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Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Expected Publication Date: June 12th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 398 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Goodreads
* I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own * 
Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, 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've always been a fan of Jane Austen's novels; her writing style is just impeccable and she can make a woman weak in the knees with her romantic yet prideful men (and women.) Diana Peterfreund does not disappoint when it comes to this gorgeous novel based off of Austen's Persuasion. I have to admit, I haven't read Persuasion yet, but it is on my book bucket list. That being said, I don't think you need to have an appreciation for Jane Austen, or have read Persuasion, in order to adore For Darkness Shows the Stars. This novel blew me away with how amazingly written and heart-wrenching it truly is. Peterfreund drew me in with her elegant writing style and hooked me with star-crossed lovers; not to mention that gorgeous cover!

Elliot is such an admirable protagonist, always putting the good of the people before her own happiness. She's truly reminiscent of a Jane Austen heroine; she's loyal to her family, devoted to her work, and willing to put all others before herself. I loved how compassionate Elliot was when it came to the people who work for her. They may have been her servants, or "posts," but she did not put them beneath her and her deepest friendships developed with these people who are not in her caste. I loved her relationship with Kai, because it's developed throughout their childhood, but the novel starts off four years after Kai has left Elliot's farm. We learn about Kai and Elliot's childhood relationship through old letters at the same time we learn about who Kai and Elliot are now. Although sometimes I really wanted to hate Kai, in the end he always had my heart.

Peterfreund's writing style is absolutely magnificent. With For Darkness Shows the Stars she takes me back to reading Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, but with a modern twist. The story starts slowly, building on relationships and developing characters, but it was never so slow that I lost interest. In all honesty, I blew through this book, attempting to devour it at record speeds. It became increasingly harder and harder for me to even put it down for short periods of time. I loved the progression of the plot and the incorporation of letters which slowly reveal back stories and plot twists, adding more and more depth to the overall storyline.

I'm still reeling from the emotional turmoil that For Darkness Shows the Stars put me through. Peterfreund had me laughing, crying, and screaming over the course of 400 pages. Despite my lack of familiarity with Persuasion, I don't think that having read it would have influenced me to enjoy it more, I just would have been able to make the connections between both books. Even if you have never picked up a Jane Austen novel, you don't need to in order to fall in love with the story that Peterfreund creates. For Darkness Shows the Stars broke my heart and put it back together repeatedly, only revealing Kai and Elliot's destiny at the very last moment. Fans of romance, minor sci fi as well as dystopian elements, and Jane Austen will devour this one!


  1. I love that you were put through so many emotions during this book, I haven't heard much about it up until now, in fact I think this might be the first review I've read of it and you've definitely made me want to check it out!

    1. I'm so glad!! It's definitely an emotional roller coaster and I highly recommend reading it!! It's a pretty quick read, mainly because you can't put it down!

  2. I've been dying to read this! Great review :) I'm super excited the author will be at BEA signing this!

    1. I am so jealous!!! I would love to meet her, I loved this story so much!!!

  3. I'm a big fan of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, so I'm definitely going to read this book. Sounds amazing! Great review!

    1. I think it would give you a great appreciation for the inspiration of this novel, having read Persuasion. I hope it doesn't disappoint you!!

  4. I love Jane Austen's stories and how well she can capture romance. If this book is based off of her work then I'm sold. I'm always up for some romance =)

    Kristan @ Lost Amongst the Shelves

    1. I think Peterfreund really captured the essence of Jane Austen's writing style with this book, it's done so well!!

  5. Awesome review! I've been wanting to read this book since last year! I think I even pre-ordered it! I've also heard that her Killer Unicorns series is really good! This is definitely a must read for me this summer :)

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

    1. YOU WILL LOVE IT!!! I really want to pick up her unicorn series now!!! It's going to be amazing (I hope :D)

  6. Oh my gosh, Anna! I keep hearing the same thing about this book and it's making me SO much more anxious to read this than I ever was before! I've heard that DP had beautiful writing in Rampant so I'm really happy that she carries that to this book too -- I can already tell that this is going to be one of those rip-my-heart-out-and-hold-it-on-a-silver-platter kind of books! :') The romance sounds dreamily heart-wrenching!

    Amazing review, Anna-banana! <3

  7. I haven't read a Jane Austen book yet [*hides face*] so I'm glad to hear that you don't have to have read Persuasion in order to enjoy this book. Both the synopsis and cover for this book are so promising, and I'm really glad to hear that you really enjoyed this book! I'm so excited to get my hands on this book. =) Fabulous review!

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  8. I personally have not read any Jane Austen books YET, but I have read a few modern retellings. I was honestly SUPER excited about this book, but then I started to see really mixed reviews. Now, though, I think I REALLY want to read this book now! I have a feeling that this book will frustrate me and make me want to slap somebody (do you ever feel like that when reading a book? Especially one with a frustrating character?), but it looks like the kind of book that will be so worth it in the end.

    Thanks for the review, Anna! My interest in this book has definitely been renewed.

    Have a great day, with you read-a-thon and all. Sometime this summer I'll participate in one, too! (After this week ends I'll have all the time in the world, thank goodness.)

  9. Great review! You have just made me even more excited to read this book! I love stories that break my heart then put it back together. I'm not a huge Jane Austen fan but I have read and enjoyed a lot of her books, including most recently Persuasion. I spent 2 weeks of one of my english classes dedicated to that book last semester so I'm really looking forward to reading this book now and making some connections. It's good to know though that you don't need to be familiar with the stories or Jane Austen to still enjoy this book.

    Traci @ The Reading Geek

  10. I just bought an ebook of this from Amazon. Now I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the awesome review. "Peterfreund had me laughing, crying, and screaming over the course of 400 pages" ---- I love stories that can make me cry.



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