For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Release Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Hardcover
Source: Won – thank you Alessandra @ Out of the Blue!
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

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 PersuasionFor 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.

I've had this book sitting on my shelf for quite a long time– I've always wanted to get to it, because HELLO, gorgeous cover! But I never quite got the time to sit down and read it.  There was always another book that needed to be read, and now with my reading pile having grown in epic proportions, I don't think that I would have ever gotten to read it this year (or even the next year), except one one thing popped up: I got the chance to read an eGalley of the sequel. Of course, this is the perfect motivation to read this book and so I sat down and read it.
Holy Moly. I loved it. I knew it was a retelling of a Jane Austen novel, and even though I haven't actually read Persuasion, it had a distinctive Austen style to it. I felt like this was a dystopian which featured a lot of elements from Austen's time: the way they dressed, the way they talked, the mannerisms, etc. It's just so classically written that it really did feel like a historical novel. Except, you know, the fact that there's a whole lot of technology, and the fact that it's set in a post-apocalyptic setting.

"Hello." His voice was the same. It rang through Elliot's body like a thunderclap announcing a storm.
"Hello," said Elliot, for parroting him was all she could trust herself to say, there in her old, worn clothes, with her braids all mussed; there, in the same room with the same furniture and the same fire and her hand floating in the air between them, curling out into space like a misguided Vine, yearning desperately for him to reach across the distance and touch her again.
Hello, Kai.
–p. 44 (Hardcover copy)

If you know me, you know I LOVE romance. This is why it was super frustrating for me, with the two most stubborn characters ever in a novel where they have so much history and so much left unsaid. 
Elliot (cool name by the way) embodied the typical Austenian heroine. She's headstrong, unlike her sister Tatiana, and goes against her father's rules for the good of the people. I adored her, and despite the book had a third person narrative, it was still quite easy to empathize with her. 
Kai – holy bleeping bleeps of bleeps – was hot. I literally was swooning half the time reading about him. Granted, he was pretty much a meanie for most of the book, but a very, VERY hot meanie. Again, going with the very brooding male lead, but he totally works. Swoon factor? Check. Mysterious demeanour? Check. The story cannot do without him? Check.

I loved the additions of letters in between (most of) the chapters. I liked how it jumped around from 12 years back to 4 years back, and so on. It was great to see the friendship blooming between the two of these characters, and maybe grow into something a little more, and it definitely helped to not only define the character's pasts, but also set the scene for the world.
The one thing that really confused me was the world that the story was set in. I felt that there was a lack of world building which really had me wondering who was what and what on earth these characters were. However, you'll really have to pay attention to the letters, which luckily I did, when reading the book because they really define the roles that the Posts and the Luddites have in this world.

I'm a little sad that the sequel isn't more of Kai and Elliot, but this series has me captivated and I'm sure what is to come is going to be brilliant. For Darkness Shows the Stars was absolutely beautiful, and Peterfreund's writing had me spellbound from start to finish. 

If you like this, try...

  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer Goodreads
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner Goodreads

1 comment:

  1. Great review! We read the free prequel to this and enjoyed it, but haven't gotten around to the book itself for whatever reason (just like you haha). Maybe we'll pick it up soon.


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