Review 21. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
June 12th 2012
407 pages

"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 dystopian retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, one of my favourite classic novels. With an alluring cover, it follows the story of Elliot North, a Luddite, and Kai, a Post-Reduced, in a post-apocalyptic world.

Characters: I saw Anne i
n Elliot. Her big and caring heart, her strength in a quiet way, her broken heart by Captain Wentworth. I admired her courage for staying behind, taking care of the Reduced on her estate instead of running away with Kai, the boy she loved. I enjoyed how much she grew through the story - she learned how to stand up to everyone who bullied her. However, at the end, I think Elliot acted out of character, but I can forgive her because I'm a huge sucker for love

“Envy hurt exponentially more than heartbreak because your soul was torn in two, half soaring with happiness for another person, half mired in a well of selfpity and pain.”

Kai brought to surface all those feelings I felt when Captain Wentworth was around (those feelings that made me want to smack some sense into him). Nevertheless, I found Kai a bit more vicious than Wentworth, which I guess was because of his upbringing because being treated as a Reduced when he was a Post-Reduced (able to think and protect himself) must  have been very difficult.      
Romance: I'm not fond of abusive relationships (no one in his right mind should be). However, no matter how harsh Kai was to Elliot, I don't see it as an abusive relationship. It resembled a lot the relation between Anne and Wentworth - the Captain felt hurt by the woman he loved (and never was able to forget) and wanted her to feel as hurt as he felt. That said, I enjoy friends-to-lovers-turned-to-foes-due-to-a-misunderstanding relationships and that's the kind of relation between Elliot and Kai. The angsty relationship between them was really heartbreaking. If I hadn't read Persuasion before, I would have been on the edge of my seat to know what was in store for Kai and Elliot. 

Worldbuilding: At
the beginning, the worldbuiling was confusing. Luddites, the Reduction, the Children of the Reduction (CORs)... all these terms were used from the first page and I felt confused because they were no explained. But then, the letters exchanged between Elliot and Kai (which were a very nice touched that reminded me of the original novel) slowly unravelled this new world and how things came to be. If at first I was dubious, then I came to enjoy this vicious world for all those who were not Luddites (and, sometimes, for those who were *cough Elliot cough*). For Darkness Shows the Stars's world grew on me and I couldn't wait to know more about this well-woven dystopia. 

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a charming retelling of Jane Austen's Prejudice with a post-apocalyptic and dystopian twist.

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