Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Title:  For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author:  Diana Peterfreund
Series:  For Darkness Shows the Stars #1
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date:  June 12, 2012
Pages:  402
Format/Source:  eBook/Purchased
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Retelling, Romance, Science Fiction

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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)

Not as Sci-Fi as I Expected…

If you know me or read this blog regularly (or at all, really), you know that I LOVE sci-fi.  So when I saw the cover of For Darkness Shows the Stars, I thought I was in for some really hardcore sci-fi awesomeness.  But it turned out not to be as sci-fi as I expected.

For one thing, the book isn’t set in space as I was led to believe from the beautiful cover.  I mean, it does kind of give off that space feel doesn’t it? And then that synopsis doesn’t really make it sound completely like it’s in space, but I guess the term “Cloud Fleet” made me think of pilots of spaceships or dirigibles or something in the air.  Unfortunately, no.  But then again, we have yet to see what goes on in the rest of the series.

On My Favorites Shelf…

Even though For Darkness Shows the Stars wasn’t as sci-fi as I expected, I still LOVED this book.  I haven’t read Jane Austen’s Persuasion, so I can’t determine how much of an inspiration that book was on this one, but I can tell you that it felt like an Austen book, plus more.  It’s really hard to articulate, but it felt like this book was set in the past, in Austen’s time, but you also knew that the story was taking place in the future.  There are a few futuristic elements, but overall the story feels like a period piece.

And I think that Elliot and Kai have become one of my favorite literary couples of all time.  I don’t want to go into it, because of spoilers, but I just love the two of them together!  Plus, I love that the female main character’s name is Elliot–my husband and I decided about a year ago that our next child will be named Elliot whether it’s a boy or a girl, so I love the name!

Great Quotes…

There were so many beautiful lines in this book, but here are just a few of my favorites:

Dee’s voice filled the space Elliot had abandoned to silence.

Dee didn’t even trust her enough for that, though Elliot had long ago shared with Dee the shape of her own heartbreak.

He was gone. Just like that. She leaned hard against the wall, her heart pounding, her lungs screaming to cry out his forbidden name.
Kai. It bubbled to her lips, and she closed her mouth around it, felt it echo against her jaw and teeth and tongue. It wasn’t his name any longer, and what was more, this man was no longer Kai.

All around her, strung from the ceiling and wafting softly in the draft, Kai’s paper gliders glowed in the moonlight like pale spring shoots bursting from the soil.

She blinked, willing herself not to reach for him like roots after water.

My rating for For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund:

5 huge stars, and I’ve added it to my favorites shelf on Goodreads. I’m very excited to read Across a Star-Swept Sea!
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ HarperCollins
You may also enjoy:  Oryx and Crake │ Uglies
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. Andrea @ Cozy Up

    June 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    YES! I absolutely adore this book and the relationship between Kai and Eliot. Diana Peterfreund did such a beautiful job making you love those two together, and I loved the letters between them added in. So glad that you loved this even though it wasn't as sci-fi as you expected!

  2. fakesteph

    July 5, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I LOOOOVE Diana Peterfreund and CANNOT wait to read this one!!!! The cover is SOOOO gorgeous, but I'm glad to know it's not set in space before getting into it.

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