For Darkness Shows the Stars

For Darkness Shows the Stars

4.5 32
by Diana Peterfreund
     
 

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Fans of Divergent will love Diana Peterfreund’s take on Jane Austen’s Persuasion set in a post-apocalyptic world.
 
In the dystopian future of For Darkness Shows the Stars, a genetic experiment has devastated humanity. In the aftermath, a new class system placed anti-technology Luddites in absolute power over vast estates

Overview

Fans of Divergent will love Diana Peterfreund’s take on Jane Austen’s Persuasion set in a post-apocalyptic world.
 
In the dystopian future of For Darkness Shows the Stars, a genetic experiment has devastated humanity. In the aftermath, a new class system placed anti-technology Luddites in absolute power over vast estates—and any survivors living there.
 
Elliot North is a dutiful Luddite and a dutiful daughter who runs her father’s estate. When the boy she loved, Kai, a servant, asked her to run away with him four years ago, she refused, although it broke her heart.
 
Now Kai is back. And while Elliot longs for a second chance with her first love, she knows it could mean betraying everything she’s been raised to believe is right.
 
For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking YA romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dystopian, ideological, rebellious—Peterfreund’s fantasy homage to Austen’s Persuasion departs from the original in many respects, and with great success. Elliot North is a strong and creative woman, holding together the estate her father neglects and conducting secret agricultural experiments that defy “the protocols,” which were established after genetic tinkering nearly destroyed humanity. Antitechnology “Luddites” took sanctuary underground, emerging as overlords of the mentally diminished above-ground survivors. Those survivors, the “Reduced,” are now having normal children, and the Luddites’ status is no longer unquestioned. Four years earlier, Elliot refused to elope with Kai, a mechanical prodigy and descendant of the Reduced. Now he’s back as Capt. Malakai Wentforth, flirting with Elliot’s pretty neighbor and being savage to Elliott. Resemblance to Austen’s story lies largely in the superficialities of the plot—Peterfreund (Rampant) invokes less of Austen’s subtlety or social critique, and she really doesn’t need to. The story stands on its own, a richly envisioned portrait of a society in flux, a steely yet vulnerable heroine, and a young man who does some growing up. Ages 13–up. Agent: Deidre Knight, the Knight Agency. (June)
VOYA - Christine Miller
For Darkness Shows the Stars is a post-apocalyptic parallel to Jane Austen's Persuasion. After a terrible genetic accident and the Wars of the Lost nearly destroy humanity, Luddite lords, saved by their contempt for technology and modern medicine, manage large but declining estates worked by the greatly diminished "Reduced" caste and their descendants, the CORs (Children of the Reduced) and Posts (rebellious "Post-Reduction" CORs). Elliot North manages her ruthless and inept father's estate. Striving to maintain appearances (and to feed their laborers), she rents an adjoining estate and shipyard to Post's Admiral Nicodemus and Felicia Innovation, and the Cloud Fleet, led by Captain Malakai Wentforth, Elliot's childhood infatuation who years previously had fled to a Post enclave. Elliot's Luddite beliefs are constantly at odds with her benevolence and sense of duty, forcing difficult decisions. Will Elliot and Kai rekindle their romance; will she save the North estate and shipyard? Austen fans will suspect how this story ends. Diana Peterfreund authored the Killer Unicorn series (Rampant [HarperCollins, 2009/VOYA June 2009] and Ascendant [HarperCollins, 2010/VOYA December 2010]), the Secret Society books, Morning Glory, and several nonfiction titles and short stories. Her most recent addition succeeds in recasting Austen's characters to bring her themes to a futurist society and provide wry comment on life in the twenty-first century. The book supplements other Jane Austen-inspired books, spinoffs, sequels, and adaptations, and will appeal to science fiction and romance fans alike. Reviewer: Christine Miller
Kirkus Reviews
