For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1
Published by Balzer + Bray
Published on: June 12 2012
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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.
I don’t care how cliché it is, I love Jane Austen.
I’ve read Pride and Prejudice half a dozen times. I’ve read Emma at least twice that, and I’ve read Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park a time or two as well. We won’t even get into how many times I’ve watched their movie counterparts, b/c that could be embarrassing.
Know what I haven’t read and/or watched numerous times?
YES, I admit it. The first time I read this book, I had never read Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I’m pretty sure I’d seen the BBC miniseries or movie version, but it had been looooooong ago, and who cares, anyway?–Having seen the movie (perhaps) at some point in the indefinite past doesn’t make me any less of a fraud.
*hangs head in shame*
There’s good news though. Chances are you haven’t read Persuasion either. In fact, a lot of you are probably wondering why I’m blathering on about Jane Austen to begin with . . .
YEP. Thought so.
But there is a reason (there is always a reason), and that reason is Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars is a sci-fi/post apocalypse/dystopian retelling of . . . wait for it . . . Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
And it is FANTASTIC.
Elliot North lives in a world devastated by genetic modification. A Luddite, she is a member of the lone surviving intelligent people group of the wars that followed the general population’s discovery that their genetic tampering had doomed their offspring to existing in a diminished capacity.
Having shunned the treatment, the Luddites and their own offspring were unaffected, and when the dust settled, pious souls that they were, they took it as their sacred duty to shelter and protect the Reduced.
That the Reduced provided free labor on plantation-like properties . . . well, that was just a byproduct of the whole nasty situation.
BUT several generations later, the Reduced began to infrequently give birth to non-Reduced children. A few generations after that, and while still a rare occurrence, the number of non-Reduced children was steadily increasing.
Kai is one such child, and Elliot’s best and only childhood friend, but he left the North estate four years ago to try and build a better life for himself.
There are Post-Reduction settlements, you see, where non-Reduced people live free of Luddite interference/persecution/enslavement.
Elliot was meant to go with him, but she was all that stood between her dangerously idiotic father and the people, both Reduced and Post Reduction, who depended on her family’s estate for their survival.
So she did not go.
But he has never left her thoughts.
For Darkness Shows the Stars is a deliciously painful story of love and loss, of misunderstanding, of evil in the world and triumph over that evil. It’s a story of hope and adventure. And it’s also a cautionary tale that details the dangers of two very different extremes.
This is the third time I’ve read this book, and I’ve loved it a little more each time. For Darkness Shows the Stars is one of those rare books that I unreservedly recommend to EVERYONE.