen at all.It's a great love story, and there are moments that I swooned over like crazy. Persis and Justen are so well-drawn as characters, and so obviously perfect for one another that I really was turning pages like crazy just to see how things would end.If I have one gripe - and man, is this a small gripe in this book - it would be that the ending seemed to wrap up a little quickly. Don't get me wrong, the ends are all tied up and I was mostly satisfied..but I felt like I needed an epilogue, or one more scene with all of the characters just to tie things all together. Because this story is SO detailed, I just wanted to know so much more at the end of the novel, not just with the main character, but with everyone who showed up in the novel. Even though I could guess at what would happen next...I think my shipper's heart just wanted a little more canon romance and lots of what would happen in the future.That said, I can't say that I would have changed the ending - only added to it - because seriously, this book is the BEST.Read the rest of this review at Mostly YA Lit

  • Louisa
    2019-04-18 15:25

    ... What? So, that's it for Elliot and Kai? Nooooooo I HATE it when authors finish off a book when there's still so much stuff that is going to happen in the protagonist's life!!!

  • Wendy Darling
    2019-04-19 17:38

    4.5 stars WHERE IS MY SEA MINK. Loooved this. As a huge Scarlet Pimpernel fan, I was skeptical going in, but this is a fantastic retelling, as well as a dashing, romantic adventure on its own. The story line involving Persis' parents--and her own uncertain fate--is touching, too.

  • Gillian Berry
    2019-04-14 18:33

    Rating: A romantic, fun, original sci-fi twist on a classic that I loved right up until the very end. BOOK, WHY YOU NO HAVE SEQUEL??The story: Overall, I enjoyed this book more than For Darkness Shows the Stars. FDStS was a slow-paced, emotional retelling of a slow-paced, emotional Jane Austen novel: Persuasion, which happens to be one of my favorites evere. Across a Star-Swept Sea is a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I have not yet read, but which I understand to be a bit more adventurous and swashbuckling. And because of this, we have a more adventurous and swashbuckling plot which turns out to be a whole lot of fun. It also features at least five of my favorite tropes ever, the first of which is: genderswapping!By day, Lady Persis Blake is an air-headed socialite more concerned with hairstyles and parties than with anything of substance. But that's all just a brilliant cover, because by night, Persis is the infamous spy the Wild Poppy, breaking Reduced and imprisoned nobles from the island nation across the channel out of jail. See, Galatea has undergone a (French) Revolution, ousting the Queen and all the nobles out of power, and now they are smack-dab in the middle of a Reign of Terror. Instead of guillotining people left, right, and center, the revolutionaries are Reducing them-- taking away most of their advanced brain function. The only person who seems capable of rescuing them is Persis, because she is awesome like that.And Persis is awesome. Way awesome. As they say, it takes a lot of smarts to play dumb, and Persis plays dumb with the best of them. She is the brilliant daughter of a nobleman and a reg woman--aka, a woman descended from natural-born Reduced, who were then cured with the Helo cure, invented by a woman named Persistence Helo two generations ago. If the world-building seems complex here, it's really not in the book. Peterfreund's world-building is sublime. I've never read anything like the technology and culture of Albion, Persis' home nation, which is like magical science-fiction, and it's wonderful. It's a very visual island, full of the bright colors of the South Pacific, and the nobles of Albion dress accordingly. Peterfreund has written a very lush world that I could see really clearly.Alright, now, let's get to the good stuff: THE ROMANCE. Justen Helo is Galatean medic who's fed up with the way the revolution is going. He defects to Albion, helped along by the fact that he's descended from Persistence Helo, aka the woman who cured the Reduction, and because of REASONS, the Princess Isla of Albion (aka Persis' best friend), decides Persis and Justen should pretend to be in love.Welcome to Gillian's Favorite Trope #2: Faking It and Not Ever Planning to Make It! But Of Course You Do Because This Is Fiction!Justen and Persis Do Not Like Each Other and Banter Accordingly (Gillian's Favorite Trope #3). He has no idea that she's a secret political genius responsible for saving the lives of countless Galateans. He sees her as a dimwitted heiress who will distract him from the surrious biznuss he's got going on--trying to heal the Reduced Galatean refugees that his foster father--aka, the head of the revultion--is responsible for Reducing. Everybody has lots of secrets and there are lots of lies and Misunderstandings Galore (Gillian's Favorite Trope #4). WHY CAN'T YOU GUYS SEE HOW PERFECT YOU ARE FOR EACH OTHER??One of my favorite things about this book is how it plays with gender. There are three intelligent women in roles of power in this book, and they are all perpetually underestimated: Princess Isla, the pretty teenage regent of Albion; Persis, who uses the fact that she's underestimated to her advantage; and Justen's Galatean foster sister, Vania, a member of the Galatean ministry who is not respected by the men around her.Albion is a deeply sexist country. Galatea, clearly, has women in high-power vocations. And yet neither country every questions to commonly held idea that the Wild Poppy is a man. Justen continually dismisses Persis as silly, shallow, and unserious, and Persis plays this up, because she can't blow her cover. Nobody can ever find out who she really is, or the jig will be up. OH COUPLE, HOW I SHIP THEE. I SHIP THEE MIGHTILY.They have a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions to untangle (especially Justen, who really needs to stop being so dismissive of women's intellectual prowess. JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE LIKES CLOTHES DOESN'T MEAN THEY'RE DUMB), and there's a lot of political intrigue and a few rescue scenes (I would have liked more, though). This book is fun. That's the word for it. I enjoyed myself every page.Until the last page.I won't get all spoilery, but I will say that, though the last page had some resolution of the plot and romance, I WANTED MORE. One more book? One more chapter? A teensy, tiny, baby epilogue? I MUST KNOW. I MUST SEE. You cannot build up all those shippy coupley FEELINGS in me and then just... *SOBS*And yet, alas, there will be no sequel. It felt to me like the ending finished mid-sentence. That last scene could have been stretched out. I'd also like to know what Persis and Justen and Remy do after the book ends. I have a lot of questions, and it doesn't seem like they'll ever be answered.Still, I definitely recommend this book, for romancey, tropey goodness, fun times, and world-building excellence. And then you can join my Persis/Justen ship (Persten? Justis? JUSTIS. Persis would so approve of that).

