Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

November 22, 2015 Review 26

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 448
Release Date: June 12th 2012
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars #1
Genres: Family, General, Love & Romance, Visionary & Metaphysical, Young Adult
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.

“’You should know that you’re exactly the person you think you are.’
Elliot turned away as the tear escaped. That’s what she was afraid of.”

The reason I put off FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS for so long was because I thought it was a hardcore space sci-fi book. Boy, was that a misunderstanding. Whoops. Anyways, this one does have some sci-fi elements but it had more of a historical fiction feeling to it (that I loved), which makes sense since it was based off Jane Austen’s book PERSUASION (that I haven’t read).

There were a few sub-plots that complemented and added a lot to the main plot. These smaller plots also give the reader an opportunity to learn more about the main character, Elliot, showing us her true character and allowing a connection to spark as we see what her values really are and what she is willing to fight for.

The aloof childhood friend (and maybe a bit more) Kai, Kai’s mysterious crew, and Elliot’s friends on the estate were just as developed. They each were given the time to be fully fleshed out, and each one of them felt so real and authentic.

“I don’t need to see the trail to know you’re at the end of it.
My grandfather’s compass may not work, but mine is still true.”

I was expecting a lot of romance from the little I do know of PERSUASION but this one actually didn’t have too much of it. Well, not overtly, at least. The romance here takes place between the lines, in thoughts, old letters, and a subtle tension that just kept building. We get to watch both characters slowly take down their walls again, and the dynamic between the two is fascinating.

A lot of thought obviously went into the world-building and it shows. While it was a little confusing at first, things gradually make more sense as you immerse yourself in the world. This development was very important because the backbone of the romance, plot, and even the characters are built from this society’s expectations.

FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS ended a little abruptly, but everything was wrapped up well and I am content with the conclusion. I still wanted more from this world though, so after finishing this one I immediately went out and picked up ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.8

26 Responses to “Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund”

  1. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I still haven’t read Persuasion either but for some reason, I remember wanting to read this one when it first came out! Like you, I expected a sci-fi twist too it but I don’t mind that the sci-fi is subtle, since I do like historicals as well. Now that you’ve read it and needed the sequel that bad, my desire to check it out has been renewed LOL Thanks for sharing your thoughts Alise^^ ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Lirael

  2. Romi

    Ooh, I remember hearing about this, when it first was coming out! It had such a beautiful cover and the fact it was an Austen retelling made me swoon, but I never did pick it up, although for a good while I had many intentions to. I think I’d actually rather like it, but… I also get the feeling it might be pretty heavy, if that makes sense? Or maybe that’s just me assimilating it to the classics, and their style of storytelling. I am happy that, although it wasn’t perfect, it had you excited and keen to read the next book! I only hope the sequel lived up to your hopes.
    Lovely review. xx
    Romi recently posted…Perceivable Intensities (7) Vote for a character name!

    • Alise

      Aha, I remember when it first came out and I was starstruck by the cover too xD Probably, because I sometimes struggle with classics for that reason but this one was pretty easy to get through :) Thank you!

  3. Denise

    I’m guilty of not having read Persuasion either, but I’d really like to get to it soon. This seems like a really interesting book – I love sci-fi, and I’m not a massive fan of romance (which seems to be in the majority of sci-fi novels), so it sounds like I might really enjoy this one. Thanks for this review, Alise – I’ll have to check this out soon! ♥

    • Alise

      I would say this one has a bit more romance than sci-fi, but I would still recommend it, it’s a pretty fast, entertaining read. Sure, thanks for stopping by! :)

  4. Kelly

    It took me a while to read For Darkness Shows the Stars as well, also because of the synopsis, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it… So what I’m saying is that someone should fix that synopsis.
    Kelly recently posted…Review: Winter

  5. Peach @ Rebelle Reads


    Historical novels are becoming my favorite thing. Though I’ve never read Jane Austen’s Persuasion either, I definitely make to add both of these to my mountainous TBR. I love that it puts great detail into the world-building, too. Lovely review, Alise!
    Peach @ Rebelle Reads recently posted…Is There An Age Limit To Certain Genres?

  6. Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic

    I’ve read one Jane Austen book and tried reading another but I can never get into them, so I probably won’t be picking up Persuasion anytime soon. I love retellings though, especially ones that take the idea and turn it into something so original – really want to read this. Also, I LOVE the cover! Wonderful review! :)
    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic recently posted…In which I try to review coherently (and fail) & flood the world with my tears because of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (SPOILERS AHEAD)

    • Alise

      I feel you, I struggle with a lot of classic novels. Yeah, retellings are usually fun though :D It really is pretty! Thank you :)

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