For Darkness Shows the Stars by: Diana Peterfreund
This was the first book that I received this book from ARCycling, and it was a pretty dang good one! I loved the new, dark world that Peterfreund created, and I am definitely looking forward to more of it.
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.
After an experiment to improve humanity goes completely wrong, the only people not affected were the Luddite population who had banned technology. They became the nobility and the ruling class, owning plantations with Post-Reductionists working on them. Posts are either developed normally, or they are Reduced mentally. Elliot is a Luddite, and her childhood sweetheard, Kai, a Post-Reductionist, left 4 years ago to find a better life for himself. But Elliot did not go with him. In the present time, Kai returns as Malakai, an integral part of the Cloud Fleet, a band of Posts who explore technology and want to bring about progress. Malakai is not exactly the same man who left, but he seems determined to show Elliot what she missed out on. Has Elliot’s chance passed at finding happiness with Kai?
Elliot may have been brought up in a very rich home, but she certainly did not act like it. I loved her character so much. She was kind to everyone, especially those that worked for her father. She always went out of her way to make their life easier. She was a hard worker, even though her place in life did not require her to work. I think she had good reason not to go with Kai since she basically had to look over the whole estate and all her friends. She had responsibilities to fulfill, and it would have been foolish of her to go.
When Kai returns, he is gorgeous and very successful. I had a problem with how he treated Elliot at first. I mean, I get that he was really hurt that Elliot did not go with him, but he could have treated her much better while still making her sweat about their relationship. Hell, he made even me sweat about the outcome of their relationship. But clearly he’s not really a bad guy, as evidenced by his interactions with their friend Ro, a Reduced. Other than his questionable choices regarding his treatment of Elliot, I liked him.
I loved all the supplementary characters as well. Nicodemus and Felicia, the admiral of the Cloud Fleet and his wife, had very innovative ideas and cared deeply for all their friends. Ro was so freakin’ sweet and adorable, just really precious. Elliot’s grandfather, the Boatwright, was pretty great too. Despite his condition, he always supported her and her decisions. I hated Zachariah North, Elliot’s father, with a passion. He frustrated the crap outta me, always doing nothing to help with the maintenance of his estate, letting the position fall to Elliot. He was conceited and annoying. Same with Elliot’s sister, Tatiana.
This book is based off of Austen’s Persuasion. While I have not read this, I know the story, and I felt that this was a great tribute to it. One of my favorite parts of this book was the writing. I loved the flashbacks, although they were not in order. I thought they added to the understanding of Elliot and Kai’s present relationship. I was expecting a huge climax, and all I felt I got was a resolution. I thought that everything worked out a bit too easy. But I still loved the ending nonetheless. As for the romance, I think that their parting four years ago was actually beneficial to their relationship in the long run, although it didn’t seem like it for the longest time. They both had things they needed to accomplish that only were possible being apart. I’m not sure that I have ever read about or even met two more stubborn people as these two. Undoubtedly, they loved each other, but they had some communication problems to say the least.
The ending gave much me hope, and I really thought it was fitting to the story. I am definitely looking forward to picking up Across a Star-Swept Sea, the next book in the same world but with different characters.
Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: “Elliot.” He bent his head close to hers, and looked deep into her eyes. His gaze was no longer strange to her. He was just her Kai, the man he’d been born to become. “No matter where I went, I always knew my way back to you. You are my compass star.” And he was hers.