Fresh Fridays: For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund | For the Darkness Shows the Stars Series


Other books in the series:

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Reads of 2013
Series: For the Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
# of Books: 2 (For the Darkness Shows the Stars, Across a Star-Swept Sea)

There are also 2 novellas: #0.5 Among the Nameless Stars and #1.5 The First Star to Fall

Complete?: No, Across a Star-Swept Sea will be published October 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Romance, Dystopian
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This novel is a retelling/adaption of Persuasion by Jane Austen. I have never read Persuasion though it has been on my to-read list forever and after reading this book, I really want to read it even more so.

There is something about this book that just sucks you in. I started it and then quickly realized I was 50 pages in before I knew it. I think it is because I enjoyed Elliot’s character. She is like every Jane Austen heroine–that woman could write GREAT heroines that all girls can respect and admire, even decades after their publication–in that she is independent, tough and cares for her family. She was great to read about and a refreshing heroine when you look at some of the other offerings out right now in the young adult world (ie. whiny, spoiled, “I need a man to complete me” heroines).

I also really liked the jumps/flashbacks to the past using the letters written between Elliot and Kai. It helps to build up context about the world itself (which is a cool spin on the regular dystopian worlds often seen but still true to the era of Jane Austen’s novels) and the relationship between Elliot and Kai.

The relationship between Elliot and Kai is adorable. You fall in love with them as you read (and the other characters as well). I think it is fair to warn potential readers that this isn’t a book where there are stolen kisses behind the barn or late night rendezvous so if you are looking for that you won’t find it here–and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The romance is very Jane Austen–mostly talking and meeting at events but I found it very refreshing to read a book where there isn’t PDA around every corner and instead you see why they once loved each other.

The prequel eNovella, Among the Nameless Stars (ANS)–which is free on Kobo and Amazon–I recommend you read AFTER you read For the Darkness Shows the Stars (FTDSTS). I liked that when I read FTDSTS that Kai was a bit of a mystery and I didn’t know his feelings towards Elliot. Also, some things that were revealed as you read FTDSTS were mentioned in ANS and I think it takes away from the mystery of FTDSTS when you read it first. Overall though, the book is really interesting and it helps shape the world–and when it’s FREE, it doesn’t get any better than that 😉

Conclusion:

For the Darkness Shows the Stars is easily one of my favourite reads of this year. The book is beautifully written and manages to be unique all while capturing the atmosphere of Jane Austen’s work. I loved Elliot and Kai and while the next book may not deal directly with them I am excited to see more from this author in this fabulous world she has created! However, it probably isn’t for everyone; especially those who like more exciting romances and faster moving plots as this is a little slower and it isn’t a steaming romance.

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky, #1)

Synopsis for For the Darkness Shows the Stars (from Goodreads):
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

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