For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)
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For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  9,564 ratings  ·  1,724 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 407 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
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Community Reviews

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2 1/2 stars

In the realm of music, this post-apocalyptic reboot of Jane Austen’s Persuasion would be what’s referred to as a cover song. As a massive music fan, I’ve developed two major criteria for what I think makes a successful cover song (aspiring musicians take note – a YA book blogger is giving you advice!):

1) The source material has to be pretty mediocre and possibly annoying. It’s begging to be redone.
Exhibit A: Ryan Adams’ cover of Oasis’ Wonderwall (sorry Oasis lovers but I grew up in t...more
Jan 27, 2012 Arlene rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Austen's Persuasion
Rating Clarification: 4.5 stars

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund is an ambitious retelling of the classic Persuasion by Jane Austen. I’ll admit now that I’m not well versed when it comes to Austen and I’m probably one of the last few who hasn’t read Pride and Prejudice. However, Persuasion is one that I enjoyed actually a couple of years ago, so Captain Wentworth is to me what Mr. Darcy is to other Austen fans. Overall, to experience Diana’s journey through the frame of reference...more
Personally, I would just read Persuasion. Dystopian retellings seem to be all the rage these days and For Darkness Shows the Stars is no exception; at this point I'm convinced all these authors and publishers are all thinking, let's add a bleak futuristic setting and some moral quandaries to all our plots and profit! (Either that or the good old vampire/werewolf/angel trifecta.) Too bad you do actually need more than that for a good book - I've read Persuasion and I've read good dystopians, and...more
Originally reviewed here.

I know this is an almost unpardonably early review. But honestly, I waited on it as long as I possibly could before the effort of holding it in caused me some sort of bodily harm. I've been anxiously looking forward to FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS for going on two years now, and the day an ARC showed up on my doorstep was just a very good day indeed. When a book you've been dying to read finally falls into your lap, do you ever just hold onto it and savor the possibilit...more

"'What's so funny? […] That you take a little spill from a horse and everyone wants to rearrange the world so you don't suffer a moment of inconvenience?' 'No,' she said, and her voice was even. 'That I would wait a month in agony just to hear you insult me. I'm a miserable girl indeed, don't you think?'"

The lion’s share of my rating decision is always based on my own personal enjoyment of a book. And my ability to enjoy a book certainly depends on the characters and how they manage to move me,...more
I first heard about this book a year ago through Catie's fantastic review. As a fan of Persuasion, I figured this was an automatic skip. I mean, come on, Wentforth? And why is Coco Rocha modeling a dress on the cover? In space? Fast forward a year later, I saw this was available at my e-library and thought, Why not? Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the DNF Shelf. I loved it. And the thing is, objectively, I still agree with the points Catie made -- but sometimes, you have to go with yo...more
4.5 stars

Just some random thoughts...

I love the cover, but I don't think the girl looks like Elliot... :|

Elliot was awesome!! And there were so many times I wanted to comfort her because some of the characters were just cruel to her. :'( Some seriously deserve to get slapped! Those characters made me so angry! I wish I could have gone in there and drop kicked them in the face! Thankfully, the ones who were redeemed (like I knew they would be) I was able to forgive. ;)

This book was inspired by Pe...more
Komal Mikaelson
Initial Reaction After Completion

Why? Why, am I always deceived by pretty covers? I mean just look at the cover.
It is so pwweetttyy.
And the story it encapsulates: dreadful, painful.

You know I hate biology. And I absolutely loathe crop management. I never understood that topic because I never bothered learning it. It was plain ol' boring. Now imagine a book that pops 'genetics of wheat' every other page.
It is a big deal I completed it at all.

The book felt like a stinky, lacklustre mi...more
This going to be DNF review for me. I made it to page 224. That's all I can do, I'm afraid. This is rather disappointing to me, because I was really looking forward to this book earlier in the year. But it did not live up to my expectations. I'm really glad I decided to get this from the library instead of the e-book or a physical copy.

The only reason I would consider displaying this on my bookshelf is the beautiful cover. However, this cover is a bit misleading. For one, the model looks nothin...more
Jun 28, 2012 Gemma rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Austen lovers who aren't too obsessive...
Shelves: reviewed
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

I am a huge Austen fangirl, and my all-time favourite story of hers happens to be - you guessed it - 'Persuasion'. So when I heard that Diana Peterfreund was working on a futuristic novel inspired by that very story, it was impossible for me not to read it at the first opportunity - this is the woman responsible for a series about killer unicorns, after all.
Although it might seem like I had a lot of misgivings about this book, I actually really enjoyed it. If the author's...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kid Robot
I have a thing: I don't have any sympathy for slave owners. It's just one of those things with me. Who knows why.

Who thinks that a dystopian Persuasion remake of a slave owner loving a slave is a good idea? Apparently this author. I get that she created the whole "reduction" curse thing to make the "slaves" unable to care for themselves, but every time someone uses a slavery plot and decides to make the slaves somehow simple-minded as a justification for that slavery, I want to punch through a w...more
Over the past few years, more than a few novels have taken inspiration from Jane Austen’s work. There have been various modern and futuristic re-tellings of Pride and Prejudice so I was more than a little curious to read the dystopian story inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, a novel which I have come to love just as much, if not more, than Pride and Prejudice itself. However, to my greatest surprise and immense disappointment, the fact that For Darkness Shows the Stars is inspired by...more