A post-apocalyptic retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion scores high for ingenuity but loses points with sledgehammer morality. Elliot North is a Luddite, one of the elite destined to care for the mentally Reduced remnant after human genetic engineering went catastrophically wrong. But she has begun to question her duty; her family seems more interested in luxurious leisure than estate management. Her people will starve without recourse to forbidden technology, and more and more Post-Reduced children are being born. None of these "Posts" are more clever than Kai, her best friend until he ran away four years ago. Now he has returned with the fleet of Post explorers who could be the last hope for saving Elliot's heritage, but his bitterness toward Elliot may be hiding a more dangerous secret. The plot stays surprisingly faithful to Austen; the setting is cleverly updated to a futuristic dystopia, but it fails to explore the more interesting societal and technological ramifications. Instead, the original's subtle delineation of the nuances of class and social change is replaced with heavy-handed condemnations of slavery, anti-intellectualism and fundamentalist religion. The protagonists are now barely 18, and the compressed timeframe makes their remarkable accomplishments implausible, even with nigh-magical nanotechnology. However, as the emotional drama is similarly ramped to extremes, the target audience may be too swept away by righteous indignation and swoony romance to notice any lapses of logic. A perfectly pleasant read on its own, this could send readers to investigate the source--a happy outcome indeed. (Dystopian romance. 13 & up)
Beth Revis
“Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars is an impassioned ode to Jane Austen, love, and the hope found in stars.”
Simone Elkeles
“A beautiful, epic love story you won’t be able to put down!”
Laini Taylor
“Don’t you love it when a brilliant idea meets with brilliant execution? Thank you, Diana Peterfreund for giving us a post-apocalyptic Persuasion. This book is meltingly good.”
Robin Wasserman
“A smart and sexy tale of star-crossed love that’s as thought-provoking as it is heartbreaking.”
Carrie Ryan
Praise for ASCENDANT: “Ascendant is fast paced, fresh and engrossing—plus it has killer unicorns, what could be better? I love this book!”
Malinda Lo
Praise for ASCENDANT: “I was riveted by Ascendant. It’s not only about killer unicorns; it’s also about finding the courage to make tough decisions—and to be true to yourself. I think Astrid rocks!”
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Told partially through secret letters between forbidden childhood friends, this novel is a postapocalyptic retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion that will be a hit with fans of sci-fi romances such as Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion (S & S, 2002) and Catherine Fisher's Incarceron (Dial, 2010). Four years earlier, 18-year-old Elliot North, a member of the Luddite ruling class, refused to run away with Kai, one of her family's servants and her first love. In the years since his departure, Elliot has become responsible for her family's struggling estate and taking care of the Reduced, laborers who are treated as underclass servants. Technology has been forbidden since the Wars of the Lost, a fight Luddites think was the result of humans trying to improve on nature, and Elliot's options for advancing the estate are limited. When a fleet of former servants offers to rent the family's shipyards, Elliot knows that she cannot afford to refuse their money. She's excited to discover that Kai is one of the captains, but soon learns that he is not the boy she remembers, and, like Elliot, he has plenty of secrets. Epistolary sections help readers connect with Kai and Elliot and bridge the gap between the past and present. Peterfreund takes her time developing characters and the political and social realities of a stratified society. The plot, nonetheless, moves along at a steady clip. Readers will keep turning the pages right up to the end.—Leigh Collazo, Ed Willkie Middle School, Fort Worth, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062006141
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/12/2012
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
540,700
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile:
HL770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 Years

What People are saying about this

Simone Elkeles

“A beautiful, epic love story you won’t be able to put down!”

Beth Revis

“Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars is an impassioned ode to Jane Austen, love, and the hope found in stars.”

Robin Wasserman

“A smart and sexy tale of star-crossed love that’s as thought-provoking as it is heartbreaking.”

Laini Taylor

“Don’t you love it when a brilliant idea meets with brilliant execution? Thank you, Diana Peterfreund for giving us a post-apocalyptic Persuasion. This book is meltingly good.”

