Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund


Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Source: Local Library
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 

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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. (taken from goodreads.com)
A friend recommended this book to me with an extremely high review. After reading the synopsis, I happily tucked into For Darkness Shows the Stars in hopes of discovering a swoon-worthy romance. While the plot initially grabbed my attention, I began to grow bored as Elliot's life was consumed with the affairs of her estate. 

Don't get me wrong, I love Elliot. Unlike some of the tough heroines in young adult literature, she's got a heart along with her determination. She's willing to make any sacrifice in order to protect the people under her care. 

However, I felt that the story stayed confined to the estates and it's issues even when it had the potential to branch out. The author references other cities and adventures occurring on the outside of the borders, and I wanted to glimpse the rest of the post-apocalyptic world. Instead, Elliot's problems are all related to her family or the health of the land they oversee. 

Maybe this is shallow of me, but I had my fingers crossed that this book would sweep me away with a passionate, forbidden romance. It didn't. Instead, Elliot and Kai spend most of the book avoiding each other out of anger or insecurity. After a while I was like, "Get it together people. Just talk to each other for god's sake." How can a romance be based solely on a friendship that ended four years ago? They were fourteen when they were separated. Sorry, but a tween romance is not enough to get me giggly. 

In my opinion, the author only tapped the surface of the story's potential depth in For Darkness Shows the Stars. There was so much more she could have explored, from the world of the CORs outside the North Estate to the exploration of Kai and his Post friends. While I don't regret reading the book, I do regret that I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have.

For Darkness Shows the Stars just didn't live up to my expectations, unfortunately.