Sunday, June 24, 2012

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Release Date: June 12th, 2012
Number of Pages: 398
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Source: BEA
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. 
I had first tried to read For Darkness Shows the Stars when I first came back from BEA, and I had trouble getting into the story. I was a little confused with the letters that open the novel. It made me slightly uncertain about where the story was going, so I decided to put it down and come back to it later. After hearing everyone saying that once you got past the first few chapters this book is simply amazing, I had to pick it up again. And that was probably one of the best idea I had in a while.

When people tell you to keep reading even if you don’t get in this book at first, do it. I’m so happy to have kept reading the second time, because it didn’t take long until I was caught in the story. For Darkness Shows the Stars is inspired by Persuasion by Jane Austen, but if you haven’t read it, it won’t affect your appreciation of this novel. IT may though make you read Persuasion after! 

I really enjoy discovering the world Diana Peterfreund created. One of the main reasons why I was so intrigued captivated by the world is that we get to learn what they were told happen, how the world is. We don’t simply have to guess, because it is nicely presented in the novel, without feeling like it was forced. It always was nicely added to the conversation, or the letters.

One more thing I really like was the main character. Elliot North was such an interesting character to follow, simply because she was strong, and she spend most of the book trying to do what she thinks is right, even if it may go against what she was taught to believe. I liked how caring she was for those around her, even if they were thought to be below her. They were her people, and because of that, she wanted to help them as much as she could. That made me really like her, because it really showed us how good of a person she is, and how strong she was. Then, of course, I can’t forget Kai. I thought there were a real balance between those two, even if things can be so complicated on both side of this friendship. And I have to say the fact that the whole thing between those two started as a friendship when they were young was also a bonus.

One thing is certain, Diana Peterfreund did something not many authors could have done that beautifully. Using a well-known and really appreciated classic, as inspiration can be sometimes tricky, but she able to do it brilliantly. Even more amazing, she was able to incorporate a distopian setting AND some kind of Sci-Fi elements. I have to say, I’m utterly impressed by this novel, and I can only tell you to give it a shot, because I was far from disappointed.


  1. Glad to read such a beautiful review of it! I received it recently and I am really looking forward to discovering it. I'm very curious to see how her inspiration from Persuasion will play in the novel!

  2. I'll definitely give it a shot. I haven't read Persuasion but I still think I'll like For Darkness Shows the Stars. Great review!