Title: For Darkness Shows The Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Published: June 12th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
"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."
First line: "12 Years Ago...Dear Kai, My name is Elliot, and I am six years old and live in the big house."
Thoughts: Ever been in a reading slump? Just a few weeks ago, I tweeted to the world that I needed a new book love in my life. April from Good Books And Good Wine suggested I check out FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS. I'm a fan of the author's Killer Unicorns duo, so I thought I'd give it a go. Turns out, this was exactly what I need it. There's tension, angst, letters, and the writing? Unbelievable. Mind = blown.
As you can see from the summary, this is your not so typical retelling of PERSUASION by Jane Austen. Retellings, to me, are either hits or misses. Will it do the original book justice? Will my love for Jane Austen shine through? When it comes to FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS, the answer is clear. Yes. Yes, yes, yes, Y-E-S!!!
The book is broken down into three parts and told through Elliot's point of view. Much like Anne Elliot from PERSUASION, she is reserved, kind, and goodhearted. Unlike Anne, though she does stay and let Kai leave, she doesn't do it because she's told he's not good enough for her. She does it because of her family and other issues that will pan out later on in the novel. This obviously leaves her completely broken and pained. Her only friend and love has left, what's a girl to do?
I really enjoyed Elliot and how the author portrayed her. Like the original, this book deals with issues such as social classes and whatnot. With Elliot, she can see past someone's position and think of them as her equal. She doesn't just sit back and let the workers work. Instead, she helps them in any way possible. She puts others before herself and really, aren't those the best kinds of heroines?
The romance and tension were (dare I say?) perfect. Peterfreund reminds us that you don't need sex or even intense kisses to show passion. Who needs lust when you can have true, exquisite love? Woe is me, for I have not read such a lavishing romance in ages.
Let's talk about the social class systems for a bit. I must admit, it took me a while to fully comprehend the differences between the Luddites and the Post-Reductionist. It was a little confusing, but it in no way takes away from the story. Once I got it, I got it. It just took a bit of time.
Now, Kai. What can I say about Kai? Sometimes I loved him and sometimes I wanted to punch him in the face. He's the perfect mix of angst, frustration, and brooding. He's incredibly passionate which explains why he's so...intense? Yes, intense. Him and I have a love-hate relationship and even though I'm usually not a fan of these types of guys, I was a fan of him.
Before I forget, I must mention the letters. Instead of including flashbacks, the story is partially composed of letters exchanged between Elliot and Kai. Some are when they're young children (and hilarious once you see the grammar and spelling), and others are when they're much older. You can see the life and pain these two have dealt with and how they've grown to love one another. It's spectacular to say the least.
Overall, I highly recommend picking up a copy of FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS as soon as possible. I know there's some talk in the blogosphere about the ARC and the final copy being completely different, especially when it comes to the ending. For those wondering, I have read the ARC and the final copy. Towards the end, especially in part three, the ARC copy is a bit haste. The final copy, however, takes it's time. It still leads to the overall same conclusion, but it offers more insight and details rather than feeling rushed and a bit confusing. Think of the final copy as an extended edition. Obviously, if you've read the ARC, I recommend grabbing a finished copy. Trust me, it's worth every penny!
“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
“In every letter, in every line, she saw him. He hadn't changed - he'd only grown into the man he'd meant to be.”
“The old poems said that lovers were made for each other. But that wasn't true for Kai and Elliot. They hadn't been made for each other at all—quite the opposite. But they'd grown together, the two of them, until they were like two trees from a single trunk, stronger together than either could have been alone.