My Rating: 4 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: Having loved Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars, I finally made the time to read its companion novel, Across a Star-Swept Sea. Set in the same world as For Darkness Shows the Stars but on the islands of New Pacifica, it took me awhile to relearn the lingo and remember how the Reduction came about, especially because Albion and Galatea were so different from the society established in the previous book.
Thankfully, while I kept getting distracted trying to figure out the worldbuilding, the characters held my interest. Like For Darkness Shows the Stars, Across a Star-Swept Sea features a strong heroine who is easy to support. Superficially, Persis appears to be a rich and spoiled aristocrat whose only concern is the latest fashion. Underneath the persona of a ditz, however, lies a girl who’s smart, loyal, generous, courageous, and determined to fight injustice and leave her mark on the world. Besides Persis, I loved that the League of the Wild Poppy involved other females who were committed to creating change despite living in a patriarchal society.
While it would be hard for me to decide if I liked Persis better than Elliot (who shows up in Across a Star-Swept Sea with some other characters from For Darkness Shows the Stars), I know that Justen didn’t hold a candle to Kai. Even though we get POVs from Justen and therefore get to know him better, I just didn’t swoon over him as much as I did over Kai. I blame Kai for stealing my heart with those letters …
Speaking of romance, I enjoyed the slow romance between Persis and Justen because I thought they complemented each other’s personalities nicely. I also thought that Peterfreund did a good job of not making the romance overwhelm the plot.
If there was one thing I could change about Across a Star-Swept Sea though, it would be the ending because it came way too soon! I rarely like epilogues, but in this case, I would have preferred one so that I could know what happened to all the characters. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a third companion novel!
Comments About the Cover: It’s so pretty! I think I like it more than For Darkness Shows the Stars’.