For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund {Amanda’s Review}

Posted 19 September, 2012 by Amanda / 35 Comments

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund {Amanda’s Review}For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 407
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted

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 book absolutely blew me away.

My Thoughts on For Darkness Shows the Stars

The blogosphere is responsible for this one. I think it was probably Jenny’s (of the Supernatural Shark fame) review that tipped the scales in favor of this book (as her reviews so often do for me). I received it from Rain Maiden Jen as a July RAK. And then I devoured it and lurved it. I figured I would like it, but this book really far surpassed any expectations that I had.

Oooooh. This BOOK! For the record, I have not read Persuasion by Jane Austen, which–if I’m correct, and say so if I’m not–this book is a retelling of. I think that is important to note, because I suspect that my views may have been different if I had read it first. I don’t know how they would have been different–better or worse–but different, nonetheless. Anyway. I. LOVED. This. Book.

For Darkness Shows the Stars was one that instantly grabbed me, even though I had intended to read a different book that day–once I started, I couldn’t stop. When I went to bed before finishing it, I rolled around in bed, wondering what would happen. When I woke up in the morning, I was half-afraid to start again, because that’s how much this book pulled at my emotions (in a good way). This book just burrowed its way into my heart, and it was difficult to get it it out. If I had wanted to get it out, I mean. For the record, I didn’t.

Told from Elliot’s perspective and interspersed with letters between Elliot and Kai as children, we come to realize the sacrifices that Elliot has been forced to make in the past four years. And I just flat out adored Elliot. She’s the star (heh) of this book, and she is strong, capable, and caring, which is exactly what I love in a female heroine. And Kai broke my heart. But I get why they had to make the choices they did, and my heart ached for both of them. And that, my friends, is the sign of a good book. I was so wrapped up in their world and struggle that I didn’t want to go anywhere else.

On the world, briefly: I was fascinated by the Luddite/Post/Reduced relationships, and though there is a tiny part of me that would have wanted more explanation, the world was only important in how it acted upon Elliot and Kai. It was, in some ways, just another character in the book. I also appreciate how, though there are religious undertones, there isn’t any preaching–it’s all done for the effect of Elliot and Kai’s relationship. The world in which Elliot and Kai grew up doesn’t want to allow their relationship, and it is clear that its very nature attempts to keep the two apart. But when I finished, I had two simultaneous thoughts. One, I wanted MOAR. And the other I will not share lest it be spoiler-ish. It’s not, really. And it’s kinda related to the first bit. But whatever.


Filed under: ESR: 10, Post-Apocalyptic, Review: Amanda, YA,


35 Responses to “For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund {Amanda’s Review}”

  1. A TEN!?!?! AWESOME! I don’t know what it was about this book–it was so incredibly magical that, like you, I got so wrapped up in the world and didn’t want it to end (that’s not to say that I want a sequel. That might ruin the magic of this book…). NICE!

  2. Wow, a 10?! I already had this book on my tbr pile after reading Jenny’s review, but now I’m going to bump it up higher. I can’t remember if I read Persuasion, but I think I know the gist of the plot. Can’t wait to get to this one!

  3. Supernatural Shark. Hahahahaha:) I love that that’s how I’m going to be known from now on.

    I’m SO glad you loved this book Amanda! I honestly did not expect to love it as much as I did, but like you, my heart just ached for Elliot and Kai! Every interaction between them had me gripping the pages with white knuckles because there was just so much pain and hurt flowing between them. Just talking about it and reading your review makes me want to reread:) SO GOOD!

    • Heh. I must have written this review right around the time the Supernatural Shark thing was happening. But I like it. After your answer about your movie, though, it might have to change to “Supernatural Shobster.”

      Yes! This book was addicting.

  4. I really want to read this book. It seems so unique and that cover is gorgeous. :D I will definitely see about reading Persuasion first, though.

    Great review.

  5. Jenny’s reviews often tip the scales for me too. I have read Persuasion but I really don’t remember it well. I wonder if it would be fun to reread Persuasion and then immediately read Peterfreund’s book.

    • Jenny’s reviews wreak havoc on my wishlist (all I can say is that thank goodness I’m cheap, otherwise it’d be my pocketbook rather than just my wishlist). I would guess that reading Persuasion and then this would definitely be an interesting experiment. :)

  6. WOW a 10? I can’t remember the last time you gave an outright 10!

    Both you and Jenny loved it—it is moving into my might try list :)

  7. Great review, Amanda!! And a Ten? That’s top marks. :)

    I have this on my shelf and it’s soo beautiful! I need to read it soon! I’m like you — the blogosphere is COMPLETELY responsible for me wanting this book. I don’t think I should put it off much longer.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh, wow. I don’t know if it was because I’ve read Persuasion or simply just a difference of opinion, but For Darkness Shows the Stars was a disappointment for me. A lot of this had to do with the comparison between the characters in FDStS and their original counterparts–Peterfreund’s just didn’t stack up. Especially Wentworth/Wentforth.

    Oh, also: AMazing AManda. It’s like… illiteration, but double :P

    I’d actually seen a few lukewarms ones about this and was totally like mmmmm.. I dunno…

    But… oh, you’ve SO sold me. I’ve never read Persuasion, either (I’ve only read P&P and Lady Susan–because it’s WAY short–and half of Sense & Sensibility), so I’m not fussed. A good story is a good story, you know?

    Also: there seems to be surprisingly little peen in this book and your review. Did it effect your enjoyment and reading experience?
    *studious expression*

  10. I always see this at my library and I keep passing it up for whatever reason. I guess I’m going to have to change my mind because you hardly ever give out a score of 10 for a book! It sounds like this book was emotional as all could be and I love when books can suck you in and you feel the sam emotions as the characters do. That is the sign of an amazing book, when you are so wrapped up you have to stay up to the early hours of the morning reading.

    Thanks for the amazing review, without your review I probably would have passed this one up.