(YA Review) Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 6.24.15 PM Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
June 12, 2012
YA science fiction/dystopian
Why’d I read it?:
Partly because of the cover, and partly because of the dystopian-ness of the plot!

Peterfreund, Diana. For Darkness Shows the Stars. New York: Balzer + Bray, 2012. Print. ISBN-13: 9780062006141 Formats available: paperback, ebook, hardcover. Paperback $9.99. Kindle $7.99

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.

My Thoughts:
The whole premise of how mankind got itself into this dystopian situation was quite interesting and there was a lot of political and bias issues explored throughout, which I really enjoyed. I like when a dystopian book includes that social commentary aspect, rather than just taking the world for granted or it being sort of generic. It was also an interesting take to have the people of the future shunning technology and science in favor of a “luddite” life, so that technology and science and innovation and invention are seen as evil and dangerous. The book includes a good amount of secrecy and suspense, the world-building unfolds slowly so you do not get that “information dump” at the beginning. A lot of things are fully explained until further into the book.

The characters are pretty well developed, though I was sad we didn’t get to see into Kai’s head the entire time, I really do prefer when books give us multiple perspectives. Still the worldbuilding was well done and the pacing was pretty good. I was on the edge of my seat wondering how it was going to go down, but I have to admit that I was hoping for more relationship development. We are given these tantalizing hints of the relationship these two had when they were younger and then they’ve spent the last several years a apart. Now that they are together again Kai spends most of his time avoiding or being cold to Elliot. Id have liked to have seen into his head during this time to see more what he was feeling and thinking.

We do get to see some of the letters they wrote to each other from when they were young and the letters give us a good insight into some of the politics of the world and also in this way we get a bit of Kai’s perspective, but it was enough to make me really want to see more of his perspective. Elliot is a pretty strong character and I like how she has been managing her estate behind the scenes for years, doing her best to care for her people despite her father and older sisters interference and cruelty and neglect and bias. I also liked seeing her shaken up after meeting new people when she has had her beliefs and moral standing ground shaken up, its fun to see her have to reevaluate everything shes been taught throughout her life. I have to say that while I liked and enjoyed this book, I absolutely adored the sequel, which follows two different characters within this world. In that book we get multiple perspectives and the romance has more of a part in the book though again theres more time on longing and fighting their feelings than in persuing them. If you are only going to read one of them, I’d recommend going with the second book, Across a Star-Swept Sea.

Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
The next book in the series is Across a Star-Swept Sea (and its even better than the first!)

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About the Author: 

Diana Peterfreund can be found online on her website.


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