Meet the Author

Diana Peterfreund is the author of many books for adults and children, including the critically acclaimed For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star-Swept Sea. She lives with her family outside Washington, DC, in a house full of bookshelves, and is always on the lookout for lost cities or stray rocket ships.

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For Darkness Shows the Stars 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
jessicaclairee More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing, and had me in awe, basking in its beauty throughout the whole story. The beginning was a bit slow, but instantly had me when Kai returned. I found myself falling in love with this fictional character, and falling in love with Elliot and Kai together as well. There were a lot of moments in which I cried, simply because it tore my heart. This book takes place post-apocalypse, which is my favorite kind of books. However, this one was refreshing and unique in its own way. I literally could not put the book down, and I found myself staying up late just to finish it. Even hours after I have read it, I am still having that 'book hangover', trying to grasp the fact that it is merely fictional, and I must return to reality. But I simply cannot, because I love the characters too much. I hope there will be a sequel! :)
EverAfterEsther More than 1 year ago
This is one book that definitely hasn't received nearly enough attention for how amazing it is- seriously underhyped! It's a fantastic retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion (which I actually have yet to read- but I know I will after loving this one so much) set in the future with a definite science fiction feel to it. A story just bursting with creativity and a truly epic romance, this is one book that will definitely have widespread appeal and is a must read for 2012. Reasons to Read: 1.Gorgeous writing: I haven't read any of Diana Peterfreund other books, but I have to say that I feel like she was the ideal author to pen this particular book. The style of writing is perfectly suited to the story- it stands on its own, but is still reminiscent of classical stories but with its own futuristic slang subtley woven in. 2.Fantastic blend of diverse genres: It's hard enough to write a new story inspired by a famous, classical one and somehow retain that same feel of the story while placing it in a new setting with new characters and somehow making it your own. Diana proves that Persuasion is a timeless tale, one that we can still identify with in our own ways, even if the world she imagines is vastly different from our own in many ways. Yet she instills her own thoughts and questions to it, to make the story even more applicable to contemporary times (and questions which will still be around for a while, because of the relevance of technology). I've only seen a handful of authors do this well, but For Darkness Shows the Stars proves that books including historical, "classic" themes along with science fiction actually can be combined and work WELL together. 3.Truly epic romance: I hesitate to call this an epic romance, but it's the romantic plot that stays closest to the idea of Persuasion. Childhood best friends who've grown apart because of their class differences within society - not quite by choice, yet not entirely starcrossed either. You have to keep in mind that the plot really does centre around the romance a fair amount. And I loved that this one was different - no love at first sight here! It's a gradual build up of trust and friendship all over again for Kai and Elliot. That being said, I still felt like the romance could have been set up a bit better- there was so much angst there (understandable) but it felt like it switched over too quickly so it felt a tad jarring. I think it really could have been milked for all its worth to make it far more effective- something that I find Jane Austen to be excellent at doing! And considering that the plot was very driven by the romance, I was expecting a bit more power from it at the end. I also wasn't particularly pleased with some of the secondary characters, like Elliot's father and sister who felt far too flat for me. A little too simple, and not enough depth for my liking personally. But other than those two small areas, this book is completely brilliant. It's tragic and moving and emotional, and completely nostalgic of some old favourites. But still shiny and new! ARC received from HarperCollins Canada.
