Wednesday, 1 August 2012

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I'm writing this review today in honor of the kick off for Austen in August, hosted by Misty at The Book Rat. Not only is Misty an awesome person, but The Book Rat is one of my favorite blogs. Plus, hello?!? Two months of the year dedicated to all things Austen? Yes please! So, I'll be trying to participate as much as I can this month.

For Darkness Shows the Stars
Diana Peterfreund
Balzer and 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.
At first, I wasn't really satisfied with this book. But upon further sitting, I might've loved this book.

So, I'm familiar with almost all of Jane Austen's work. I remember the basic storyline of Persuasion, so I knew what to expect romance-wise from For Darkness Shows the Stars. With such a different world, a different setting, that was what I wanted explored. I wanted to know all about this new world and the slang and how things worked. But I felt like Diana didn't really go into that, which was pretty disappointing. Thinking about it now, I think the world was well built, there was quite a bit of detail. I just wanted more because the world was fascinating and totally new where the romance was not.

The romance was really incredible, though. I hadn't realized how attached I was while reading, but then I'd put the book down and my heart would be sad. I just wanted Elliot and Kai to be happy and it wasn't happening. Then the book ended and all I wanted was more. I wanted to know what happens for them next. They just had this really incredible chemistry that I adored.

For Darkness Shows the Stars also has this very different layout. It's told in the present day as well as by letters from the past between Kai and Elliot. It kind of annoyed me first because I just wanted to know what happened next, but I think the break-up was really good for the story over all. It gave you more layers and more context about what happened between them in the past instead of just telling you.

Elliot was a very admirable character. She really had her servants' best interests in mind. She was strong and determined and I loved watching her grow stronger and more confident and defiant. She was truly incredible, even if I hated her name (I got the reference, but Elliot is a guy's name to me and of the two Elliot's I know, one is my brother and the other's...not a good guy.) 

My one complaint that I still have is actually about Kai. I know he's angry and bitter and probably is convinced that Elliot doesn't care about him, but he seemed almost too stand-offish and angry. He had his moments, but for the most part, besides the letters, I had a hard time buying he ever loved her.

Honestly, For Darkness Shows the Stars is pretty freaking incredible. Diana Peterfreund is an excellent writer who really knew what she was doing when she decided to do a retelling of an Austen novel. I highly recommend this one, even if you don't like Austen's work. Anyone who likes romance, awesome world building, steampunk/historical fiction/sci-fi, or a wonderful main character can definitely appreciate this book.

--Julie

2 comments:

  1. YES YES!

    Ugh, I am so in love with this book, I can't even begin to type. I liked that Kai was so standoffish and stubborn and that the love wasn't easy or an automatic fall into his arms sort of thing.

    Just lots of sighs all over the place.

    I am glad you liked For Darkness :-)

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