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text 2015-06-12 18:24
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund

Kai (the hero) did get on my nerves but love everything in the end!

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review 2015-03-20 16:31
For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund

When I finished this book I thought if you changed this to a historical romance with a few changes, it would be like a lot of the books I've read. I didn't really correlate the author's quote and reference to Jane Austen until afterwards and then slapped myself in the forehead. It's a retelling of Persuasion, just not as good.

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text 2014-11-05 14:05
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund [Kindle & Nook]
For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund

This is on sale for $1.99 for Kindle AND Nook...

 

 

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Shows-Stars-Diana-Peterfreund-ebook/dp/B006NZ77JI/

 

Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/for-darkness-shows-the-stars-diana-peterfreund/

 

Summary (From Amazon):

 

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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review 2014-09-21 21:07
#CBR6 Book 100: Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
Across a Star-Swept Sea - Diana Peterfreund

Set in a different part of the same post-apocalyptic world as For Darkness Shows the Starsthis book is more of a companion novel than a sequel. The two islands of New Pacifica are Albion (think a futuristic pacific islander England) and Galatea (sci-fi revolutionary France). In Albion they have democracy and happily genetically alter their bodies to be their very best selves. Princess Isla is the regent of Albion until her toddler brother comes of age, because while they are big on genetic engineering, they also seriously underestimate women and still believe in primogeniture. In Galatea, the general population rebelled against their tyrannical despot of a queen and are currently subduing all of their former nobility with drugs that pretty much chemically lobotomise them. Unfortunately, as Revolutions are wont to do, things are starting to go a bit pear-shaped, with those in power Reducing (giving the drugs to) anyone not entirely agreeing with their point of view. The leaders of the glorious revolution have become as bad as the leader they initially rebelled against.

 

The Wild Poppy is an Albian spy who through a series of rescue missions liberate Galatean citizens, taking them to safety in Albion. Because everyone is incredibly sexist and no one believes that women are any good at anything, it is assumed that the Wild Poppy is a man. This suits Lady Persis Blake perfectly, as no one would suspect that the vapid, teenage socialite and best friend to the Princess Regent of Albion is in fact the most talked about spy in New Pacifica. Along with some of her friends, she risks her life repeatedly to rescue Galateans from the Reign of Terror they are under. Making very sure that no one remembers that a few years ago, Persis Blake was one of the most brilliant and promising young minds in Albion, Persis instead acts like every single fashionista party girl you can imagine. She's princess Isla's BFF and fashion adviser, throws the best parties and knows all the good gossip. She's also brave, excellent at disguises, brilliant at deflecting unwanted attention and a loyal friend to the beleaguered young queen. 

 

Justen Helo is a Galatean medic who is deeply disenchanted with the direction the revolution is taking. He wants to defect to Albion and help find a cure for the all the people who have been chemically Reduced. Princess Isla wants it publicly known that Helo has defected from Galatea and decides that he and Persis should pretend to be an item, something neither of the two are all that happy about. Yet the princess gets what she wants, and Persis and Justen have to pretend to be madly in love. He believes she's a narcissistic socialite with nothing more serious on her mind than what she's going to wear next, never realising that she's the genius hero behind all the daring rescues. He wants to find a cure for the chemical Reduction which his guardian, the head of the Galatean revolution is responsible for, as well as rescuing his sister who is still in Galatea. As they spend more time together, they banter and argue and obviously grow more attracted to one another. Persis knows that Justen despises her chosen persona, but can't risk showing him her true self. 

 

There are so many excellent female characters in this book. Persis is an amazing heroine, all the more remarkable because she's just seventeen. Her friendships with princess Isla and Andrine, another of the members of the Wild Poppy league are realistic and nuanced and it's great to see these young women taking advantage of the prejudices of the society they live in, in order to make the world a better place and save lives, without ever asking for credit or glory. While I didn't like her much (she is one of the villains, after all) Vania Aldred, Justen's foster sister, is also an impressive and strong female character trying to prove herself in the Galatean army but constantly being underestimated and accused of only gaining her position thanks to nepotism. Justen's sister Remy, while young, clearly also wants to make a difference and make a name for herself, even if she has to risk her life to do so.

 

Peterfreund's world building is a thing of beauty and I am simply not doing the plot or the richness of the environment these books are set in justice in my review. I love The Scarlet Pimpernel and this was such a cool gender reversed science fiction re-imagining of it. Lady Persis Blake is in many ways even more of an impressive hero than Sir Percy Blakeney, because he was a very wealthy and fully grown man. Persis is rich, to be sure, but she's also just a teenage girl, running a spy ring consisting mainly of other teenagers. It makes her feats even more impressive. Of the two books, this was absolutely my favourite. I'm so glad I finally got round to reading these books. 

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2014/09/cbr6-book-100-across-star-swept-sea-by.html
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text 2014-09-18 21:37
#CBR6 Book 99: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund

Laziness makes me resort to the Goodreads synopsis once again:

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 the 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 are 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 include renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wenthforth - 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. 

I bought this book in an e-book sale a while back, based on the enthusiastic review onForever Young Adult. Then, as so often is the case, I forgot all about it. This summer, my fellow Cannonballers scotsa1000 and bonnie both reviewed it excellently and reminded me that I owned it and should probably do myself the favour of reading it.

I suspect the book works well as a piece of dystopian young adult even for readers that have never read Persuasion. It may possibly also tempt younger readers to check out Jane Austen's classic novel. Ever since her mother passed, Elliot has been working herself nearly to death, trying to take care of the workers on her family's estate, while her father and sister ignore their increasingly dire financial situation and live a life of indolence and leisure. Elliot's father thinks nothing of exploiting his dependents or destroying a field of valuable crops to build himself a race track. When the famed admiral of the Cloud Fleet offers a substantial amount amount of money to rent her grandfather's home and ship yard, she has no choice but to agree.

She never expected to see the boy she loved all grown up into an imposing and famous man, now a lauded and wealthy explorer. Born on the same day, Kai and Elliot became friends as children, despite the difference in their stations and Elliot's father's objections. Kai initially only wanted to become the estate's mechanic, but developed more radical ideas as he grew older, finally running away in search of a better life when his life on the estates became too stifling. Not realising that Elliot rejected him not because she didn't love him, but because she knew the estate and all the people on it would be doomed if she left, the returned Malakai treats her coldly and tries to avoid her as much as possible.

My main complaint with this novel is probably how reticent and self-sacrificing Elliot stays throughout the story. She's clearly strong, responsible, loyal and brave, but I desperately wanted her to speak up and fight for herself and her happiness. Of course, Anne Elliot doesn't confront Wenthworth in Persuasion, but pines dolefully, so it's not surprising that Elliot never shouts angrily at Kai to make him realise why she couldn't go with him and why he's being so unreasonable towards her. Peterfreund never entirely convinced me as to why Kai was a worthy romantic hero. Kai acts cold and unpleasant for so much of the book, with less than entirely believable characterisation or exposition showing why Elliot loved him so much.

The world building of the book is excellent, though. A world where scientific experiments and genetic engineering has pretty much wiped out humanity is an interesting concept as was the social order established afterwards. It's quite clear that the pretty much feudal society here needs to evolve and change, though and Kai and his new Post-Reductionist friends show the fascinating possibilities the future might hold, if people are brave enough to try to change.

My next review will be of the companion novel to this book - based on another of my favourite classics - The Scarlet Pimpernel. I'm now also very interested in checking out other of Peterfreund's books.

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.com/2014/09/cbr6-book-99-for-darkness-shows-stars.html
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