Summary, then review. ^.^
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.
Summary from Goodreads
DISCLAIMER: I love Jane Austen, okay? I’m pretty biased when it comes to things like this.
ALSO: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
They’re not major spoilers, though. Read at your own risk.
Actually, can you spoil a remake of Persuasion? I mean, who hasn’t read Persuasion? If you haven’t DO SO BEFORE YOU READ THIS/THIS BOOK. OK?
Stuff I liked:
- I thought it was a really fun take on Persuasion, really, to throw these characters in this dystopian world. It just made it so fun to read, and I liked that I was able to re-read one of my favorite stories in a completely different way. Also, it’s not like Peterfreund just kind of threw these characters in this world and said, “fuck it, let’s forget about it.” No, this woman actually interwove the world and it’s rules with everything. So, the world these characters are in causes a lot of the misfortunes and heartbreak.
- The pacing was good. I wasn’t bored at all. I mean, I did stay up all night reading this book. I was really frustrated at times because I’m just naturally an impatient person, no matter what book it is that I’m reading. I just really wanted to get to the scenes between Elliot and Kai…
- Elliot and Kai! They gave me the same feels that Frederick and Anne gave me, which made me happy! I was miserable but being miserable made me happy (woah, I wonder what would happen if I let a psychologist get their hands on my brain). Plus, I just liked them both as characters. They don’t resemble Frederick and Anne too much, and I think that it’s because their situations were pretty different (dystopia and all…) but I was able to enjoy them as characters none the less.
- The addition of characters was great. I really liked some of the new characters, like Andromeda, Felicia, Dee and Ro. I also didn’t mind that certain characters were gone. For instance, Mary is cut out entirely (yay), and Henrietta and Louisa were effectively morphed into one character called Olivia.
- The letters between Kai and Elliot were a really nice touch. These letters showed us how Kai and Elliot interacted, and what their relationship had been like when they were little (all the way until they fell in love). I’m a really mushy, sucker-for-love-stories, so that’s probably why I liked this so much.
Stuff I didn’t like/was ‘eh’ about:
- Since this book has the added dystopian element, there’s generally more conflict regarding the caste system that Peterfreund sets up. Toward the end of the book, around page 332 (out of 402), the shit hits the fan. Like, hard. So, with the conflict that’d been set up I expected some sort of struggle and then a happy resolution. I kept reading, trying to figure out how everything was going to be fixed…and then, it was. Like magic. Kind of like…you know when you tie a knot in something, and you make it really difficult to undo just because you feel like it, and you think that there’s no way someone can undo it with one tug? Well, Peterfreund does. And poof! Presto the happy ending.
- Ha. Did you like my metaphor? Sorry, I’m a little loopy. I stayed up until four in the morning reading this thing.
- Second thing I didn’t love? Well, there’s the whole thing of Wentworth’s name being changed to Wentforth. Okay, I’m sure that Peterfreund had fun with her cute little pun, but seriously? Really? That’s what you’re going with? Whatever, I’m just going to let it slide.
- Third: THE LETTER. If you’ve read Persuasion, then you know about the letter. It makes me cry, every time (too many feels, you see). Anyway, I understand that I am biased and that, in my eyes, nothing will ever compare to Wentworth’s letter. (No, I’m not a Darcy girl.Yes, I’m a Wentworth girl. Sorry!) While Peterfreund does her best with the letter, it’s just not good enough. Still, I can let that slide, because I’ll always have the original and this is just an adaptation (or it’s inspired by Persuasion).
Kai whirled around and his face was sadowed by the angle of the sun. Still, she knew his tone. Anger. “What’s so funny? That our project has been set back several says? That we’re stuck here longer? That you take a little spill from a horse and everyone wants to rearrange the world so you don’t suffer a moment of inconvenience?”
“No,” she said, and her voice was even. “That I would wait a month in agony just to hear you insult me. I’m a miserable girl indeed, don’t you think?”
-Peterfreund, pg 125
And because one isn’t enough:
“I want to take their money and let them build their ship and get off my land. That’s all I want.”
“Good to know,” said a voice above her head.
Elliot and Dee looked up, and there, shadowed against the light from the swinging sun-lamps, stood Kai.
-Peterfreund, pg 151.