BookWhales More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars! I was waiting for this book to come out on Amazon. I was salivating to read it as early as possible. I love Jane Austen’s books. When I heard that this book was inspired by Persuasion, I had to get it. The story is about a world ruled by the Luddites, who opposed technology (genetic experimentation). The world is bended back to its old ways after the war. The people who are involved/experimented with genetics are now mentally disabled. Now, they are called the “Reduced”, people who now work under the Luddites. Then a new line is working its way up, the post. A person, who are born from a reduced parent but exhibits no mental disability, they are skilled inventers and mechanists that can possibly weave back the lost technology from the old world. Can technology be easily be embraced again by the Luddites? You have to read this amazing book to find out. The world building is outstanding. The world, Diana had made is unique and intriguing. I was captured and absorbed in. Despite the fact that this book was inspired by Persuasion, I find this book unique. There is nothing like it. There are some terms used in the book that is new to me (eg. Luddites) The world is complex but easy to comprehend. That is what I like about this book; it was not perplexing. I also like the author’s ability to describe the scenes. I didn’t have a hard time picturing it in my head. It was flawlessly written, it was not confusing to me. The characters are well developed. They had me captured. They are unforgettable and imprinted in my mind. Elliot is an impressive character. I love everything about her. She is dedicated to her responsibilities. I admire her kindness and generosity. As for Kai, is hard to like him at first. He is a confusing young man. How can he easily judge Elliot? Though, his drive to have his freedom awed me. The story also showed their letters from the past. I find it cute! You will get to see how their friendship blossoms and how it’s like growing up from a world shattered by war and division. This book made my cry several times. I felt Elliot’s emotions deeply towards Kai and how heavy her responsibilities are. I find myself hating Kai, half of the book. His coldness towards Elliot actually gave spice to the story which in return made my blood boil in hatred. He redeems himself nearly at the ending. I thought Elliot had lost him. After all this time!! As for the love angle, it is heartwarming. Omigosh! This book had shattered my heart into tiny pieces. It was a rollercoaster ride for Elliot. All this time, their quarrels had been a “Lover’s quarrels”. Overall, this book is an excellent read. I wouldn’t mind reading it again and again. I recommend this book to dystopian and classic retelling lovers. This book is the one to read.
Bookishluv More than 1 year ago
For Darkness Shows the Stars was a beautiful take on Persuasion by Jane Austen. Diana Peterfreund is an incredible writer and I am more then likely going to go and pick up a few more of her books that she has written seeing how wonderfully she put a spin on a classic. This book was epic if that can even describe it. After I was finished reading it I felt like there was something missing in my life for a good two to three days and even now when I think about it I just want to go pick it up and get lost in it all over again. There was a lot of interesting things going on in the book. It's based in a post apocalyptic world. Genetic experiments were being conducted on humans which went very wrong and gave birth to the Reduction. There are the Reduced, they are people who are very simple minded. We are also introduced to the Luddites they are the ones who control the Reduced. Although now a few generations after the event every so often a Post child is born to a Reduced. Posts are just as intelligent and coherent as the Luddites and many of them are leaving the Luddite estates. Even though the plot and the post apocalyptic world Peterfreund created was gripping and had me curious from the beginning that is not what kept me turning the pages. It was Kai and Elliot and their past and their present that had me staying up until three in the morning straining my eyes open just to finish this book. I only got about three and a half hours of sleep that night and it was well worth it. What really made their relationship stand out from other YA couples are the letters throughout the novel from their childhood. It really let us know the depth of their relationship and slowly bit by bit revealed who they are as an individual and a real understanding on why Kai has become the way he is in the present. Another character who really stood out to me and a reason why I consider Peterfreund one hell of a talented writer is Ro. She was a reduced, barely able to speak a few words if even that and yet her character captured my heart. Overall I can't say enough how much you should go read this book. I can easily say this will be a book I will pick up often to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elliot is forced to make a heartbreaking decision. One that plagues her every day after. Has she made the right decision? When a lifeturning opportunity happens her heart breaks all over again. A story of true perserverence & deep abiding love for those she is responsible for as well as the one who has always held her heart. A fast paced page turner that you won't be able to put down!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Wayyyyyyy better than i was expecting for an inexpensive book!
Espan_Rose More than 1 year ago
