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For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced 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 Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…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 has 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.

Goodreads Summary

In a post-apocalyptic world, Elliot North is only 18 but has been the head of herfamily’s estate all through her teens. Although she questions many of the tenets of her Luddite upbringing, she has never questioned her duty to provide work, food, and safety to the Reduced and Post-Reductionists living on the North lands.  This duty has caused her to put up with her aristocratic, grasping father and selfish, thoughtless sister.  It has also caused her to lose her best friend and sweetheart, a Post servant boy named Kai.  When Kai returns as a captain of the Postgroup called the Cloud Fleet, Elliot is conflicted about her role on the estate and her desire to finally find freedom and love with Kai…especially since the people who once needed help are becoming less genetically damaged than they had been in the past.  In fact, the Posts can run her estate.

In the secret letters which provide descriptions of their past friendship, I liked both Kai and Elliot.  Their sincere friendship, intellectual curiosity, kindheartedness, and friendly banter/competition are fun to read.  When Kai returns with new friends and new technologies, his deliberate attempts to avoid her cause pain and confusion.    The last letter she finds in the barn knothole is a perfect ending and a perfect beginning. The subject of modification of genes and anatomy is an interesting one.  It mirrors questions most students and adults probably ask as they learn about genetically altered crops, cloning, human growth hormone treatments, etc…  Finding out that Peterfreund’s new book is loosely based on Jane Austen’s Persuasion couldn’t give me a reference for the plot or characters since I haven’t read Persuasion yet.  However, the world she creates caused me to wonder about the repercussions of playing “God”…and made me glad that people, like her characters, would still be people –good, bad, selfish, caring, lazy, or whatever.

Four Stars

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*Reviewed by Colleen*

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Adding this to my TBR! Sounds like a great read

  1. I definitely want to read this one. It seems like a really promising post-apocalyptic read.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I didn't realize this was based on Persuasion. That makes me want to read it even more. And that cover!

  1. Lili said...:

    The cover of this novel is beautiful!

    I have a confession, I have never read a post-apocalyptic novel. I've heard nothing but amazing things about this book. I'm beginning to think that this will be the novel that pioneers me into the post-apocalyptic genre!

  1. Unknown said...:

    Is it wrong that I totally want to read this based solely on the cover?? I know it is but I'm a total sucker for the pretty covers! :) I will say though, it does sound great. I love anything dystopian/post-apocalyptic these days! Will definitely have to snag this one. :)

  1. I actually just won this one in a giveaway! I'm so excited to read it - love futuristic/dystopian and adore Jane Austen. I'm glad you liked it!

  1. Susan T. said...:

    This sounds so good and the cover is awesome!