Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars

Author: Diana Peterfreund

Release Date/Publisher: June 12th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Read: September 12th 2012

Pages: 402-Hardcover-Library


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.

What I thought:

I really loved this author’s other series about Killer Unicorns, so I had no idea what to expect when diving into this book. I was definitely wowed that she could write something so different, and I really liked it!

The division between events that happened in the past and the present was so well done. I usually dread past scenes in books sometimes but this was just perfect for the story. Between the chapters are letters that younger Elliot and Kai sent each other. Not only did they explain things wonderfully about what had happened and how the Reduced came to be, but it really showed how the two characters bonded and were so close.

I was confused at first with the different class systems and what exactly the Reduced were, but it doesn’t take long to learn all of this. The letters of the past say the humans at the time were very involved with technology, to the point of changing themselves with enhancements and experiments to their bodies. Another group thought this was wrong and that they were changing what God gave them. The Lost (enhancers) ended up with Reduced babies (who can’t talk much and can only do basic commands), and started wars that destroyed just about everything. The Luddites went into hiding for years, and then rebuilt everything and took care of the Reduced who work on their land for a living. The Reduced eventually produced children that were normal (CORs or Posts), although they are still low in the class compared to Luddites.

Posts have been known to leave their lands, and some fail while others prosper. Kai left the land and Elliot behind, but when he does returns with the Fleet as a rich mechanic, there’s so much anger, tension and some angst between the two. Elliot still has feelings for him and she has no idea what/if he feels anything for her anymore. Elliot also has to deal with taking care of the land her father rules and the Reduced and Posts that live there.

On top of that, there are conflicting issues that she has over staying true to her Luddite ways or whether it’s okay to deviate from them and develop and experiments with things like people did in the past. Moving on and changing or staying the same without knowing what’s going to happen is one of the topics that keeps coming up in this book, and I think it was perfect to see Elliot and others struggle with this, as change can be very hard.

The characters had lots of emotion, secrets and hopes for a bright future and I loved reading about them. Elliot and the way she thought and acted was so strong, but she was also caring of others and their well-being.

This book isn’t part of a series but an independant one, which is a nice break from what I usually read. It doesn’t leave you hanging at all and everything is explained too which was a bonus. Highly recommended!

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9 comments on “Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

  1. This book is on my holiday catch-up pile…I’ve had it on my shelf forever but haven’t had time to read it yet. Now I *really* want to read it. 🙂 And, yay, a stand-alone!!! 😀

  2. This is one I will be reading SOOON! I’ve heard great things and I really love that it’s a stand-alone novel, rather than part of a series. I need those sometimes!

    Great review, Kelsey!

  3. Pingback: Diana Peterfreund Blog | A Round-Up of Recent For Darkness Shows the Stars Reviews

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