  • Miriam
    2019-04-15 12:31

    This started strong. I was sympathetic to the underlying concept of redoing The Scarlet Pimpernel as sci-fi. I liked Persis, our socialite Pimpernel. And the action does move along entertainingly. Unfortunately, as the world developed I found myself rolling my eyes more and more at the stupid. The characters, who are supposed to be smart do some dumb things -- okay, they're teens. But it needs to be plausible that they haven't gotten caught in their espionage so far. I found the lack of political astuteness of pretty much everyone even harder to buy, especially the context of revolution and the threat thereof. There's basically no security even on the royal family? A military agent of the enemy country can crash a ball given by the princess, armed, assault someone, and sneak out? Likewise no one keeps an eye on the complete strangers (view spoiler)[from another country that no one knew existed until 3/4 of the way through the book (hide spoiler)] at this function, where every important noble and government official is gathered? No. Not believable. There is no security because that makes it easier for the author to have the plot happen the way she wants, and that's pure laziness. I also wasn't a huge fan of Justen, who was admittedly not as bad as lots of YA love-interests but still annoyed me with his judging and his entitled-ness. To some degree the judging was believable -- he's a young man who is conceited about both his personal intelligence and his family and, until recent events, the superiority of his revolutionary government. I didn't find it so plausible that he expected everyone in his new country to bend over backwards for him, dropping everything on their schedules and accommodating his preferences. His sisters both annoyed me, too.Persis was the character who salvaged the story. Not only was she the most rational character, she was also the one motivated primarily by something other than her own feelings. That's one of the reasons this plot doesn't work as well as the original: Chauvelin succeeds in his plotting because 1)he is an official sent by France and has a reason to be on the scene, and 2)he is acting for his government and knows for a fact that Marguerite's brother works with the Pimpernel and therefore Marguerite has some connection even if she doesn't know it. Replacing that devious diplomat with a stompy teen girl who does a bunch of crap on her own whim because she's mad at her foster brother doesn't work. Basically all the other characters are like her, to a lesser degree: motivated by their feelings rather than political or humanitarian concerns.From what I hear, this is the best book in the series, so I won't be trying to the others. But I would still recommend this for teen girls who want a smarter, more active heroine and less unhealthy romance. And I may even try that thing Peterfreund wrote under another name with the dude who jizzes evil...

  • Anne
    2019-04-12 12:38

    4.5 starsThank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy of this ARCBased on The Scarlet Pimpernel? Hmmm. That sounded different and interesting.Of course, because I'm a total slacker, I had never actually read Orczy's novel. So. It may be hard to believe, but I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and read...gulp...a classic. Yes ladies and gentlemen, in preparation for this book, I read The Scarlet Pimpernel. I know! I'm impressed with myself, too!As it turns out, Pimpernel is a pretty easy read, and I'm glad I took the time to get to know the story. It made reading Peterfreund's novel even better, since I could immediately recognize the parts of the plot that she intertwined or tweaked from the original. Was it as good as Baron Orczy's?No.It was even better!And while the original story is more of a swashbuckling story about an incredibly clever married couple who have no idea that they are each hiding secrets from the other one (think: Mr & Mrs. Smith), Across A Star-Swept Sea is a futuristic dystopian that puts a young adult spin on the tale. It also reverses the genders of the main characters, and adds it's own creative take on how the story would play out in the new setting.I liked the way the author had the love story play out, as well. Justen finds Persis physically attractive, but he just can't stand that she's such a vapidly shallow person. Except, sometimes she seems to him to be a bit...more? On the other hand, Persis is totally attracted to Justen because he's incredibly smart and dedicated to his cause of equality for everyone. Unfortunately, she can't let him know that she's really one of the most intelligent, clever, and honorable people he'll ever meet, because she's not sure whether or not he's a spy for her enemies. It made for a great back-and -forth between the couple as they struggled to decide how much to let the other person know about their secrets.There was only one complaint I had, and it was totally my fault. I didn't realize that this was the second book written in this world.I know what you're thinking.How many times can this idiot plunge into a book, and not bother to see that it's part of a series?!The answer is fairly simple (like me!). Lots and lots. Example: I just accidentally read the last book in a trilogy yesterday. Please direct all of your complaints about my reviewing skills to Cat. I would have liked to have known more about the disease and the previous characters, but it didn't hamper my enjoyment of the story at all. In fact, all it really made me want to do was go back and read the other book. So I would say it's not strictly necessary to read the first book, because this one comes across as a stand-alone that's just set in the same world. However.For those of you who have already read For Darkness Shows the Stars, you'll be happy to know that towards the end of this book, those characters make an appearance. Don't get excited, 'cause I'm not giving out any spoilers! The characters are well-written, strong, and smart. There's also no insta-love, no triangle, and no fluttery palpitations for no discernible reason. This one's going into my Highly Recommended pile!

  • Faye, la Patata
    2019-03-30 15:32

    An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.Goodness gracious me. What an amazing, meaningful, thrilling book. Honestly, I expected a lot from Peterfreund, given I really enjoy her writing and storytelling skillz, as well as loved For Darkness Shows the Stars, but oh potatoes! Across a Star-Swept Sea was leagues and leagues better than the first instalment in terms of characters, prose, dialogue, plot, and development! I'm really at a loss for words here, ladies and gentlemen. What a seriously beautiful book.Let's lay out some facts first:* Is this a sequel to For Darkness Shows the Stars? Yes.* I haven't read the first one yet! Can this stand alone? Yes.* Is it really good? Hell to the YES.Despite the fact that Peterfreund based this on an already established and famous work entitled The Scarlet Pimpernel, she was still able to give the book a voice and a life that stand on their own, with characters so distinct, dynamic and colourful; with a world so ravaged by an apocalypse long gone yet still lingers on; with a society so dysfunctional, broken, and distant; and with a plot so well-structured, thought out, and written. There is no bias here, folks, it's just good 'ole writing and storytelling.Here are what I loved:The characters: The main characters here are just amazing. Here we have Persis Blake, a famous socialite whose Alter Ego is the Wild Poppy, New Pacifica's infamous spy for rescuing aristos being held hostage and tortured by Galateans, and Justen Helo, the grandson of the famous Persistence Helo who found a way to cure the Reduced. We see the story unfold in both their perspectives, while also getting some from the one of the bad guys and from his sister, Remy. Honestly, the changes in POVs really worked because first and foremost, the individuals were all very distinct from one another, and the overall tone transformed each time to match their personalities. There was never a dull moment, and it was a delight to analyze the events from various perspectives. How was this certain instance perceived by Persis? What did Justen feel? How did Vania react? They're all so different that each POV change gave something new to the reader. Even the side characters, too, had unique personalities of their own! Despite having only little exposure, they were a pleasure to read, and I looked forward to scenes that involved them.The story: The story is fantastic. It's thrilling, there's a sense of purpose and urgency, it's not dragging at all despite the humongous amount of pages. As you all know, I love stories that feature dysfunctional governments, uprisings, dictatorial regimes and tyrant rulers. I'm not sure why, but there's something about standing up to a force greater than you and succeeding not just because of your own strength, but also with the strength of everyone else, that greatly fascinate me. Of course, I already read enough about that from my political science classes, but reading it in fiction is just so much better as we get to immerse ourselves in the lives of the oppressed. That's what happened to me here. The writing was just so genuine and convincing, the escalation and development of events nicely built up that it was so hard to detach myself from the story. There is no joke when I tell you I truly felt for the characters and for the situation, bleak and hopeless it initially looked. If you're looking forward to a good read, get ready for this one, as it will take you to a rocky but fantastic ride!The romance: The romance here is meaningful and well-developed. Of course, we all know both the hero and the heroine will end up with each other. That's not rocket science. What matters, however, are the trials and tribulations they go through together that give leeway for a relationship to grow, the development, the gradual realization of each other's worth. In this instalment, the lovers had a rocky start, and by the middle, it was still in neutral, gray grounds, but it was during this time that I felt giddy for both of them and for the confusion they felt for each other. Couple this with the political problem/background and the things they had to go through = win.I seriously can't find a flaw in this book. None. I enjoyed every second and every page. I rarely go to sleep at 5 AM with the roosters in the neighbourhood tok-to-doodle-doo-ing and the first light showing in the sky, but I did with this gem. And guess what? I don't regret it. Peterfreund is a delightful writer and an even more spectacular storyteller, that the lack of sleep was just worth it in the end. If you're looking for a retelling of a classic with a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic feel, then you wouldn't want to miss this one come October.Final Verdict: 100% 5/5 stars.

