For Darkness Shows the Stars written by Diana Peterfreund
Publisher Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: June 12th 2012
Genres: Classic Retelling, Dystopian, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1
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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.
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.
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.
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?