Rating: 3 out of 5
Title: For Darkness Shows The Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (June 12, 2012)
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.
why i started reading this book and initial impressions
Elliot North raced across the pasture, leaving a scar of green in the silver, dew-encrusted grass.
For Darkness Shows The Stars is a Jane Austen Persuasian re-telling. Which possibly was not good for me as I have never read any Jane Austen books*gasp* I know but it's true. So I wonder if maybe I missed some references that would be obvious to a Jane Austen fan (other then the direct quotes at the start of the chapters)? I never felt though that was a hindrance.
I have never read a Jane Austen re-telling so did not know what to expect. If I hadn't been told I wouldn't have known it was based on Persuasion. I did a brief wikipedia search (which we all know is the most reliable source for research. Someone even did a whole book whose based on research from there. No I am not kidding ask Truth, Beauty and Books she reviewed said book. Opps sorry that was way off topic there), and at a glance I can see the similarities (the heroine is Anne Elliot for instance, with a vain father and older sister, there is a navy involved too and a lost love).
I did enjoyed the story. It was a little slow for me to start with, as the reader get's lumped with a lot of information to start with. Also the letters at the start of each chapter were not in chronological order and didn't seem to highlight or give insight into anything going on in that chapter. But eventually it built up some momentum. It was a light and quick read as I was able to knock it over in twenty four hours.
What I didn't like was the character Kai. He annoyed me. But to be fair I don't really go in for the male lead who treats the female lead as rubbish and still have her fall at his feet. Elliot does have a little back bone though and isn't quite that bad (as in "oh he insulted me *swoon*), even remarking at one stage she was an idiot to have waited/loved him so long for him to treat her like dirt. She also isn't like other female leads I have read of late in Dystopian novels, she (unlike the others) has not just blindly accepted the life and society she has been born into. I found Elliot to be quite a strong character actually.
There is a prequel called Among the Nameless Stars (link takes you to the PDF ebook) by Diana Peterfreund which tells the story of Kai after he left. I haven't read it yet and it is free to download. But Irishyz from A Ticket To Anywhere has and said while you don't have to read it first it does help the reader understand Kai better.
Something about this book didn't click with me. I didn't want to sit there till all hours reading. I could put it down, walk away, and do something for a few hours before I ambled back and read some more.
I did like the world the author has created and that she tied in a bit of interesting history. There is a pretty ridgid class system in place in this world and the ruling class are Luddites who hate technology and hate genetic manipulation. Actual Laddites existed in England during the 1800's and specifically when the Industrial Revolution happened. Which was a nice touch.
On a superficial note I rather like the cover and like the meaning behind it. I wont give it away but the stars have an interesting meaning in the book.
My final thoughts are; I think if you are an (a) Jane Austen fan (b) a fan of Dystopian Romance (is that even a genre? I am sure it probably is, if not I just made it up) then this book is probably right up your ally.
Would I recommend this to any one else?
Even though this is a fairly negative post I must point out this is not really my thing and despite that I liked it enough to say I really would recomemend it to others.
Extras - Other Reviews
A Ticket To Anywhere - 5 out of 5 stars
It's All About Books - 5 out of 5