Book Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars

Book Review: For Darkness Shows the StarsFor Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on June 12th 2012
Pages: 402
Buy on Amazon

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.

Heartbreakingly beautiful… unforgettable love story… this is what came to mind as I finished the last pages of one of the most stand out books for 2012.

For Darkness Shows the Stars tells the story of Elliot and her childhood friend, Kai. They live in a changed world. A world that is paying the price for past generations who believed in the advancing of science. For Darkness Shows the Stars is loosely based on Jane Austen's Persuasion. Unlike previous remakes, I have nothing to base For Darkness Shows the Stars on. I have never read, nor was I that familiar with Persuasion prior to starting For Darkness Shows the Stars.

As much I as loved For Darkness Shows the Stars, there is a part of me that felt that this read was not all that it could have been.

Let's start with the not so good first. For a dystopian to be successful, I have to have the world's back story. I have to believe in it, understand it… you get the point. In For Darkness Shows the Stars, it took me much, much longer than I had hoped to get a handle on this world. And if I am being honest, there is still a part of me that believes that I still do not fully understand this world. Sure, I get the basic points, but I did not love this world the way I wanted to.

In contrast, the characters and the love story was mind-blowing. For Darkness Shows the Stars begins with a series of letters between Elliot and Kai. These letters quickly endeared me to these characters. I fell in love with each of them for difference reasons almost immediately. As the story shifts to the present, and Kai reappears in Elliot's life, the story takes a dramatic shift. This is where things started to get really interesting.

Final Verdict:

It has been quite a while since I was left so emotionally drained after a read. Elliot's emotions bleed out from the page in such an elegant way that you cannot help but root for her. You want her to succeed. You want Kai to be this character that you have built up in your mind for Elliot. I am completely blown away by everything that For Darkness Shows the Stars made me feel.

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4 responses to “Book Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars

  1. I had some trouble with the world-building as well as with Kai’s character for over half the book but the hardest thing for me was drawing comparisons to Persuasion, which is better hands-down. You should check it out (it’s pretty short 🙂

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