Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Release Date ~ June 12, 2012
Balzer + Brazy ~ HarperCollins
ISBN13: 9780062006141
ARC received from HarperCollins Canada

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

This is one book that definitely hasn't received nearly enough attention for how amazing it is- seriously underhyped! It's a fantastic retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion (which I actually have yet to read- but I know I will after loving this one so much) set in the future with a definite science fiction feel to it.
A story just bursting with creativity and a truly epic romance, this is one book that will definitely have widespread appeal and is a must read for 2012.
P.S. If you're interested, you can read the FREE prequel right here - Among the Nameless Stars!

  1. Gorgeous writing:

    I haven't read any of Diana Peterfreund other books, but I have to say that I feel like she was the ideal author to pen this particular book. The style of writing is perfectly suited to the story- it stands on its own, but is still reminiscent of classical stories but with its own futuristic slang subtley woven in.
  2. Fantastic blend of diverse genres:

    It's hard enough to write a new story inspired by a famous, classical one and somehow retain that same feel of the story while placing it in a new setting with new characters and somehow making it your own. Diana proves that Persuasion is a timeless tale, one that we can still identify with in our own ways, even if the world she imagines is vastly different from our own in many ways. Yet she instills her own thoughts and questions to it, to make the story even more applicable to contemporary times (and questions which will still be around for a while, because of the relevance of technology). I've only seen a handful of authors do this well, but For Darkness Shows the Stars proves that books including historical, "classic" themes along with science fiction actually can be combined and work WELL together.
  3. Truly epic romance:

    I hesitate to call this an epic romance, but it's the romantic plot that stays closest to the idea of Persuasion. Childhood best friends who've grown apart because of their class differences within society - not quite by choice, yet not entirely starcrossed either. You have to keep in mind that the plot really does centre around the romance a fair amount. And I loved that this one was different - no love at first sight here! It's a gradual build up of trust and friendship all over again for Kai and Elliot.
That being said, I still felt like the romance could have been set up a bit better- there was so much angst there (understandable) but it felt like it switched over too quickly so it felt a tad jarring. I think it really could have been milked for all its worth to make it far more effective- something that I find Jane Austen to be excellent at doing! And considering that the plot was very driven by the romance, I was expecting a bit more power from it at the end.

I also wasn't particularly pleased with some of the secondary characters, like Elliot's father and sister who felt far too flat for me. A little too simple, and not enough depth for my liking personally.

But other than those two small areas, this book is completely brilliant. It's tragic and moving and emotional, and completely nostalgic of some old favourites. But still shiny and new!

Purchase Links
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April (BooksandWine) said...

I agree that For Darkness Shows The Stars is underhyped. It's such a great book, and definitely one of my favorites this year. I hope more bloggers will carry the banner for it and show their love.

Also? I love your reasons to read it!

Cecelia said...

May I echo everything April said? Because that's really what I was going to say. Okay? Okay. *grin*

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I have been wanting to read this for awhile now. I love anything by Jane Austen and the fact that the author does a great job retelling it but adding in her own style is amazing. Love your reasons to read, and I will definitely be picking this one up!

elena said...

Yes exactly!! I agree with this review completely, right down to the secondary characters bit. It's a beautiful book and I hope more people read it. :)

sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books said...

Definitely one of my favorite 2012 reads! I am trying to get all my friends to read it and so far have been successful! :D Great review!

Kat C said...

I'm reading this and plan to review it so, I couldn't read too much of your review, but this book is very unique. I had no idea it was a re-telling.

Anna @ Literary Exploration said...

I totally agree, this book is WAY underhyped!!!! I loved it SO MUCH!!! I think Peterfreund really captured the essence of Jane Austen that made the story so perfectly blended with the original. I can't sing enough praise for this one :) Great review!!

Anna @ Literary Exploration

roro said...

hoping to read it / love the cover

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