Author: Diana Peterfreund
Release date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.I absolutely ADORE Persuasion by Jane Austen. I love the story of Anne Eliot and Captain Wentworth with all of my heart. I might just love it more than Pride & Prejudice (don't hate me!) So when I heard of For Darkness Shows the Stars and learned that it is a retelling of Persuasion, I was sold immediately. Pride & Prejudice gets the retelling treatment a lot, but Austen's other works get looked over pretty often, despite how amazing they are. Not only did I enjoy the romance of Eliot and Kai, I loved the whole new world (Cue Aladdin!) created by Peterfreund to surround her classic characters in.
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.
A large part of my love of this stemmed straight from Persuasion. The relationship between our two characters is not the normal one shown in literature, their past is more intense and passionate. I thought that that intensity was retained here with the childhood friendship and later deeper relationship of Eliot and Kai. All in all the general feel of the original was retained, which I found to be a great success, all while creating a fantastic place to see familiar characters react to.
As I've noted, I loved the world Peterfreund created. It was probably the highlight of the book for me, since the relationship and its progress were things that were familiar. I enjoyed learning about humans destroying themselves and building themselves back up and the repercussions of that. The world is one fully-formed that I'd certainly love to explore more of.
I'm not going to talk for eons on this one, since it really sells itself. If you love the story of Persuasion, you should read this. If you love young adult romances or science fiction, you should read this. This story took my heart.
Risk a paper cut? The Luddites and Posts agree. This one is a winner! :)