Saturday, July 14, 2012

Book Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1)

Release Date: June 12, 2012
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Length: 398 pages

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.


Characters: Elliot North, the protagonist of this book has suffered the loss of her mother and her childhood sweetheart's abandonment in the same year, leaving her too look after her her father's estate while her father and spoiled sister spend superfluous amounts of money on impracticable things. In an effort to take care of her family and their Reduced and Post servants, she rents out her grandfather's property to the Cloud Fleet who intend to build a ship during the year. In this fleet is her childhood sweetheart who ran away four years previous to try and escape the enslavement of the North's estate. Throughout the book Elliot second guesses her beliefs and her heart. Every few chapters give insights into the childhood of Elliot and Kai as they grow up, become friends, and fall in love, through secret letters they hid for one another. Not only do we get to see Elliot's character grow as she struggles with herself, but we get to see backstory on what happened to Elliot and Kai growing up.

Romance: The romance in this book is different from any that I had ever read before. Everything seems watered down and not as passionate as I'm used to. This, in turn, lets the plot of the book have more of a starring element, as I was for more interested in how the plot played out than I was about the romance. This is not an unpleasant thing, however unexpected it might be, but it absolutely gives a fresh perspective on the Young Adult romance novels I usually read.

Post-apocalyptic: This is the first book I've read that describes itself as post-apocalyptic and at first it doesn't seem that different than the dystopian novels I've read. However, I couldn't be further from the truth, this book definitely takes on a role of constant fear for the end of the world, whereas in dystopian novels they have gotten to the point that the end of the world doesn't seem to be in the foreseeable future. I quickly fell in love with the small and large defiances to a society afraid of technology and advancement, it's because of this fear that makes the world of this book fun and engaging.

Predictability: Even though I could easily see some of the plot developments coming since the first clue was mentioned, many of the twists and turns were unexpected and some simply came out of the blue with no warning or foreshadowing. I was very pleased with the amount and quality of twists and turns in this book. Each one made the book more and more enjoyable to read as I went along.

Ending: The ending was a long time coming, everything seemed to culminate in the last chapter leaving me with a feeling of finality. It's a shame that this is a stand-alone book and not a series I would have loved to see how some aspects worked out and what would happen to the main characters after the ending.


From the first few sentences I was hooked, I was so captivated by this story that time seemed to fly by as I sat reading for hours on end. You should certainly buy this book from a local bookseller or online at Amazon.com.


  1. I love this book. I agree that the romance is more subtle, but I appreciated that. There are far too many love triangles in the YA books.

    I also wish that it would have been a series.

  2. I have never heard of this book. Looks like a pretty good one.

  3. I agree with everything you said, could not have said it better!