For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Title:For Darkness Shows the Stars
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date:June 12th 2012
Pages: Hardcover, 407 pages
Source: Library
Summary from Goodreads:
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.


While I do know the summary of Persuasion, I have never actually read it. I had a rough idea of what I thought I was getting into but For Darkness Shows the Stars was so much more that I expected!  It blended an epic love story with science fiction in a different world.  I really enjoyed how Peterfreund handled the flashbacks; the reader is able to get a sense of history and see how Elliot and Kai's relationship was in the past.  The reader gets to read the letters exchanged between the two throughout their youth.

The characters' past help develop the characters and really force the reader to feel the tension between Malakai and Elliot in the present.  The tension is almost too hard to handle, it was difficult to feel the hurt and sadness that Elliot was facing. The love story between Malakai and Elliot was full of stubborn actions, hurt feelings, and rough tension yet it was beautiful, powerful, and ultimately heart warming.

The strong and well developed characters made it science fiction easier to handle.  At first I felt like I had to pay great attention to detail to make sure I was understanding the society and world the characters lived in.  After I had a handle on the overall science fiction concepts introduced, I was able to appreciate the uniqueness of the re-telling.  My only other reservation was the ending, I felt like the last chapters were a bit rushed; I had to deal with the tension between the characters for so long that I wanted more from them at the end.

Overall, I highly recommend For Darkness Shows the Stars, it was a beautiful retelling full of love and strong characters!  The science fiction took me a bit of time to wrap my head around but in the end it really did enrich the story.   I may even pick up Persuasion after this to see all the parallels.

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