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Book Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars was original and very deep. I loved this futuristic retelling of Jane Austen‘s Persuasion.

Book Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

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for darkness shows the stars diana peterfruend young adult science fiction

Title & Author: For Darkness Shows the Starsfor darkness shows the stars by diana peterfreund by Diana Peterfreund

Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Science Ficiton, Retelling

Release Date: June 12, 2012

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Balzar + Bray

How I Got the Book: ARC via Publisher


“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.”


If I had only one word to describe For Darkness Shows the Stars, I would choose “beautiful.” This book is full of heartache, duty and redemption. I loved the route that Peterfrend chose to take, and I want everyone to read this book!

First off, Elliot is one of the most strong, capable characters that I’ve read in a long time. She’s strong for her family when her mother dies and – although she’s not the heir – she begins to run her family’s estate. This includes managing and tending to the “Posts” who work on her land.

Even though much of the book takes place on rural farmland, the book is actually set in a futuristic time. Posts, or Post-Reductionists, are people who were born after humans decided to conduct experiments on their genes. People essentially killed off a whole generation when the experiments failed.

Luddites, Elliot’s class, were those who were against the genetic testing and hid underground, waiting for the world to calm down again. When it did, they arose unaffected and became the dominant ruling class.

The only part of the novel I found confusing was the part I just described. This class history is revealed slowly, and to me it was a bit unclear at times what really happened. I think the author did this on purpose, but everything did make sense by the end of the book.

The true magic of For Darkness Shows the Stars is in the intensity and suspense that is woven in every chapter. I had to know what was going to happen between Elliot and Kai. Did he still hate her? Did she still have feelings for him? AGH!

I really liked the look at class/caste systems in this book too. It was a very interesting world that Peterfreund painted, and I kept wanting to know more and see more.


This novel may not be what you’re expecting. It’s a quiet, reflective sort of book that lacks physical action but makes up for it with volatile emotion. Even if you haven’t read Jane Austen’s Persuasion (which I haven’t), you will still enjoy For Darkness Shows the Stars – and I hope you DO pick it up!!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.