Title: Across a Star-Swept Sea
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2
Cupcake: Chocolate cake with raspberry filling and raspberry chocolate buttercream frosting.
Quick Rating: 3.5 stars
Okay, I have to make a quick admission- I read this one without reading For Darkness Shows the Stars, and that could be the root of literally all the reasons I couldn’t figure this book at– but to be perfectly honest, I was told they could be read as standalones. I still haven’t read the first one because it’s based on Persuasion and that book really gets me upset.
ANYWAY, here’s the big thing I had a problem with:
The entire book, I struggled to keep straight the Reduced, the post-Reduced, the terminology- everything. I liked the book a lot when I did understand it, but I feel like I missed out on a lot of important plot points that could have made a really big impact- that could have made me love the book- because the backstory was explained in such a roundabout way. Again, possibly because of me not reading the first one.
The characters I liked a LOT. They were dynamic, they changed, they served a purpose. Especially Persis– she didn’t give up her purpose because ‘that there Helo is pretty cute. He’s my mortal enemy, but whatever. My country doesn’t matter anymore.’ That was refreshing. Persis was a strong lead, and I really liked her personality and the fact that she was willing to sacrifice her reputation to serve a greater cause. Most heroines won’t do that, at least not to this extent. And the princess regent was also not swayed by what her friends thought- a true depiction of what a ruler should be. So I really did enjoy the character interaction when they weren’t talking about all the details of Reduction and forced Reduction and whatnot.
As for the length, normally I like a good, long book, but this felt almost like forced length. Too much time was spent on describing the math and science of the genetic mutations- and that’s big, coming from me, because I love the details of things like this. I usually want to know the logic behind the genetics, but this time it fell flat to me- too much roundabout explaining and never a solid, direct, ‘This is what happened.’ So that was a problem for me, but to others, maybe it was great. I’m just one person.
Overall, I might recommend this book to a people that I think would enjoy the details and the deep world-building that was done (impressive, but confusing to me) but to the general public, I would say start with another book that isn’t this intense. It’s not a light YA fluff sci-fi read, and you should only read it if you’re ready to commit.
Just like Persis, these cupcakes are pretty and simple on the outside, but surprising on the inside. The sweet berry taste will melt in your mouth with the chocolate cake, and you won’t regret the effort you put in to this cupcake or this book. Find the recipe here, at Taste and Tell.