  • Jodi Meadows
    2019-04-11 16:23


  • Jon
    2019-04-21 18:22

    Check out Scott Reads It! Across A Star-Swept Sea is the companion to For Darkness Shows The Stars and I'm so glad that Peterfreund decided to revisit the world of the Reduced. Across A Star-Swept Sea took me a while to read due it's extremely slow-pace and there were several times where I felt like abandoning it. I trudged through Across A Star-Swept Sea for a decent part of the book, but then suddenly I decided to put aside all of my books and focus only on this book. I quickly became addicted to Star-Swept Sea once I focused on it and I think my distaste of this novel originated in the fact that I wasn't really in the mood for this one when I first started it.Across A Star-Swept Sea trudges a bit in the beginning and readers expecting to read an action-packed adventure will surely be disappointed. This is an extremely thought-provoking novel that discusses gender roles, prejudice and social classes. Peterfreund is clearly trying to make a statement with Across A Star-Swept Sea and Persis's story does come across as extremely powerful. This novel deals with so many classical struggles that are still relevant in today's society, making Across a must-read. Most of the time whenever I read retellings, I'm usually familiar with the source material that the author is basing it on. I have never read The Scarlet Pimpernel nor I have read Persuasion (For Darkness Shows The Stars is based upon this Jane Austen novel) and yet I find myself in awe of these retellings. It's really a testament to Peterfreund's writing abilites that readers can pick up both of her For Darkness novels and still enjoy them without having any knowledge of the original novels they are based upon. My lack of familiarity with The Scarlet Pimpernel only enhanced my desire to continue reading Across A Star-Swept Sea because I was extremely curious to see what happens next. I love the whole "gender swap" in Across A Star-Swept Sea because it really worked as an effective means to juxtapose Persis's true personality and the facade that she hides behind in the court. Persis is such an amazing character and it was intriguing to see her internally struggle with the two different identities she possesses. Her romance with Justen was perfectly crafted and I loved the scene with the two of them in the cove. Justen and Persis definitely give Kai and Elliot a run for their money, the romance in this companion suited me much better. Diana Peterfreund has such a beautiful writing style and I absolutely love the descriptions she included in Across. Whenever Peterfreund described something, I was always mesmerized by the fact that her prose is so immersive and visual. New Pacifica read like such a beautiful, breath-taking location and it was a delight to take a literary vacation there.Across A Star-Swept Sea is slow-paced, but it makes up for it with a superb plot, thought-provoking themes, vivid imagery, and beautiful prose. I would re-read this again in the future after reading The Scarlet Pimpernel to compare the two and just so I can relive the amazing cameo made by two beloved characters from For Darkness Shows The Stars.

  • mich
    2019-04-24 13:32

    Scarlet Pimpernel retelling (FYI I've never read the Scarlet Pimpernel). Persis Blake is our heroine (love her name btw), a pampered rich girl who pretends to only be interested in fashion and parties and gossip, but is actually a Super Secret Spy who goes on rescue missions! This was pretty fun - it felt really swashbuckle-ly, if a little silly. I really liked it at first. But I didn't like how repetitious it was, which I noticed the more I read. Persis's internal monologues keep circling back over and over AND OVER to how she must always keep up her frivolous airhead persona and she can never be her true intellectual self or else she'll wreck her disguise, yeah, we got it the first time you mentioned it, you didn't need to keep reminding us about it 20 more times. The story kinda dragged on a bit too long for me in the middle. The villain was a letdown. The wrap-up wasn't very satisfying. The romance was just so-so. Overall it was just okay for me.

  • Lna
    2019-04-20 15:28

    Fascinante.Esta autora ya me sorprendió con su anterior libro En la oscuridad resplandecen las estrellas, pero este ha sido aún más increíble. Al principio este mundo distópico que nos presenta es un poco complicado de entender, con el tema de los reducidos, aristos y nor, y toda la nueva terminología que incorpora. Pero una vez que nos hacemos a ello, es taaaaaan enriquecedor para la historia que crea. Es una historia rápida, con buenos personajes y una trama que crea concienciación sobre la cara oculta de la Revolución y la justicia que muchas veces se confunde con venganza.Además, me ha encantado cómo ha enlazado con la aparición de los personajes del 1° libro :D