For Darkness Shows the Stars is a fascinating retelling of Jane Austen’s beloved Persuasion. It’s a futuristic post-apocalyptic story, but not your average one. Rather than the traditional society losing its identity and the survivors struggling to discover their identity, these novels are set so long after the fact that the survivors have created and cemented their society. The setting is lush in detail, and the unique fantastical ideas heighten this tale. Elliot is a beautifully written character; she is brilliant with a strong heart. She single-handedly keeps her family’s land running, even while quietly staying within her father’s demanding rules. She is trapped by her own love for those around her, and her place in the world, but she doesn’t let that define her, and continues to find her own way, even in the dark. And Kai is a self-made man, once a slave on her land, now a respected sea captain with some of the most fantastical creations and creatures her world had ever seen. Though once in love, their reunion is difficult, and while they force civility, there is cold tension between them. Both have secrets they’d rather not let anyone know, especially the secrets of their hearts. But will they let the hurt, and the world’s expectations, determine their lives, or are they willing to take a risk and follow their heart? Surrounded by interesting characters and a past that is slowly releasing its grasp, this retelling is certainly unique and a wonderful read.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Being a Luddite demands a certain set of rules be followed by Elliot North from the subdued colors that should be worn to the avoidance of all technology that caused the Reduction and nearly destroyed humanity. Being the youngest daughter of Baron North–ostensibly in charge of both the North and Boatwright estates–brings with it both a certain prestige and a certain understanding of what is and is not acceptable. Years of experience have taught Elliot to be guarded and cautious but even knowing everything her family holds dear, knowing what all Luddites are meant to protect, nothing is enough to stop Elliot from wanting more for herself and the estates. Four years ago Elliot chose caring for her family estates above all else. The choice was absolute and, she thought, irrevocable. But four years can change a great many things–even as far from the city as the North estate. With more and more Post-Reductionists appearing, the world itself is changing. There are fewer Reduced being born and more Posts questioning the absolute Luddite authority. In the wake of progress and her father’s frivolous spending, Elliot’s estate is on the verge of failure until Elliot receives an offer to rent the estate to the mysterious (and well-funded) Cloud Fleet. Four years ago Elliot made a choice. Now, having spent four years thinking of everything keeping her on the estates and everything she has sacrificed for them, Elliot has another choice to make in For Darkness Shows the Stars (2012) by Diana Peterfreund. For Darkness Shows the Stars is Diana Peterfreund’s Post-Apocalypic retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen. Because I was so excited about For Darkness Shows the Stars, I read it before I had a chance to check out Persuasion which allows me to say with absolutely certainty that this book stands on its own merit. Peterfreund uses an unlikely backdrop to reinvent one of literature’s most familiar romances. Evocative settings of the estates quickly make it clear why Elliot is willing to sacrifice so much not just for the staff of her estates but also for the land itself. A well-developed premise makes Elliot’s world believable and captivating before you know anything about the story’s inspiration. This novel aptly references Persuasion while also adding adornments to the plot that make it utterly unique. Rather than telling the same story in a new place and time, Peterfreund takes Austen’s characters and story one step further by elaborating on the class tensions found in the original text and re-examining and expanding the traits that made Persuasion‘s heroine and hero so appealing in the first place. For Darkness Shows the Stars is a stellar book in every respect as well as one of my favorites from 2012. Already a must-read for Austen fans, I’d also go as far as to say it’s a must read for anyone looking for a beautifully written, completely riveting story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was sooooo well written and I loved the love story. Perfection. I loved the details and the description the author used throughout the book. I could feel Elliots pain and heartbreak. I couldn't put the book down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just loved it. I'm an eighteen year old college student who was looking for something to take my mind off of schoolwork for a bit and I ended up reading this book in less than a week.  I never wanted to put it down! Loved it from start to finish, beautiful story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author has created an amazing world that resonates with echos of our time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely amazing! I am in awe, I cannot explain it in words how much I love it. I guess the reason I love it so much is because of how much I connect with Elliot in real life. A real love story that I hope will turn out to be mine someday.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
