Oct 11, 2013

Book Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Book Cover For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars

#1 in For Darkness Shows the Stars series

by Diana Peterfreund

Age: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopia, Romance

Format: Ebook, 416 pages
Published On: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (imprint of HarperCollins)
Source: Purchased

Free Prequel NovellaRead an Excerpt

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First Sentence: Dear Kai, My name is Elliot, and I am six years old and live in the big house.


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.

~ taken from Goodreads

My Thoughts

For Darkness Shows the Stars is one of those book that takes time to develop but when it grip you, it does not let you go until the end.

Inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is set in a post-apocalyptic version of Earth. Social structure reminded me of Gone with the Wind. Luddites govern the land while Reduced are servants. At the start I was confused how we declined into slavery again, but slowly the reasons were revealed to me. Diana Peterfreund really tests your patience in some points. Readers who are used to new fast and gritty style of writing might be bored, but I think lovers of classics will enjoy reading For Darkness Shows the Stars.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

The main focus of For Darkness Shows the Stars is romance. Those who have read Persuasion, know the story well: forbidden young love, pain over unrequited feelings, questioning is everything worth sacrificing for true love... Elliot and Kai had me sighing and signing I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That).

As always dystopian setting also poses some interesting philosophical questions. Do genetical enhancements make us something else than human? Should science be limited? Can some acts be qualified as 'playing God'? Is controlling people 'for their own good' right? Those and many more similar questions were running trough their mind while I was reading.

Diana Peterfreund has another treat scheduled for us on October 15th 2013: Across a Star-Swept Sea is set in the same world and based on The Scarlet Pimpernel. I hope I will enjoy it as much as I did For Darkness Shows the Stars. Until then, prequel novellas Among the Nameless Stars and The First Star To Fall are free on Amazon. I know I will be reading them soon.

In The End...

For Darkness Shows the Stars is written in style which fans of classic literature will enjoy. The world building and characterisation take time to develop but when they do you will sigh over forbidden love and ponder some interesting questions. I know I will be recommending this book to a lot of my friends.

My Rating: 4 out of 5


  1. I just read this book and I loved it. I don't know the story of 'Persuasion' basically at all but I think that made me enjoy this book more. I can't wait for 'Across A Star-Swept Sea'. Great review :)

    1. I read 'Persuasion' more than ten years ago so I knew the basics but I still loved it. I am intrigued how will I enjoy/experience 'Across A Star-Swept Sea' since I haven't read 'The Scarlet Pimpernel'.


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