For Darkness Shows the Stars
About the Book:
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.
A futuristic re-telling of Jane Austen's Persuasion? As soon as I heard that description, I knew I'd want to read it. Why then did I wait so long to pick it up? I have no idea, but I want to smack myself. This story is incredible! I think one thing that made me hesitate was I had tried reading the first couple of chapters, and they just didn't draw me in like I was hoping. In fact, it took several chapters before I was hooked. But I did enjoy the set up simply because it was fun to try and figure out who each character represented from Persuasion. There were a few that took a little longer, but mostly I would read and think, "Oh! That's Harville!" or "That's Benwick!" and so on. Ms. Peterfreund did a marvelous job adapting the Austen novel into her futuristic world. Like Anne in Persuasion, we spend a great deal of time in Elliot's head. She is such a strong and responsible young woman. We realize that while she has regrets, she also has heavy responsibilities on her shoulders. These responsibilities help us understand why she made the choice she did, four years ago. Kai though, he doesn't understand and has been nursing a bitterness against her, which he gladly tells her pretty much as soon as they meet again. Oh those two silly people. Misunderstandings abound between them, but once we finally get to that wonderful letter (yes, that letter!) we are cheering for them to finally see one another clearly. Letters have been a part of their relationship from the beginning, in fact we get a few chapters consisting of the letters they exchanged over the years, and it's fitting that such a lovely one is part of their story now. I was hoping Ms. Peterfreund would do it justice and she did not disappoint. So heart-meltingly wonderful. You should read this story just to get to it, because it's so perfect and right and.....sigh. I can't explain it, it needs to be read! :)
But this story is so much more than just a re-telling. It is its own story also and one that you don't realize is coming. So there I was, reading along and enjoying all the references to Persuasion and then suddenly there came a twist I was not expecting! I had to go back and read it again, it surprised me so. But in a good way! I won't spoil it for you, but it was definitely a unique plotline. Once I read that, there was no way I was putting this book down until I found out how Ms. Peterfreund was going to bring it all together. Which she did beautifully. If you've read Persuasion, I'm pretty sure you'll like this one. If you haven't, I'm pretty sure you'll like this one anyway. It really is just that good! :D
A Passage For You:
"He waved his hand. "Don't worry a bit. The sun-carts make great time when the weather's as clear as today's. Even my horses could hardly keep up. We haven't seen a flicker of your father yet, but your sister Tatiana's been, ah, entertaining us while we waited for you."
Elliot could only imagine. Well water perhaps, from tin cups? She wouldn't put it past her sister.
"Come in and meet the Fleet," he said, bustling her into her own house.
"The whole Cloud Fleet is in my parlor?" Elliot asked with a smile. "Very impressive, sir."
Toodle-loo kangaroos! Happy reading! :)