Goodreads Book Description: 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.
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
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.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
My Review: This book has received some rave reviews so I've had it on my TBR list
for quite some time. It's not a perfect book, but this was one of those
rare books that even with its flaws, I LOVED. So I'm giving it 4.5
For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund is
marketed as a retelling of Jane Austen's famous Persuasion (and quotes
are interspersed within section headings of the book) in a dystopian YA
world. I admit I haven't read Persuasion, but I really enjoyed this
book. We are introduced to Elliot, who has been named for her
grandfather, and at a young age has had to take over a large load of
responsibilities at her farm. She loves her grandfather but he has been
continually becoming more senile, and she fights against her father who
is rigid and many times cruel to the Reduced (mentally disabled group of
people who "played with genetic fire" and now have become a slave
population) who work on their farm. There is another group emerging
called the Posts, children of the Reduced who have regained intelligence
but because of their birthright still remain slaves. Kai is one of
them, Elliot's childhood sweetheart, who has dodged all odds, escaped
the farm, and made a name for himself. After four years, he's suddenly
back in her life, and now Elliot wages an internal war between
responsibility to those she loves and freedom to be with the man she
It's all more complicated than that of course, but there
are some really amazing twists that the reader must discover for himself
or herself. I admit it. I loved this book. It's rare for me to clutch a
book and be so moved that I linger on every page and can't let go. Most
of that is because of Peterfreund's lyrical prose and also Elliot
herself. She is an amazing character-- she knows what is right and that
guides her to stand up for people she loves. She is what makes the book
sing. I was almost in tears when she was abused on so many levels but
still managed to stay on top.
Like I said before, this isn't a
perfect book. The letters from younger Kai and Elliot are more
distracting than anything else, but there's a reason that I decided I'm
okay with this decision, and that is because of what Peterfreund does at
the end of the book. Also, Kai is kind of a douche bag, and Elliot is
so amazing that I don't think he is anywhere good enough for her.
There's a reason he's angry, and it doesn't seem a good enough reason to
be so cruel at times. Lastly, I felt like there were some ethical
issues that were just really open ended, and I am not sure how they
could be reconciled, but I would have liked more discussion between
Elliot and Felicia (who knows a lot) to help clarify things at least.
even with these issues, the gorgeous prose and the terrific protagonist
swept me away. You should take a look at this book.
What did you think of this book?