Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Release Date: June 12, 2012 
Publisher: Balzar + Bray 
Source: Borrowed 
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.
For Darkness Shows the Stars is a re-telling of Persuasion by Jane Austen in this futuristic world that actually feels like it’s in the past for the majority of the book. This book has an awesome cover that drew me in and when I read Jane Austen in the summary, I had to get this book in my hand. When my library got it, I requested it, got and it read it and I was…disappointed. 

Characters are SO IMPORTANT for me in any book. I really want to love them and connect with them and all that jazz. Elliot? I wanted to slap this girl hard across the face. First, she’s SO INSECURE. To me, it seemed like anything that went wrong made her second guess EVERYTHING during For Darkness Shows the Stars. When Elliot learns something shocking about her mother, she completely goes on a bender and comes to these ridiculous conclusions. I mean, really girl? She immediately lost faith in herself and her mother. Just, no. Secondly, she seemed so desperate to me! She seemed like the kind of girl who was dying without the boy. Every time Kai was a jerk to her, she second-guessed herself and her worth and just…gah.

I will give her props for keeping up her family farm though. I mean, for a girl her age, Elliot has done a lot. I can understand that you might second guess your self during these times but honesty, don't you need to be strong to get through? I love protagonists like Elliot: they're strong, intelligent and brave. But then comes the love interest and everything gets thrown into the flames. 

The romance between Kai and Elliot is very important to the plot. Except, I wouldn’t call it a romance. First of all, WHERE WAS ALL THE AFFECTION?! Basically it was this: Elliot and Kai meet; Kai is a jerk to Elliot; Elliot gets in trouble, Kai just happens to be there; rinse and repeat. I really, really wanted to love this romance. It was just a lot of miscommunication, childish grudges and foolish behavior and Kai was not at all lovable. Captain Wentworth (I mean, it IS a re-telling so I can't not talk about him!) was much more lovable and much less of a jerk. Even when I read the notes, there seemed to be no emotions. It would be that Elliot said something that made Kai get angry and then Elliot would apologize and then vise versa. 

I’m very familiar with Persuasion so I knew much of the plot For Darkness Shows the Stars yet I was excited for the dystopian part of it. But man, it was boring. Diana Peterfreund spent a lot of time with setting up the world but it was a lot of info dumping in my opinion. In a futuristic world, I had expected to be introduced to the characters and as the story progressed, more information would be provided. Instead, it was lots of info, slow plot movement, info, slow plot movement…you get the picture. I just didn't get into is what I think the problem is. Did it all sound fantastic which I read it? Yeah, it did. I just...wasn't invested. 

The most redeeming quality was the writing. Diana Peterfreund has an amazing way of putting words together and it was done well enough for me to finish this book. I will admit (again), For Darkness Shows the Stars actually had more of a periodical feel to it than futuristic, you know? I for one don’t mind that but I wasn’t expecting it. I really appreciated that aspect though. If anything, For Darkness Shows the Stars paid homage to Jane Austen writing style...but much more 21st century! 

Overall, I found myself not enjoying For Darkness Shows the Stars as much as I had hoped. It was rather boring and I didn’t like Elliot and even the romance was lacking. But if anything, the writing was AMAZING! Obviously, with a 4.1 overall rating on GoodReads, my opinions are in the minority so I think people should give this book a try! 
Cover Comments: 
Look at it! It's so pretty! I LOVE IT! The way her dress blends into the sky and all the stars. Plus, there is a lot of commonality between the cover and the book is wonderful too!  
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