Wednesday, June 13, 2012

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, 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.

I was intrigued when I read that this book was a dystopian retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which happens to be a favorite of mine. I’m a sucker for lost-love stories and was anxiously waiting for the time when our characters, Elliot and Kai, were reunited. Elliot North was a good leading lady. She has good morals, strong convictions, and a kind heart. When Kai returns she has to face some truths about her beliefs and way of life.  Malakai Wentforth was likable, but I felt like I didn’t really get to know him as well as I would have liked. We get to read letters between Elliot and Kai when they were kids, but other than that we only see the present Malakai a few times. I would have liked more page time with Elliot and Kai together. When they are together there are some good tension filled moments, they definitely have chemistry. I’m a sucker for romance and thought there would be more in this book (I don’t think there was even one kiss!), instead it seemed like the focus was more on the dystopian world. In some ways the story stuck to the original Persuasion, but it definitely was unique. Overall, I liked it, but wanted to like it more. Any fans of Persuasion should give it a try, it was a fun retelling.

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