A gripping dystopian novel that will break your heart to pieces as you share Elliot's heartbreak over her choice in duty over love. From the first pages, Peterfreund had my heart gripped in her hand. The novel begins with Elliot worrying over affairs at the estate. The family is near financial ruin, yet her father insists on living in a luxury that he cannot afford. Elliot is the only sensible member of the family and powerless to stand before her father. Despite her cleverness and the respect the Posts and Reduced on the North estate have for her, she is timid and knows not how to stand up for herself. Her devotion towards the people on the estate is integral to Elliot's character and the duty that she feels to them plays an important part in the novel. The novel is highly character driven. Elliot and Kai are childhood friends who fell in love, but they parted ways four years ago, Elliot with grave sorrow and Kai embittered. Both still remember the past with different mindsets, however, and misunderstandings and old arguments stand in the way of a happy reunion. There is little interaction in the ways of romance in this novel. Rather, it focuses on pride and self-interest. Neither Elliot nor Kai will concede to the other, fixated as they both are on their own interests. I was tormented as I wavered between viewing Kai as a jerk for refusing to admit that Elliot was right to stay behind, for not seeing the anguish she's suffered over her decision to let him go, and wanting to believe that Kai would turn out to be a good guy after all. Elliot is a strong, courageous girl, and she deserves happiness. Social mannerisms are also significant to the novel. It impacts how the characters act around different people, and it causes Elliot grief, as she cares about the people working on the North estate whereas her father is willing to let them starve so that he can live in luxury. It is because Elliot is a Luddite that she believes herself responsible for caring for the North estate, not to mention her friendship with the Posts. Speaking of the Posts, the world building in this novel is extraordinary. The context of the novel is carefully woven into the story with such detail and precision that it swept me into the story. For Darkness Shows the Stars is a complex novel filled with a cast of complicated, very real characters. There are characters that I wanted to hate but ended up feeling grudging respect towards, and there are characters that I wanted to love... and, well, loved. No human is perfect, and this novel showcases the various sides to humanity from slothfulness to greediness to naïveness to the duty-bound. And Elliot is one of the duty-bound, a characteristic doubly engrained in her as she once chose duty over love. As much as I would love to gloat over the beautiful ending, I would have been just as contented had it turned out differently. Elliot once made a choice, and she has to make it once more at the end. I could easily see her choosing either way. I very much enjoyed this brilliant retelling of Persuasion as set in a dystopian world and will most definitely be recommending it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All i have to say is i loved it and this is how i wish wuthering heights had ended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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CaptivatedRding More than 1 year ago
Ohmygoodnessgracious!!!!! This book. It SO wasn't what I was expecting! I don't WHAT I was expecting, but it wasn't this. Okay, let me back up a little bit. Hearing that this book is comparable to Jane Austen's Persuasion (which is one of my all-time favorites, by the way), I KNEW I had to pick it up. So, when I won it from the EXTREMELY fabulous folks over at Epic Reads, I knew it was meant to be that I read this. How does Ms. Peterfreund get a book to be squeal-worthy when the main characters never even lay LIPS on each other?! I don't know...But, hot dang, she did it! After refusing her love, Kai, four years ago, Elliot is surely shocked to see him show up with the group that is renting out her grandfather's land to build a ship. But, Kai isn't the same Kai that left Elliot four years ago. Between Kai's romantic interest in Elliot's neighbor, a father and sister who continue to treat Elliot--as well as their workers--with continued disdain, and a love for boy who seems to have morphed into someone who both hates her and someone she doesn't recognize anymore, Elliot is sinking quickly into a life that's getting beyond her control. Her only concern is keeping her workers safe and making life better for them, and everyone that she's in charge of...And maybe pining after Kai a little bit, as well. The premise may be borrowed, in a way, from a brilliant author, but the background is as original as it gets. Jane Austen in a dystopian-society? YES!!! Now, if Ms. Peterfreund would just make a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago