Author: Diana Peterfreund
Release Date: June 12, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 5 Stars
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.
For Darkness Shows the Stars is a post-apocalyptic retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion I won't soon forget! Diana Peterfreund's prose is absolutely gorgeous, and the words seemed to flow effortlessly off the page. I loved everything about this novel– if you still haven't read it yet, then you're truly missing out!
Elliot North is the kind of heroine you don't come across very often. Four years ago, she gave up her chance for love in favour of duty to her family and protecting the workers on the North estate. While Elliot has struggled to keep their floundering estate afloat, Kai has explored the world with the Cloud Fleet and returns as the renowned Captain Malakai Wentforth. He reenters Elliot's life as an almost unrecognizable person: distant, cold and determined to forget just how close they used to be in the past.
Even without the interspersed exchange of Elliot and Kai's childhood letters scattered throughout the narrative, you can immediately tell they have history. Every glance, remark, and touch carries a certain significance whenever they're together. Elliot has never gotten over her feelings for Kai, but even though her heart still yearns to be with him, she can't just shirk her responsibilities. They used to be best friends, but even though Kai is back for now, he has never seemed so far away from her reach.
I would be undermining the amazingness of For Darkness Shows the Stars if I only described it as romantic because the novel is so much more that. It's also a beautiful coming-of-age tale and the study of a society's evolving way of life. Despite her efforts, Elliot's father is strict and and set in his elitist ways, trying to live a lifestyle he can no longer afford with no concept of hard work. Elliot is torn between clinging to old Luddite traditions and the emerging modernist society made up of progressive Post-Reductionists.
Even in the pitch dark of night, the shining stars in the sky will always lead you home... Diana Peterfreund's For Darkness Shows the Stars is one of those hidden gems you stumble across and treasure once you're finished reading. I'm also so excited to read Diana Peterfreund's Across a Star-Swept Sea later this year, which is centered on new characters, but set within the same world as For Darkness Shows the Stars.
Thanks so much to HarperCollins Canada for providing this review copy! You can also learn more about the book on HCC's website, and don't forget to "like" their Facebook page and follow HCC Frenzy on Twitter!