Skip to main content

Across a Star-Swept Sea

Across a Star-Swept Sea is a YA sci-fi, dystopian retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel by Diana Peterfreund.

Though this story stands on its own, it brings back characters from Peterfreund’s wonderful For Darkness Shows the Stars – so I personally would recommend reading that first. You can read my review of For Darkness Shows the Stars here – but there will be no spoilers for it in this review, no worries!

New Pacifica’s two separate islands are all remaining of the world after centuries of war and destruction. Even the prior horror of the Reduction – a brain disorder that caused many of the wars and left much of the population without fully-functioning minds – is a thing of the past.

After all, there is now a cure.

Yet on the island of Galatea, there has been a revolution – a revolution against the aristocracy that has morphed into the ultimate revenge. A drug has been created to cause Reduction – and the revolutionaries are forcing anyone who disagrees with them to take it.

However, the enigmatic spy known as the Wild Poppy is determined to stop this.

On the neighboring island of Albion, their political issues are fiery but they have not slipped into rebellion. Their brightly colored fashions and partying court do their best to blind themselves to the threat Galatea’s revolution poses to their island – and the true terror their invented Reduction drug could bring.

No one would guess that gorgeous, airheaded, party girl Persis Blake is the Wild Poppy – and that’s exactly how she wants it. Sometimes it is difficult to hide her clever mind and deep concerns with a superficial, silly socialite fa├žade – but she knows it is the best way to continue her secretive work to save Galateans.

Meanwhile, Justen Helo has sought refuge in Albion – wanting to distance himself with the work he has done with the revolution in Galatea, and the direct impact he has had. To protect his reasons for leaving his island, he is tasked with pretending to be head-over-heels with Persis – which is difficult due to her ardent idiocy, though she is obviously attractive.

But when their respective secrets clash, they could cause New Pacifica to plunge into another dark age.

Perhaps one they could never recover from…

Diana Peterfreund has a marvelous mind. She has created here an expansive, believable, detailed futuristic world that is vibrant and vivid to the reader. Our characters, both the main characters and supporting, are well-constructed with full-fledged personalities and a grounded sense of realism.

Here we have a spy story, a war story and a story of love. Happily the romance is slow-building, based on knowing someone rather than being simply attracted to them, and is NOT the primary focus of this story.

No, the main plotline here is the suspenseful revolution and Reduction – the results of the drug that cured it and the drug that is returning it. It’s such a terrible, horrifying way to punish people – yet has an unsettling feeling of being all too plausible of the vengeful human race.

This is futuristic sci-fi at some its best with a cohesive, imaginative plot and great characterizations. I, myself, have not read or seen The Scarlet Pimpernel – but I am certainly more intrigued now.

And I will be waiting for more from Diana Peterfreund – who never ceases to amaze me with her absorbing, rewarding writing!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Real Live Boyfriends

Real Live Boyfriends is a YA contemporary novel by E. Lockhart, and the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet.

Here we are on the last day of “Ruby Oliver Week” and if you aren’t already reading these books – well, why not?

But I’m more than sure most of you are – and hopefully you’re all caught up, and therefore not at risk of being spoiled by my review of Real Live Boyfriends. You’ve been warned!

Ruby Oliver is beginning her senior year of high school with a real live boyfriend: Noel.

At least she thought she was.

After having spent the rest of junior year and the beginning of summer being fully in love (okay, they never actually said the word, but the vibes were strongly in that direction), Ruby is now confused.

Again.

When Noel went to visit his brother in New York for a while, almost every day they talked on the phone and exchanged funny emails. She never once felt insecure.

Until all of a sudden – communication stopped. Ruby would call and he wouldn’t answer. She’d leave a voice mai…

Interview with Joanna Philbin!

Today we have an extra special guest! Joanna Philbin, author of The Daughters series, is here to tell us about the fourth and (*sniff*) final book in the series - The Daughters Join the Party - as well as answer some other questions!

Welcome to the Bibliophile Support Group, Joanna! We're happy to have you!

So, for anybody who hasn't read the first three books in The Daughters series (read my reviews here: The Daughters, The Daughters Break the Rules, The Daughters Take the Stage) can you give everybody a general idea of what they're about?

Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson are best friends who are normal fourteen year-old girls in almost every way. Except for one: each girl has a parent who is incredibly famous. And her parent’s fame complicates her life in a big way. Lizzie’s mom is a supermodel, but Lizzie isn’t what most people would call “beautiful” – in fact, she’s what most people might call “unusual-looking.” How do you deal with having a supermodel mother when you don’t …

#YAStandsFor Daily Social Challenge... Day 5!

In my final day of participating in the I Read YA Week celebration (you can keep partying, it goes on through Monday!), I found myself presented with a new challenge of: Create a graphic showcasing an inspirational YA quote.

I'm not super tech savvy and I've never created a graphic before. But with just a little Google searching and a download of an app, I was able to create this:


Thanks for joining me this week! I hope you all enjoyed it! Please follow or subscribe for notifications of new posts and reviews upcoming on the Bibliophile Support Group!

#YAStandsFor
@IReadYA