Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: June 12, 2012
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

Not only does "For Darkness Shows the Stars" have an absolutely gorgeous cover, it's also based on Jane Austen's Persuasion. I love retellings and this book was definitely one that was well done. Set in the future when some people have tried to mess around too much with science and went against nature, society is divided. There are now three groups of people. There are the Luddites, those who have shunned technology. There are the Reductionists, those that have been reduced to almost shells of themselves by the use and abuse of genetic experiences. Then there are the Post-Reductionists, those that were descended from Reductionists.

Dystopian is definitely a trend that has been done a lot recently in YA fiction. It seems like everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. Some of it is done very well, some is done not so well. In this case, this book was done really well. The world building was great. I could picture the island that Elliot and Kai live on. I could picture Elliot's farm. I also thought that the back story was interesting and well-detailed. I was intrigued by the idea of so many people using and abusing science to make things better. While I'm not sure Elliot's world is in the cards but you can see now what a big part of life technology that make our lives better is. Elliot's world is extreme but really, really interesting to ponder.

The book was well written. I really liked the letters between Elliot and Kai. While it was sometimes confusing for the narrative to go back and forth in time, I thought that it was really cool to see the back story of how Elliot and Kai's lives got to be how they are in the present day of the book.

Overall, I thought this was a very interesting retelling. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the sequel.



  1. I didn't know this was inspired by Persuasion!! I neeeeed!

  2. I had no idea this was a retelling, and I love to hear that the world-building was well done. It sounds like this is romance heavy but with some depth. Adding to my list Meg and yes the cover is lovely

  3. Yes, I loved this book! Unique retellings are my favorite and this one was outstanding.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  4. I totally agree with your review! This book was a great retelling and the tired dystopian genre was still fresh :)

  5. I've been wanting to read this one simply because I couldn't imaging a JA retelling that's dystopian. Glad to see it's well done!


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