Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

13425396Blurb from Goodreads

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.

ebook, 293 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
edition language: English
series: For Darkness Shows the Stars
genre: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I haven’t read yet Persuasion but I’ve watched its BBC version and loved it. I’m also always curious of retelling. So when I knew this book is a retelling of Persuasion, I know that I have to read it, despite another retelling of Persuasion I read this year wasn’t so good. But to be honest I was kinda skeptical when I knew that it’s also a dystopian/post-apocalyptic sci-fi story. I just couldn’t imagine how it will work for me.

First two chapters made me confused, like, really made me dizzy. The authors wrote her made-up terms to describe the story over and over in two chapters without even telling me what those words mean. So I have to guess it along the way. Once I understand it, it made my reading more enjoyable, though I also have to say that in some part I felt it was too slow and was kinda drag out.

When I finally “survived” from first few chapters, I think I can say that I was so eager to know the worldbuilding and the setting of this dystopian world. However, I didn’t get it much. There are explanation and description about it but I felt like I read more historical romance than dystopian/post-apocalyptic romance story. On the other hand, it might be what the author wants me to feel. Hence, it means that she did it well. But still I want to know more about it, at least regarding of the time setting. So that I’ll always remember that the historical setting happens because of the dystopian setting. While the truth was I often forgot that it isn’t take place in historical setting.

As for the romance part, I loved loved loved it! Elliot and Kai relationship is so good to read. Although they rarely have dialogue directly to each other in first half of the book, I could feel it easily. The tension and longing from each other are written well. And not to mention the way they tell their past, through letters. Most of them are in short letters, in simple words yet so effective to tell the story. And it’s so close to the BBC version of Persuasion that I watched. I think it’s also true to its original story.

I also love the characters, especially Elliot. She’s so brave, loyal, smart and knows what she wants and stick to it and able to stand up for herself. Her confusion between what she supposed to do and what she wants to do is kinda sad but it also shows that she is a girl who always wants to be a better human. While Kai, at first I didn’t quite like him. He’s so mean to Elliot when he doesn’t know what she has been through when he’s gone. But I also understand why he feels that way. And it’s just so sad and frustrating (but in a good way) reading all the prejudice and double standard from the characters. But I agree with some of characters thoughts. They make their arguments believable and I can’t help not buying it.

All in all, despite the lack of dystopian feeling that I got, I really liked and enjoyed reading it. And I’m sure this won’t be my one and only time reading this book. There are many Elliot-Kai moments I want to read again in the future.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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