  • A B
    2019-04-07 11:19

    For Darkness Shows the Stars was the best YA book I've read in many months, so I was eagerly awaiting reading its sequel. And was I ever disappointed. It is more of a companion novel than a true sequel, though still set in the same universe and timeframe. This time, the book is inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, with twin island nations in the Pacific subbing in for England and France. In sharp contrast to Elliot and Kai's known world, these islands have embraced technology and invented a cure for reduction several generations ago. They've also invented a pill that causes reduction, and some angry "regs" (Posts) are using the pills as a biological weapon.Somehow, it manages to be astonishingly boring. Persis Blake spends her days playing an airheaded socialite (Paris Hilton, anyone?) while by night, she's dashing across the sea to rescue "aristos", the nickname for what Elliot and Kai's country called Luddites. Good ole Deus Ex Machina - call me Mac! - ensures that she just happens to run into a reg seeking asylum, Justen Helo. The reader is inundated with useless descriptions of parties and banquets instead of learning exactly how a teenager becomes such a skilled spy. Persis and Justen pretend to be madly in love in order to...well...ultimately, no reason at all. Just a plot device to get them to spend time together. There are some even more boring sideplots involving Justen's sister and foster family, and some interchangeable friends of Persis.The world makes no sense. Elliot's and Kai's was believable. New Pacifica was terraformed by refugees on a boat - so how did they terraform two islands? Did they manage to escape with a "terraformer" while the rest of the world was destroying itself? And what stupid technology. They can genetically engineer adorable animals and essential put a tablet computer/nutrient system into a person's palm, yet send messages via floating flower? They can make a pill to reduce people, but haven't bothered to explore the rest of the world? Their society is so rich with tradition, yet it's barely twice the size of the North estate? How has such a small island not overpopulated?Yeah, too many questions for YA. But you've got to make it believable.I like that authors write companion novels instead of dragging out a character's story needlessly, yet I thought there was still plenty of material for Elliot and Kai. The story gets much better once they show up about 2/3 of the way through (and I thoroughly enjoyed the New Pacifica's inhabitants mocking ridiculous names like Andromeda Phoenix, perhaps a good-natured winkwink by the author in response to comments?). Yet is still doesn't satisfy.There are a few good parts, particularly a beautifully written scene in a "star cove". I'll keep reading any additional entries in this series. I just hope they return to the magic of the first novel.

  • Jasmine (singprettyreadbooks)
    2019-03-30 17:39

    AMAZING. WONDERFUL. FANTASTIC. DEAD. *drops to floor and clutches her heart*.This book was a joy! For being absolutely swoon-worthy, I felt like it wasn't totally focused on the romance, allowing it to build really naturally. (brb, I'm at work LOL).

  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    2019-04-03 14:16

    There's a life lesson in this series for me. Much as I think I'm going to love the books that retell favorites, I'm probably actually going to prefer the ones that retell books I didn't like or that I haven't read. The latter is the case with The Scarlet Pimpernel, though I do have it on my shelves, along with a fifth of the other books I hope to read someday but haven't. Initially, I was a bit skeptical to a sequel to For Darkness Shows the Stars, but Peterfreund weaves Across a Star-Swept Sea into that world brilliantly, creating a read I found much more emotionally resonant.Not being particularly familiar with The Scarlet Pimpernel, I cannot tell you with any degree of accuracy how well the retelling has been done, but I suspect quite well, as Peterfreund did a fantastic job with Persuasion. Even better, Peterfreund has done a gender swap and made The Wild Poppy. Persis Blake pretends to be an air-headed socialite so that no one suspect that she is in fact the most notorious spy in the kingdom.Peterfreund really digs into gender roles and the absurdity thereof. In Across a Star-Swept Sea, three different cultures mingle, all with different gender roles for women. Even in Galatea, where women have been able to hold rank and rule for ages, everyone automatically assumes that The Wild Poppy is a man. Of course, this feeling that women cannot be so clever or powerful does make it easier for Persis to totally mess with their minds. I liked how, even though she makes use of the resources available to her, even if that means the assumption of her weakness or stupidity. Persis is a truly remarkable girl, intelligent, focused, resourceful, and a skilled actress.The reason The Wild Poppy exists is to save Galatean nobles. In that country, the regs revolted and overthrew their leaders. However, they're not happy with equality; they want payback, and are punishing their leaders with Reduction. The world building is a bit complex and won't make much sense if you haven't first read For Darkness Shows the Stars, so I would really start there, even though this is marketed as a companion novel. Anyway, the pink pills simulate actual Reduction and remove a person's mental faculties, so that the regs can force the aristos to labor for them for a change. Medic Justen Helo, a symbol of the revolution because his grandmother Persistence Helo developed the cure to Reduction, fears that the new government has gone too far and seeks to escape to Albion. All of the medical stuff surrounding Reduction, both the sort that happened organically because we tampered to much with genes, and the created sort are entirely horrifying. Society, can we please not do this?The plot runs largely more to intrigue than to daring rescues. In fact, she only goes on a couple of Poppy missions throughout the course of the novel, stuck instead at feigning a romance in her home country of Albion for most of the book. Romance is pretty central to the plot, not that I think the world building is neglected or anything, but it's key. Justen and Persis have this great hate to love thing going, and have the added complication of having to pretend to be a couple to explain why he's in Albion, since the Galateans don't know he no longer supports the actions of the Revolution. Basically, I ship this QUITE a bit. They have excellent banter, and it's fun to watch their feelings slowly change. Justen, of course, is in the difficult position of thinking Persis is an idiot, as she very much pretends to be.However, much as I loved Persis and Justen, a couple of the secondary cast were wonderful too. Isla, the young leader of Albion is clever like Persis, and she has the cutest little romance going that she's not meant to. Watching her stop deferring to the old men in her council was super gratifying in patriarchal Albion. Tero and Andrine, the reg siblings, are fabulous. The show stealer, though, is Slipstream, aka Slippy, Persis' seamink. I picture him looking mostly like an otter. He's basically the cutest and also very useful. I would like a sea mink, though I doubt my cat would approve.Across a Star-Swept Sea was pretty close to perfection for me, except for one thing: the hackneyed way that the novel resolved. Now, with a large aspect of Across a Star-Swept Sea being the romance, certain aspects of the ending are pretty much definite. Essentially, I was left feeling unsatisfied, because the romance aspects were left hanging. The book ends in what feels like the middle of the scene. No doubt this was done intentionally, but, as a reader, I am really tired of spending hundreds of pages getting emotionally attached to a particular couple but never getting that emotional payoff in the end.On top of that, a very large plot point was left wholly unresolved. Without going into too much detail, there's a crossover with the plot from For Darkness Shows the Stars. We get to see those characters briefly, but they essentially don't serve any plot purpose that couldn't have been done more neatly with other characters. Yes, it's nice to show how the book's fit together, but that doesn't mean the characters can show up and have their plot entirely dropped.Diana Peterfreund's follow-up to For Darkness Shows the Stars truly is best read as a sequel, and not a standalone, at least if you like to have all of the knowledge, like I do. Across a Star-Swept Sea is more light-hearted and romantic than its predecessor, with the same excellent writing and intriguing world building. Long as it is though, it did feel a bit abbreviated, though I still recommend it quite highly.

