For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Romance, Retelling
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: June 12th 2012
Synopsis: It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.
Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.
But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.
Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.
“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope…I have loved none but you.”
— Jane Austen (Persuasion)
For Darkness Shows the Stars is a beautiful book. It really is. I imagine that if Jane Austen was going to be proud of any Young Adult retelling of one of her books, it would be this one. Peterfreund has managed to perfectly handle romance, sadness, love, and the charm that always seem to radiate off of Jane Austen’s works.
The story can be described as a sci-fi Persuasion. Please don’t let the major change in the original story’s genetic makeup make you run away from this book. Peterfreund makes a fascinating dystopian world and also creates a serious, developed romance that will make one’s heart flutter at times.
The dystopian world plays a big part in the stories framework so I believe I should focus on that first, in this review. I have already said that Peterfreund’s unique world is fascinating. But I could also describe it as smart, wonderfully created, and even believable. The theory of what caused the Reduction is based on the Christian religion, but trust me when I say the story is never what could be called preachy, and I even took something from it.
This novel features a tough protagonist, called Elliot. She did seem a bit flat to me in the beginning, but halfway through her characterization was amazing and almost flawless! I was greatly invested in her story and I enthusiastically cheered her on–sometimes out loud. I felt conflicted when she did, I felt joy when she did, I felt harrowing sadness when she did. I was completely in-tune with her character.
Kai, the male lead of this tale, doesn’t leave a good impression when first introduced. In fact, I was quite angry with him. But as the pages turned and I started to get farther into the story, I began to understand Kai, his anger, confusion, and heartbreak.
And the romance between these two characters is magnificently written. Peterfreund writes the star-crossed lovers scenario with flourish. There was never a moment between Kai and Elliot that made me roll my eyes or smirk to myself. No, the romance in this story is enrapturing, as any romance inspired by a Jane Austen novel should be.
The ending is tied up very neatly and beautifully–I admit to swooning a little bit to much. But I can tell that there are many great adventures coming Elliot and Kai’s way so I am very excited for the upcoming sequel, Across a Star-Swept Sea, which is apparently inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, a classic I haven’t even heard of!
As you can see, I am in awe of this book. For Darkness Shows the Stars is an fantastic novel–with an amazing title– that resonated with my very soul. And I thank Teepee, for gifting me with this wonderful book and letting me know of its existence. I am giving you all my hugs and kisses ♥