Friday, June 19, 2015

Book Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars
Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars

About the Book:
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

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.

My Review:
If you've ever read Jane Austen's Persuasion, you'll understand what I mean when I say that each chapter brings on a new heartbreak. In the classic novel, Anne Elliot was very in love with Captain Wentworth when she was persuaded (That's where the title comes from!) that such a marriage was below her. These two characters repeatedly allow the persuasion of others to keep them away from each other because of their class differences.
This is also the case in Peterfreund's beautiful novel For Darkness Shows the Stars; however, their class issues go far beyond that of 18th century Britain as the world has nearly reverted to Colonial America. Reductionists are basically slaves to the Luddites, and Post-Reductionists (or Posts) aren't considered much better. Kai is a Post, Elliot a Luddite, and everything seems set against them. But fate brings them together again. 

I loved the pace of this novel, the intense rush when you just have to know what's going to come next. The fall of technology intrigued me. Humans were playing God, creating, and manipulating genetics, so God (so the Luddite mythology claims) cursed their future generations. The world building was simple and complete. I didn't have to skip paragraphs to find the next action-packed part. Each word was carefully chosen and necessary to the story. 

I was left with a few questions about what caused the end of the world as we know it. Was it really God that punished them or was that just a made up story to keep the Reduced humble? Maybe the reduced just screwed something up when messing with human genetics that caused their afflictions? Maybe she'll address those in the prequel available for free on Diana's website!
From childhood letters to secret night rendezvous, horse races, supersonic eyes, and a starry cavern - this powerful romance will have you turning the pages and believing in soulmates. Miss Austen would have approved, and so do I.  

I award you 5 polka dots!

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