  • Shahad takleef
    2019-04-21 19:34

    I almost finished this book , before my reading slumps hit and my reading life went disarray .anyway , it wasn't what I anticipated , the first book in the series was awesome , the story was too gripping , Here it felt like children cartoons rather than a novel .I haven't read or watched Jane Austen's persuasion , so maybe that's why I didn't get the point . any way it's a book I'd try to finish a while from now , just not now . Blah .

  • Krys
    2019-04-20 19:20

    For Darkness Shows the Stars was among my top ten favourite books last year. Diana Peterfreund has proven herself again and again with me. I adored her Killer Unicorn series and I adore this one as well. It is no surprise that its sequel, Across a Star-Swept Sea, is just as incredible of a read as the first book is. While not a direct sequel Star-Swept Sea is a companion book to For Darkness… It takes place in a different part of a world ravaged by Reduction, a brain malady that brought civilization to a halt. There is little left of the world, but in New Pacifica the people thrive. Two islands, Albion and Galatea, are in peril as a drug induced uprising threatens to upset the order of things. One islander steps up to meet the challenge, the Wild Poppy, New Pacifica’s infamous spy. What the people do not know is that the Wild Poppy is actually bombshell socialite Persis Blake, a native of Albion, in disguise. Persis hides her wit and ability under cosmetic tedium and her gorgeous facade. She fixates on clothing and makeup and generally dissuading people from realizing who she is. But her nation’s Queen, Isla, has a task that may be beyond her skill. An important revolutionary from the neighbouring island of Galatea, Justen Helo, has demanded sanctuary and Isla has to hide him. What could be more perfect than having him masquerade as Albion’s leading it-girl’s new lover?Sound familiar? Well, that would be because it’s a retelling of another book some of you may have read – The Scarlet Pimpernel. Myself, I have not had the chance yet. However, reading this makes me want to jump headlong into it. I adored this book. Both the tone and the setting are rich and evocative. Peterfreund has world build a nation that feels like Hawaii, and I am sure that is the intent (the hints that this is Hawaii in the future abound). Persis is so multi-dimensional that she is a delight to follow. And Justen could not be a better foil for her. There is also Andrine, and Isla (whom I loved) and a host of other characters, including one genetically fabricated mischievous sea mink named Slipstream. This is one of those books where everything works, and it works beautifully. Peterfreund is nothing but consistent. I cannot begin to convey how much I enjoyed this book. Also, how much I am looking forward to another book in this universe. I hope that Peterfreund continues in this vein. She could write five more books set in this universe and I would be exceedingly happy. Her retellings are top notch!5 out of 5 happy stars.- review courtesy of

  • Anne Osterlund
    2019-04-02 19:29

    Persis has a secret. OK, she has a boatload of secrets. She is not, in fact, the air-headed, fashion-obsessed Queen’s lady-in-waiting that she pretends to be for the court of Albion in New Pacifica. She is the Queen’s number one, aka the Wild Poppy: a secret infiltrator driven to rescue the prisoners of the Revolution on the neighboring island of Galatea.And she is also the daughter of a woman suffering the slow deterioration of her own mind. A disease that is heredity and may lurk in Persis’s own genes.Justin is a hero of the Revolution. And a traitor to its cause. Disillusioned by the use of his own medical discovery in order to punish aristocrats rather than save the commoners it was intended to help, he flees his homeland for the neighboring island of Albion.Where he has somehow become the exclusive guest of one the most air-headed women ever to grace the lands of New Pacifica. He wants nothing more than to closet himself in a lab in order to find a cure for the damage his own discovery has wrought. But how can he do that with the constant interference of Lady Persis Blake?Across a Star-Swept Sea is a YA sci-fi retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernell. While an understanding of the original novel is not at all necessary for enjoying this one, I must say, “Hat’s off!” to the author for selecting such a rich and uncommonly retold tale for her own vibrant cast and setting. The islands of New Pacifica overflow with intriguing locations, their own social structures, and characters that defy those structural limitations. This, combined with action, intrigue, and romance from the original Scarlett Pimpernell.

  • Sophia
    2019-04-16 17:33

    After being left in awe of the worldbuilding and plot of For Darkness Shows the Stars and reading the short intro novella that came between the first book and this one, I was ready to drop back in the author's post-apocalyptic world for this exciting retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I suppose since this is more companion novel than sequel that Across a Star-Swept Sea could be read standalone or out of order, but I think some of the late crossover elements as well as background make more sense when they are read in order.The author weaves an elaborate history and backdrop for the events and setting of her story. I like how she does this while still delivering an exciting and well-paced story. The characters are colorful and larger than life. They have their flaws and vulnerabilities, but their strengths, too. The stakes are much higher in this one with death seeming easier than the punishment of a pill that takes away intelligence and reduces people to little more than docile animals if they are 'tried and found guilty' by the revolution.Like the earlier book, this one retells a classic or, rather, is influenced by an old classic, Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernell. The elements of drastic and bloody revolution, some revolutionaries only wanting to go as far as change and others have a thirst for horrific deeds and power with another nation just across the sea who have a stable government. This calls for the need of a hero who can stand up to the atrocity until peace and sound thinking can be restored.I found it fascinating that everyone is forced to consider what a class-based society, equality of humanity, equality of gender, repression vs. freedom of choice, and constant revenge vs forgiveness are the elements involved at the heart of the story. Relevant one might suggest.Persis is the main narrator of the story with her male counterpart, Justen, as the one who most shares the narration. They are seeming opposites and wary partners throughout. Persis is an aristocrat and Justen a commoner. She is also the heroic Wild Poppy who steps into the dangerous role of rescuing those most affected by the terror of the southern island's bloody revolution. Justen is a scientist from Galatea, the south island and he's a revolutionary and is disgusted by aristos particularly the Albinians like Persis of the northern island. He doesn't take reform as far as others and is horrified by what is happening. They work at cross purposes and together in turn because of their hidden identities and agendas. They have a derision for each other's respective ways of life until, in close proximity, they realize they might have ignorantly misunderstood. Persis has to concede that Justen may have a point about many aristos and he learns that not all aristos are the same in their attitude toward commoners. There's a great tension there because they both have their secrets. Persis and Justen have a love interest, but it is way in the back seat. Rightly so, since they are both fighting to save people and break the power of the extreme revolutionaries not to mention they have reasons not to trust or respect each other- or so they think.My only real niggle is the ending. It came like rain on a campfire- rushed and abrupt and disappointing. It leads the reader in the right direction in a hazy 'this is how it will likely happen in the future' way, but I wanted a bit more than just speculation and I definitely wanted something more for Persis and Justen after all they had been through. A follow-up novella like what was done with the first book would have been great. And that brings a second niggle to mind, actually- the crossover characters. It felt more like a distraction even including them in this story since they, too, were part of that hazy, rushed ending. I was left with a few 'what abouts' and I hate being left curious.But, all in all, I loved the story and will miss this world that the author created. I would snap up in a flash any new installments to the series if the author chose to write one. Probably one of my favorite YA Post-Apocalyptic series ever and I heartily recommend it.

