Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Re-read Challenge: Across a Star-Swept Sea

WHEN I First Read
I  read and reviewed this March of 2014.

WHAT I Remember
I think I've read this again since reading it the first time. I remember most of the plot, including a lot of the finer details. One might say that I didn't need to reread it, but I wanted to back into the world. I remember hating the use of the word spy because it seemed weird in that context- what Persis does is really closer to vigilantism than spying, I think. It isn't primarily information she traffics in, after all. Otherwise I really like it.

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read
Remeber how I reread For Darkness Shows the Stars sort of on a whim? It made me really want to reread this one too.

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading
I wish more than ever for another retelling set in this world. I still really enjoyed reading this, despite the fact that the word spy still didn't feel quite right. (My mental word-replacer would probably have it switched to vigilante... while it isn't the perfect word, it is better). Anyway, my inner editor aside, I still quite enjoyed this.

Part of it is that this story plays on something pretty awful: people willing destroy other's minds as a form of punishment. This just gets to me a little, as does Persis's mother's condition (which is essentially an aggressive form of early-onset dementia) and Persis's own fears regarding her own mind. They're something that feel very real to me, on a personal level.

I think I was in an analysis-y sort of mood when I read this, because another thing that I noticed was the idea of limitations, and working within and against them. Persis uses her society's expectations of her limitations to her advantage: her people wouldn't expect a woman to be capable of what she does as The Wild Poppy, and those on the neighbouring island wouldn't expect an aristocrat to be capable of it. It also means that Persis is going to have to carve out at space for herself, as herself in her world, because she doesn't fit them, and nor do a lot of others. Justen spends a lot of time realising his own limitations, as well as thinking about the limitations of others (like thinking how Ro has grown within hers). 

Anyway, point being, I still really liked the book. There are things that I wished for more of, like more information about the technologies, but I found it clearer this time around than I did my first time reading it.

WOULD I Re-Read Again
Yep. I'll eventually get a copy of my own... I just haven't gotten to it quite yet.

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