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review 2014-11-12 19:59
More than a pretty cover...
Across a Star-Swept Sea - Diana Peterfreund

 An 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, 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! ;)

(Read my review here! )

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 "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 Plot

A+, for the characters

A+,  for the writing

And a B+ because in the end I wanted more pages!! o_O

It ended a little too abruptly ( no, no cliffhangers!)....in 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! ;)


Author's Official Site 


Buy "Across A Star- Swept Sea" (With Free Worldwide Delivery!)



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quote 2014-11-11 21:13
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.
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quote 2014-11-10 23:32
No one is innocent in the tide of history.
Everyone has kings and slaves in his past.
Everyone has saints and sinners. We are not to blame for the actions of our ancestors. We can only try to be the best we can, no matter what our heritage, to strive for a better future for all.”
Across a Star-Swept Sea - Diana Peterfreund

Why did it take me so long to start reading this?

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quote 2014-11-10 20:06
“You want me to date him?” Persis asked with gritted teeth.
“Yes!” Isla beamed. “It’s a romantic tale. He saved you on the docks of Galatea. We’ll be . . . vague about the reason. And brought you back, nursed you to health, blah, blah. Love at first sight. People will eat it up, Persis. You know better than anyone how much people adore a good aristo/reg love story.”
Across a Star-Swept Sea - Diana Peterfreund

Ah! Let the farce begin!

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review 2014-09-21 21:07
#CBR6 Book 100: Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
Across a Star-Swept Sea - Diana Peterfreund

Set in a different part of the same post-apocalyptic world as For Darkness Shows the Starsthis book is more of a companion novel than a sequel. The two islands of New Pacifica are Albion (think a futuristic pacific islander England) and Galatea (sci-fi revolutionary France). In Albion they have democracy and happily genetically alter their bodies to be their very best selves. Princess Isla is the regent of Albion until her toddler brother comes of age, because while they are big on genetic engineering, they also seriously underestimate women and still believe in primogeniture. In Galatea, the general population rebelled against their tyrannical despot of a queen and are currently subduing all of their former nobility with drugs that pretty much chemically lobotomise them. Unfortunately, as Revolutions are wont to do, things are starting to go a bit pear-shaped, with those in power Reducing (giving the drugs to) anyone not entirely agreeing with their point of view. The leaders of the glorious revolution have become as bad as the leader they initially rebelled against.


The Wild Poppy is an Albian spy who through a series of rescue missions liberate Galatean citizens, taking them to safety in Albion. Because everyone is incredibly sexist and no one believes that women are any good at anything, it is assumed that the Wild Poppy is a man. This suits Lady Persis Blake perfectly, as no one would suspect that the vapid, teenage socialite and best friend to the Princess Regent of Albion is in fact the most talked about spy in New Pacifica. Along with some of her friends, she risks her life repeatedly to rescue Galateans from the Reign of Terror they are under. Making very sure that no one remembers that a few years ago, Persis Blake was one of the most brilliant and promising young minds in Albion, Persis instead acts like every single fashionista party girl you can imagine. She's princess Isla's BFF and fashion adviser, throws the best parties and knows all the good gossip. She's also brave, excellent at disguises, brilliant at deflecting unwanted attention and a loyal friend to the beleaguered young queen. 


Justen Helo is a Galatean medic who is deeply disenchanted with the direction the revolution is taking. He wants to defect to Albion and help find a cure for the all the people who have been chemically Reduced. Princess Isla wants it publicly known that Helo has defected from Galatea and decides that he and Persis should pretend to be an item, something neither of the two are all that happy about. Yet the princess gets what she wants, and Persis and Justen have to pretend to be madly in love. He believes she's a narcissistic socialite with nothing more serious on her mind than what she's going to wear next, never realising that she's the genius hero behind all the daring rescues. He wants to find a cure for the chemical Reduction which his guardian, the head of the Galatean revolution is responsible for, as well as rescuing his sister who is still in Galatea. As they spend more time together, they banter and argue and obviously grow more attracted to one another. Persis knows that Justen despises her chosen persona, but can't risk showing him her true self. 


There are so many excellent female characters in this book. Persis is an amazing heroine, all the more remarkable because she's just seventeen. Her friendships with princess Isla and Andrine, another of the members of the Wild Poppy league are realistic and nuanced and it's great to see these young women taking advantage of the prejudices of the society they live in, in order to make the world a better place and save lives, without ever asking for credit or glory. While I didn't like her much (she is one of the villains, after all) Vania Aldred, Justen's foster sister, is also an impressive and strong female character trying to prove herself in the Galatean army but constantly being underestimated and accused of only gaining her position thanks to nepotism. Justen's sister Remy, while young, clearly also wants to make a difference and make a name for herself, even if she has to risk her life to do so.


Peterfreund's world building is a thing of beauty and I am simply not doing the plot or the richness of the environment these books are set in justice in my review. I love The Scarlet Pimpernel and this was such a cool gender reversed science fiction re-imagining of it. Lady Persis Blake is in many ways even more of an impressive hero than Sir Percy Blakeney, because he was a very wealthy and fully grown man. Persis is rich, to be sure, but she's also just a teenage girl, running a spy ring consisting mainly of other teenagers. It makes her feats even more impressive. Of the two books, this was absolutely my favourite. I'm so glad I finally got round to reading these books. 

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2014/09/cbr6-book-100-across-star-swept-sea-by.html
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