  • Susana
    2019-04-23 16:25

    4.5 StarsAn absorbing tale of adventure, politics, and with a dash of romance in it, this is the perfect story for all of those readers who want a little something more in their reads.You know? The readers who feel as if no author, no story, can surprise them anymore... *hands in the air*(at least it works for old jaded me!)This is probably the most inspired Scarlet Pimpernel retelling that I'll ever read!(Okay, this is the first one I've read...but I doubt that I'll read better! lol)Of course I probably said the same about For Darkness Shows the Stars, when it comes to it's Persuasion retelling in it.... and it's still true! ;)So yes, I admit it: I am in love with this world, with these characters....with the writing, with the visuals, with the whole imagination behind it!The cove!! *.* (it's a scene in the book. You have to read it!)What can I say?This is just my cup of tea. Or better yet, _as the coffee addict that I am! _ my perfect cup of coffee!What could be better than an innovative retelling of the Scarlet Pimpernel, in which the main character is a sixteen year old girl, who is competent, courageous, friend of her friends, and extremely fond of her family?___________Just a sixteen year old, that having all those traits, also does the work of a much needed hero.Oh, and one who has a pet Sea Mink genetically altered, who goes by the name of Slippy!Persis smiled. “Would you really avenge me with neuroeels, Isla?”“For you, darling, I’d gengineer a neuroshark.”“Aww.” Persis pressed a hand to her chest. “That’s very sweet.”Having already been familiarized with this dystopian world, through FDSTS (For Darkness...), I didn't encounter any difficulty in getting reconnected with it, despite the time that has passed since I've read it.In fact, I found the New Pacifica's (the place in which the story takes place) "expressions, "Aristos" and "Regs" more easy to follow, than the ones used in the first volume.And although "Across A Star-Swept Sea", didn't pull at my heartstrings in exactly the same level as "For Darkness Shows The Stars" did, with its story of lovers gone astray, as a faithful Persuasion retelling should _although a much more complex one _ this tale, in it's own different way, in it's own originality, was done in the same amazing way, and it kept me glued to it's pages.Both of stories were kept true to their natures: FDSTS more romance oriented, and this one, written as full political intrigue /adventure tale.Of course some things never change.The writing as always, is gorgeous:"Love was magma, shooting from the Earth.It had the potential to form pillars of rock that would last for a thousand years or plumes of ash that choked the sky.She would never love like her father, never let herself be loved like her mother. She would never suffer what her parents were suffering now."The plot was brilliantly developed, so the only nitpicks I have, as the expression indicates, are small things, like for instance, the characters age.They sound older than your typical YA gang. Which is Great, don't get me wrong!I just couldn't help thinking that maybe they could be a little older on paper (Persis is sixteen, Justen is eighteen), although I understand the reasoning of this, due to the "Damocles Sword" which is poised above one character' head.Besides that, there is this "expression" that is used regarding the mental state of some of the characters : _"The Darkened", it, refers to a condition, a mix of Alzheimer's and maybe Lou Gehrig's disease. A couple years ago, I wouldn't find any problem with it.But now that I know better, I can't help wishing that another term had been used...Bottom Line:A+, for the PlotA+, for the charactersA+, for the writingAnd a B+ because in the end I wanted more pages!! o_OIt ended a little too abruptly ( no, no cliffhangers!) fact, the way it ended was just mean! ;)Okay, I'll say it...( I can't believe I am about to say this o_O)I guess it could have a little more romance in it... o_O(looks at the ceiling...)Oh, and the cover?So beautiful!! *.* Keep them coming! ;)

  • Fiona
    2019-03-26 12:19

    While I quite liked For Darkness Shows the Stars, I found this one unreadably clunky. Though the analogies to The Scarlet Pimpernel are quite clever, Peterfreund manages to hit several of my stylistic pet peeves: referring to characters by their physical attributes when the reader and the POV character knows their names perfectly well and the descriptor adds nothing to our knowledge; repeating information ad nauseum in an attempt to add tension (Persis must maintain her airhead disguise! No-one must know her secret identity! Yes, thank you, we got it the first ten times). Finally, The Scarlet Pimpernel--Baroness Orczy's own stylistic failings aside--is a hilariously funny book. Much of the its charm rests on its absurdity, and the delight the characters take in their own cleverness. Across a Star-Swept Sea is not funny. And this may be its biggest crime.

  • Colleen Houck
    2019-03-27 15:31

    Love the whole idea of a heroine in disguise pretending to be something she's not. Loved all the characters and the development of this futuristic society. So cool!

  • usagi ☆ミ
    2019-04-19 12:24

    LOVED IT. Review to come!

