For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund | Book Review

Posted October 7, 2016 by Zeee in Reviews4 Comments

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund | Book ReviewFor Darkness Shows the Stars written by Diana Peterfreund
Publisher Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: June 12th 2012
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1
Pages: 407
ISBN: 0062006142
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Flame Rating: zero-flames
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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.

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Don’t want to read the whole review?  Click to jump to the Skinny Review.

It took me a while (well years, really) to finally read this. I first For Darkness Shows the Stars a little after it came out and I was blown away by the awesome cover! I mean, LOOK AT THAT COVER! And the title is GENIUS!

Anyway, fast forward to three months ago when I had some time to finally be inspired to read it. I think my mood just fit! I was FINALLY able to finish it!

So, just as an aside, I haven’t READ or even SEEN Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which this is a retelling of so I can’t compare both. What I can say is that historical + dystopian + sci-fi is FREAKING AHMAYZING! Because it IS TOTALLY MY THING!

What do you mean historical + dystopian + sci-fi?

For Darkness takes place in a dystopian world where we find the after effects of too much genetic experimentation. It is interesting to read about what happens when we tamper with nature. In this future dystopia world, a lot of people have become subversive and a little off (?) because of too much experimentation. Also, there is some weird sci-fi experimentation going on.

Anyway, the world is now controlled by the Luddites, the survivors who have not been touched by the genetic experimentation. They rule over the Reduced, the people affected by all the genetic experimentation that was done hundreds of years ago. Our female protagonist Elliot North (don’t you just love the name?), is a Luddite and is now running her father’s estate and is trying her best not to make things fall apart. That is until Kai, her childhood friend and love of her life comes back.

Love Between Classes

If you have been a follower of my posts, you would know that I absolutely LOVE this type of trope! Elliot refused to run away with Kai. Now that he has come back, he is now out for revenge! Oh, the drama!

But Kai is just soooo MEAN!

So, I totally understand the guy-hurt-and-is-now-out-for-revenge-to-the-girl-who-broke-his-heart thing BUT, you can’t be THAT EVIL? And yes, I call that evil. The bad thing about Kai is that HE WAS JUST MEAN LIKE 90% of the story! I mean, I totally get WHY but if there is a romance here, I don’t want it to be spent being mean!

So, POOR Elliot

Elliot has her reasons and I think they are legit reasons not to run away with Kai. So, I really feel bad for her. I see her as kind and self-sacrificing and Kai DID NOT see that. Did I just say he was MEAN?

The historical parallels

I absolutely LOVE the historical parallels in this book. And although it is sci-fi, I can see the historical 1800ss references. From the estate to the servants, to how their society really works, it felt like the past all over again. Which I thought was VERY INGENIOUS! I love how Peterfreund wrote it this way.

Last thoughts

Although the romance sucked, I love the whole world Peterfreund created. It was super interesting and the characters are well fleshed out.

So yes, I am definitely glad that this is NOT a series, but a stand-alone book and I can’t wait to read its companion, Across a Star Swept Sea.





If you haven’t read Persuasion, I would recommend reading it! I mean, I haven’t and this book REALLY made me want to read it!

Also, totally not YA but Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas is a FANTASTIC romance between two childhood friends who belong to a different class.


Rating Report
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
One StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: 4




Have you read Persuasion by Jane Austen? Do you think I should read it?

Have you read For Darkness Shows the Stars? How do you think it is as a retelling of Persuasion?


About Diana Peterfreund

Diana Peterfreund has been a costume designer, a cover model, and a food critic. Her travels have taken her from the cloud forests of Costa Rica to the underground caverns of New Zealand (and as far as she’s concerned, she’s just getting started). Diana graduated from Yale University in 2001 with dual degrees in Literature and Geology, which her family claimed would only come in handy if she wrote books about rocks. Now, this Florida girl lives with her husband and their puppy in Washington D.C., and writes books that rock.

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4 responses to “For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund | Book Review

  1. Ahhh, wasn’t this book great? It took me a year or so to read it, but I loved it. The companion sequel is even better (more romance, hehehe – but there were other factors that made it even more incredible than book one). This book was so unique – the world-building was incredible! I love Peterfreund’s writing too. I wouldn’t mind seeing another companion novel in this series, but I think that shipped has sailed. D: Ah well! In any case, I’m glad you liked this one, Zeee. I hope you love Across A Star-Swept Sea!

    Wonderful review. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!
    Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!) recently posted…Review: Temporarily Yours by Jen McLaughlinMy Profile

    • I’m still dragging my feet for Across A Star-Swept Sea! I already have a copy so hopefully I will be able to read it! 🙂 AND YES MORE ROMANCE!

      I do agree that Peterfreund’s world building is amazing!

  2. I’ll have to pick up a copy of this as it sounds like a good read and I love the historical parallel to Persuasion. Plus, I agree with you about that cover! 😉 As for Persuasion, I recommend reading it. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan and Persuasion is top 3 or 4 in my book. 🙂