Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 5 glass slippers
Summary (from BN.com)
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 floundering, 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 changer 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.
Whoo that was a mouth-full! But as you can see, it is one gobsmacking, astounding, close-your-mouth heck of a book. The cover- flat out gorgeous. The idea- simply wonderful. The truth?- it was the loveliest book I have ever read.
I think I'm going to go rogue here and just tell you: this book is amazing. It's deep, it's thought-provoking, an emotional hurricane, and full of a bittersweet love. When I first picked it up, the most I was hoping for was a 3.5. I thought, well, at best it's a boring dystopian; at worst it's a horribly written historical fiction piece. Now I can honestly tell you I could not put it down, and even when I had to it was on my mind until I went to sleep. Mind you, I couldn't even go to sleep until a good half hour had passed because I was up thinking about the story.
The concept is written flawlessly- there was an apocalypse-like 'phenomena' in which humankind was basically wiped out because of its desire to be God. The survivors of the horrible war/epidemic came to be Reductions- humans who had backtracked mentally and had very little brain capacity. However, there was a second race, the Luddites, who shunned man's ways of trying to be God, and holed themselves underground. They emerged (after a sign from God) to be God's hand in guiding and leading the human race. They set strict rules for themselves so the epidemic never happened again. Yet sometimes the temptation is too good...
The plot (which I'm sure we have Jane Austen to thank for the main gist of it) is beautiful. And I mean no joke exquisite. We learn what happened to Elliot that put her into this position. It's heartbreaking and at the high points I seriously wanted to cry. That never happens to me. Strategically placed within the book are letters (in no particular order) that were traded between Kai and Elliot as children. We learn how they were best friends as small kids, which soon turned to love at age fourteen. These are extremely "aww!!!!" worthy and made my heart squeeze. The story is simply jaw-dropping : tears, morals, (seriously true) love, heartbreak, envy, hope, and so many different emotions. The emotions are weaved in perfectly and beautifully.
The characters are very, very good. They all have a history that you dive into (deeply or not) and you learn to feel empathy towards almost all of them. We get very well acquainted with Elliot's past and her mistakes/decisions. We learn somewhat of what is going on with the Cloud Fleet (and Kai). We find out what's happening on the North estate. At some points you may want to drop kick Kai or slap Andromeda, but in the end the reader learns to understand what makes these characters what they are.
What really made me like this book is the love. Elliot regrets her decision every day to not go with Kai. When Kai shows up, she's shocked. Immediately, however, Kai shows her he couldn't care less about her. Somehow, Elliot can't stop loving him though. Even when he's with a new girl and horribly insults her in public, her heart still yearns for her 14-year-old Kai from four years ago. This itself made me love the book, but also the author's ability to make the reader truly feel Elliot's feelings towards Kai. When her feelings change, the reader adopts this new aspect of Kai wholeheartedly. Next, I found it amazing that Diana Peterfreund persuaded me as a reader to enjoy Kai as a romantic interest. The reading lacked physical descriptions and especially any touching, but somehow my heart strings were pulled and I couldn't help immersing myself in this love. IT BLEW MY MIND. I just couldn't handle all the raw emotions. The last page is what really got me; I was just like...
This is an engrossing, entrancing, and unforgettable read. Agh! Diana Peterfreund- please do a retelling of Pride and Prejudice now!! Your world is magnificent!
I highly recommend, and there also is a prequel of Kai's POV called Among the Nameless Stars AND I MUST READ IT!!!
Go read them both!!!