  • Lauren
    2019-03-30 11:29

    SET-UPPersis Blake lives on the island of Albion, which very much resembles the natural beauty and climate of Hawaii. During the day, Persis is a frivolous and fashionable socialite, who has nothing more to do than gossip and host lavish parties. But at night, she is secretly the Wild Poppy, undertaking dangerous missions to free the oppressed people of the neighboring island of Galatea. If you know anything about the French Revolution, when the aristocrats were persecuted and murdered for their excesses, you have a good idea about what is happening on Galatea. Throw in a drug that is being used by the revolutionaries to damage - or Reduce - the aristocrat's brains, and the circumstances on Galatea have become even more dire. Persis Blake is so good at her facade that very few remember that she used to be the brightest in her class, which is exactly how she wants it. When a handsome Galatea medic, Justin Helo, seeks asylum on the island of Albion, Persis somehow gets roped into pretending that he's her new boyfriend. She's also determined to maintain her socialite cover with him, no matter how much she wants to show him how intelligent she is. Although Justen is upset with his country's revolution, he still has his own secrets and Persis isn't sure she trusts him, even if she may be falling for him. THOUGHTSWhy does being a kick butt heroine almost always come with a poor fashion sense? If you're smart and clever and good at taking people out, you can't like pretty dresses and want nice hair (although usually those girls mysteriously have great hair anyway)? I think that's why Persis Blake is such a brilliant heroine. It's clear that she really does enjoy dressing in fine things and is an excellent source for fashion advice. But she's also clever enough to realize that few people think it's possible to like clothes and also plan secret rescue missions at the same time. Not only that but Persis has no problem dressing like a man if the disguise calls for it, and she isn't afraid to her her hands dirty. Even Justen Helo, the brilliant revolutionary scientist that somehow to both of their bewilderments ends up having to pretend to be Persis' love interest, is almost constantly underestimating her. That's because he doesn't know about her secret life as the Wild Poppy, and only sees the shallow girl she pretends to be. The delicious thing about their romance is that it's very clear to everyone else how compatible they are. Against their better judgement and mutual dislike at times, Justen and Persis start to fall for each other too. I really like the way this romance is set up. Justen is attracted to socialite Persis, but he doesn't think he could ever be with someone as silly as her. But we all know that she's exactly the girl that he wants. Also, for all of you still bemoaning the fact that there wasn't an ounce of kissing in For Darkness Shows the Stars, I am thrilled to say that it factors into this story. Although Across a Star-Swept Sea is written in third person and follows several voices, it is primarily Persis' book, and I really felt for her throughout this entire story. Because her role as the Wild Poppy must remain hidden behind a careful facade, very few people are able to see the real her. She is also facing some sobering medical issues that are affecting her family, but she's not allowed to share them either. And though she is a girl who is independent, industrious and brighter than most, she lives in a society were women do not have many rights in society. Within this sun drenched island setting filled with beautiful dresses, futuristic technology, secret missions and political intrigue, is a relatable story about one girl who has shouldered a great deal of responsibility. Across a Star-Swept Sea is the second book in a companion series and I was surprised and delighted by how For Darkness Shows the Star is connected to the story. I really enjoyed the scientific and moral debates between both stories. Where the upper class in For Darkness Shows the Stars have shunned technology, they have embraced it in Across a Star-Swept Sea, both decisions have positives and consequences. This book also has a really fascinating political atmosphere. As a take off of The Scarlet Pimpernel, the revolution happening in Galatea resembles the French Revolution. But with the medical technology present, it is more complex and applicable to our lives in the 21st century. The biggest trouble I had in reading this book was orienting myself into the world. Learning all the names for the cool gadgets and how they operate was quite confusing at first. I actually think this book would have benefitted from both a map and a glossary. In fact, I looked for one numerous times just in case I missed it. I also thought the momentum at the end of the story slowed down a bit when several characters has lengthy reflection scenes in the form of inner monologues. My favorite by far was Justen's. But I'm not sure they all needed to be so extensive. However, those are really minor set backs. This book is worth the trouble to engage in it, and I thought it was delightful overall.Love Triangle Factor: NoneCliffhanger Scale: It appears this may be the series conclusion, which is a huge bummer, because I think there's lots more story to tell!Find this and other reviews on my blog Love is not a triangle________________________________________________________________Original post: LOVE this one. Even better than FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS. Three things you'll find in ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA1) A girl who dresses up like a boy (among other disguises) to undertake secret justice missions. 2) A fake boyfriend3) KissingOh and awesome political intrigue, beautiful gowns and futuristic technology, all set on a sun drenched island akin to Hawaii. If you've read the first book, this is a companion, so you may see some things you recognize again. Although I recommend reading them both and in order, it's not strictly necessary. I think the biggest trouble I had in reading was orienting myself into the world. Learning all the names for the cool gadgets and how they operate. It seems complicated at first, but stick with it. The story is worth it! Full review to come!

  • Aoi
    2019-03-27 15:36

    For Darkness Shows Stars was easily one of my standout reads this year, and I'm so glad I can say this series gets stronger and stronger. The author is so crazily inventive with the different 'worlds', she can write a 5 book series and I'd gobble them all up..While we continue to explore the effects of the Reduction on mankind, this book is set on the faraway New Pacifica. The twin islands of Galatea and Albion are abuzz with the latest exploits of the Wild Poppy- who has made his career smuggling Galatean aristos to safety. You see, the Galatean commoners have rebelled against the Queen (a la the French), and have artificially Reduced the aristocracy. Unable to stand the unnecessary 'noble revolution', Justen Helo- Galatean medic and scientist extraordinaire- plans his escape. He cannot believe his luck, when he stumbles upon Persis Blake, bosom friend of Princess Isla of Albion, and seeks asylum there. Being the grandson of Persistence Helo, the inventor of the cure to the Reduction, he is bound to be treated as an honoured guest. Unknown to him, he fits in exactly with Princess Isla's political plan to wrangle control back from her council of advisors- who immediately decrees for Justen and Persis to be pretend-lovers.What nobody suspects is that the air-headed socialite Persis Blake has one other alter-ego-- the infamous Wild Poppy. Justen immediately dismisses her as a dimwitted bombshell, who'd only serve to distract him from his 'scientific business'- to cure the artificially Reduced aristos before it's too late. So it's secrets and hidden motives and misunderstandings galore, till the whole thing builds up and backfires on them.The world building, as expected, is literally out of this world. Albion- with its breath-taking vistas and brilliant colours- comes alive in front of your eyes. In this book, Ms. Peterfruend takes it forward and introduces us to the complex social dynamic on these two islands. Galatea has women in high- power posts, while Albion is highly exist. Women cannot rule, nor can inherit what rightly belongs to them. Yet, on both islands, our ladies find themselves fighting the odds. Princess Isla with her scheming council, Vania Aldred with the Galatean armed forces who can't take her seriously, and our heroine Persis- who uses all the prejudice to her advantage. The chemistry literally crackles between Persis and Justen. It's sassy and flirtatious, all push-and-pull as they stage a grand romance for all the Albian court to see, when they are secretly, really falling for each other in the backdrop. Justen struggles to acknowledge his liking a frivolous butterfly like Persis; yet he cannot reconcile her airheaded persona with the surprising depth she reveals at times. Persis is compelled to keep her facade in front of him, and as the secrets keep tumbling out, she worries if she can trust Justen at all. It's all very swoonily romantic, and as usual we get boys who are adept at the age-old art of letter writing. Omg, this was one deliciously amazing ride- though I wish there was an epilogue to tie things up a bit. The last chapter sort of left few strings hanging, though I hope we get to see how things turn out for Justen and Persis just (psst!) as they have done with Elliot and Malakai in this one..5 out of 5 stars. ALL HAIL!!

  • Kristen
    2019-03-26 13:17

    Actual Rating 3.5This and other reviews on my blogMy Friends Are FictionThe Story: This was my second book from Diana Peterfreund, the first being For Darkness Shows the Stars, which was beautifully done. I was beyond excited to learn there would be a companion novel and jumped at the chance to read it. I will admit that Across a Star Swept Sea started off slowly for me. I had trouble getting back into the world and understanding all the intricacies. I think if I had reread For Darkness I might have had an easier time getting into this novel.The writing is beautifully done though a tad on the slow side. The descriptions were vivid and I could easily picture the characters, clothes and setting. The majority of this story is based on secrecacy between the two main characters. As a reader, it gets frustrating knowing what the other doesn’t. Peterfreund did it very well but I still felt annoyed at times and wanted them to be honest with one another though their motivations with keeping silent were well spelled out and believable.As the book neared the end I became much more wrapped up in the story and enjoyed how all the threads wove together. The sluggish start was more than made up for as the story arcs merged and the main obstacle overcome.Across a Star Swept Sea is loosely based on The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I read and enjoyed in high school. Sadly, I couldn’t recall enough about the book to make any comparisons so can not say what inspirations Peterfreund found in the original book.The Characters: I loved the idea behind Persis being brilliant yet disguising her true motives and identity by playing up the ditzy socialite. I thought she was an amusing character and very strong willed. I enjoyed learning about her inner turmoil and inspirations. Peterfreund did a nice juxtaposition between her as a socialite and as the Wild Poppy, the most infamous spy.Justen had a very interesting family history, being the grandson of Persistence Helo the woman responsible for creating the cure for the Reduced. I thought his goals at seeing through his grandmother’s dreams were admirable and enjoyed watching him struggle with his own discoveries. I was happy to see a love interest with such depth and strength.Although I felt like Justen and Persis were well developed individuals, I had trouble really feeling the chemistry between them. I can’t put my finger on why I wasn’t able to really get invested in their relationship but I struggled.Final Thoughts: Though Across a Star Swept Sea had descriptive writing and interesting characters something was lacking for me. I had trouble really immersing myself in the story and feeling the characters chemistry with one another.

  • Aylee
    2019-04-05 14:21

    You can also read this review on my blogIn short: Across A Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund combines an admirable protagonist, an affecting romance, and an engaging story line to make it an exceptional read.In my review of For Darkness Shows The Stars, I mentioned how nice it was to read a satisfyingly complete standalone for once instead of making a commitment to stick it out with a long-winded series with a never-ending amount of loose-ends. Well, that was before Across A Star-Swept Sea was announced as a companion book that would tie into the original world, but could stand on its own as a separate story with separate characters. Now companion books, I can get behind wholeheartedly! I would be fine if companion books became the new series books.Across A Star-Swept Sea accomplishes exactly what I wanted in a companion book to For Darkness Shows The Stars. Namely, that I get to see more of the fascinating futuristic world I loved and didn't have to lose the strong female protagonist and the emotionally-charged romance aspects that I adored from For Darkness Shows The Stars. Diana Peterfreund is one talented lady! She has definitely earned her spot on my must-read-author list with her captivating premises and exceptionally well written prose. I appreciate that she never dumbs things down for her readers - her plots are complex and are not super easy to follow, but are somehow so much more rewarding because of it.Just as Elliot was the heart and soul of For Darkness Shows The Stars, so was the fearless Persis of Across A Star-Swept Sea. She is, in a word, awesome. But that doesn't really cover it. She is brave, altruistic, and caring, all under the guise of a vain and vapid twat. In one life, she has an entire court of admirers wrapped around her little finger and in her other life, she is the revolutionary spy feared by the rebels. Along with Elliot, she is one of the most admirable protagonists I have ever come across. Her relationship with Justen was a fun and affecting romance of the slow-building variety (the best kind!).My only slight complaint is that I would have liked to have seen a bit more espionage and undercover sleuthing because that was the coolest part of Across A Star-Swept Sea - it's not every day I get to read about a revolutionary female spy, you know! As it is, Across A Star-Swept Sea is very romance-focused - which is fine because it was an excellent romance - but I personally would've liked to have seen a bit more action. Overall though, Across A Star-Swept Sea is a well written and engaging story that I highly recommend. I don't know if other companion books are planned yet, but I sure hope so!

  • Mayim De Vries
    2019-04-10 11:38

    2,5 rounded to three stars mainly due to my sentiment for For Darkness Shows the Stars. Even the cameo of Kai and Elliot did little to redeem lousy plot, utopist bragging and characters out of character. Not worth the time.

  • Silvia
    2019-04-24 17:12

    Estoy plenamente convencida de que la lectura de un libro influye mucho en el periodo de tiempo en el que te encuentres. Y al leer este libro, sin duda, no me he encontrado en mi mejor época. Intentaba superar una crisis lectora y tal vez mi opinión se pueda ver un poco manchada. Así, me costó lo mío engancharme a la trama hasta pasadas las 100 paginas y su compleja trama, enrevesada, ligeramente unida (por su historia) al libro anterior de la saga, tampoco facilitaba las cosas.Haciendo un lado mi crisis lectora, debo decir que la trama puede resultar compleja de primeras pero una vez te sumerges (como debe suceder en muchos más libros), no puedes parar de leer y darle una oportunidad tras otra. No he leido la “Pimpinela Escarlata”, el clásico del cual se orienta la autora de este libro para desarrollar la historia, pero aun así, no me ha defraudado en comparación con la adaptación del libro anterior, “En la oscuridad resplandecen las estrellas”. Sin embargo, en esta segunda parte nos situamos en otro lugar donde los experimentos científicos también han tenido efectos devastadores en la población; Nueva Pacifica consta de dos islas, Galatea y Albión, donde la Reducción las barrió y científicos tuvieron que dar con una cura. De todos modos, esta cura tuvo sus efectos negativos que aun se siguen nutriendo en la descendencia.

  • Elevetha
    2019-04-07 14:16

    What a title! Can't wait to see the cover!I had some initial minor complaints that were swept (see what I did there???) away by the author's assurances, as well as mostly by me reading the book, which is really quite good. Much better than I was expecting. I mean, a Scarlet Pimpernel retelling with a girl as the Pimpernel?? Color me wary. Not only that but I was less than enthusiastic about Peterfreund's For Darkness Shows the Stars. Not so here. We had it all; world building, good smart characters, clear motivations, a freaking decent romance with no insta-love or mooning, multiple POVs, etc. But this has now made TWO, yes that's right, TWO unexpected four star books in the past month. O.o. That hasn't happened in ages.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-30 12:37

    Sink me, my dear! A VERY well done retelling of the Scarlet Pimpernel starring one ridiculously beautiful Lady Persis Blake! Utterly delightful, both true to the original story and an excellent follow up to FOR DARKNESS SHOW THE STARS (which was a great retelling of Persuasion). I adored Persis and Justen, and once I hit the last hundred pages, I absolutely couldn't put the book down! At one point I thought, I want someone to hold that @##%^% down and beat her with a rock . . . and I was obliged. (You'll have to read it to find out who, and why.)