I have a confession to make: every time I read a modern adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, I end up really pissed off at the end. See, I get that Austen was writing in a time when kissing before marriage was akin to prostitution (not really, but it was veeeeery frowned upon), but is it so much to ask for one little kiss at the very end of an updated retelling? Yes? No? What? Seriously, when I got to the end of Elizabeth Eulberg's Prom & Prejudice, I thought it was some kind of joke. (I also...more
I am bound to judge any story that uses Persuasion pretty harshly. I can't help myself; I'm a huge Persuasion fan, and there haven't been enough adaptations of it to dull my senses to the inconsistencies yet. So it's a risk - as much as I look forward to stories that make use of it, there's a good chance that I just won't be able to let things go. I think I probably was harder on this that I would have been if it didn't use Persuasion and instead was just another dystopian YA. But it was inevita...more

Before I get into the meat of this review I would like to take a moment to thank Diana Peterfreund for writing this incredible book. Thanks Diana, for retelling a story that I love while I don't actually enjoy reading Jane Austen novels. Thanks for adapting it in such a way that made this non-Austen-ite cry at the end and for several moments afterwards. Thank you for revamping it in such a way that made me care with my entire heart and soul what happened to these characters. Thank you for taking...more
I would like to preface my review by saying that I am a massive Diana Peterfreund fan. From the moment I read Rampant, her book about killer unicorns (I know right?!) I was hooked. When I found out that she was writing a dystopian version of Jane Austen's Persuasion, I was taken aback. Talk about something different! I got afraid, what if I don't like this book? Will I still be able to call Ms Peterfreund one of my favourite authors? Or will I hang my head in shame and mumble "Yeah well, the new...more
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Entrancing, engrossing, amazing, beautiful, unforgettable....sigh

Normally at the beginning of a review, the first thing i mention is what the book has made me feel...or what i felt about the characters. In this one i will start by the thing that i normally leave to the end: the writing.... it was so, SO BEAUTIFUL...the characters and feelings were perfectly portrayed. There was no exaggeration of style, only raw could feel how much they were hurting, one could feel the longing, an...more
Dystopian Persuasion

This isn't a perfect book, but it's a damn good one. As a retelling of Austen's book I think it is wildly successful and enjoyable.There is a very strict caste system on the plantations, and politically the society is rigid, punitive, and hypocritical. In a general sort of way (I know nothing of farming) the author has the rigors of running a large estate clear in the story, and it reminds me of Scarlett running Tara at the end of the Civil War in a good way: she is capable,...more
Pam Vlieg
There have been a lot of books in these recent years that have drawn inspiration from one from Jane Austen's titles. I don't think that I have seen one that has appealed to me half as much as this one. The romance, the misconceptions of what your true love is thinking are all there in this world Peterfreund created but with a fabulous sci-fi story added to enhance the heart wrenching that only Austen can give. Elliot and Kai, I don't think I will ever meet a pair of characters that I will love m...more
A brilliant re-imagining of PERSUASION in a future where genetic experimentation has split the world into two distinct castes. I loved Elliot, and Kai, and all the characters. Elliot's father and sister were fun to hate, Ro and Dee and Felicia were easy to love. The twists of the plot were wonderful, and I loved the ending so much I stayed up until all hours to finish!
First posted at

I totally had something else on the schedule for today but then I read this and I HAVE to talk about it! I don't even care that it's not out for four months. It's the best book I've read this year and everyone needs to read it. And love it and want it and stroke it and hug it....sorry. Got a little creepy there.

Okay, so, confession. I've never read Persuasion. I know. I KNOW. I will, I promise. I just...haven't...yet. I'm not really sure why. I've seen two mov...more
Rosamund Hodge
This is a really hard book to discuss. It's Persuasion retold as a post-apocalyptic YA, and--look, there's one huge problem with retellings/pastiches of Jane Austen novels: NOBODY IS JANE AUSTEN EXCEPT FOR JANE AUSTEN. It's like trying to write an extra Shakespeare play. You may produce something super-awesome, but on some level it will still be a failure.

So how does For Darkness Shows the Stars measure up against Persuasion? (Besides not being the product of a legendary genius.) Well, it doesn'...more

That ending was too neat and too perfect considering what could have happened. There were all those hints of things darker and more sinister things; things that you pick up on even if they’re not completely spelled out.

I liked...

You know that theirs is a world post something, but you have to piece it all together. Eventually you come away with a picture of people divided among the Luddites who’ve taken it upon themselves to take care of humanity, the Reduced who the former “cares” for an...more
Zemira Warner
I am super excited about this book. It'a a dystopian retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen. How cool is that?

Finished it a couple of hours ago. It felt a little bit dry. Where are the emotions? Not sure if I should write a review for this book. What is there left to say? I felt like this book was a combo of Gone With the Wind and Persuasion only in future. Attention: The cover is misleading! Elliot spends most of her time in grey shirt and pants. No pretty dresses inside.
After a series of wars that left most of the world destroyed, and those who took genetic drugs to be Reduced, only the Luddites survived with their minds intact. The Luddites have all the power and money, and they consider themselves caretakers of the Reduced, who have the minds of children Most of the Reduced offspring are also born into slavery with limited mental capacity. The offspring with normal mental capacity are called Posts. The Luddites follow protocols which prevent the use of techno...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Originally reviewed on A Reader of Fictions.

This is going to be a tough review for me to write. It seems the books you've most been anticipating are the ones that are most difficult to reflect upon. I had so many expectations going into For Darkness Shows the Stars (FDStS), something you can tell if you scroll back through my blog posts. In fact, I was entirely confident that this book would be a new FAVORITE, because how could a dystopian/Austen combo NOT become one of my top reads of all time?...more
Annabelle Marie Veronica

I've read almost all of Jane Austen's books. In fact, the only one I haven't read, ironically enough, is Persuasion. I'll have to read it soon, I think, to help me further appreciate this book. Still, I am of the firm belief that this book was still awesome nonetheless. I literally couldn't put it down. All I wanted to do was read this book. I was far from perfect, but it was still unbelievable awesome.

Unfortunately, Elliot didn't wo...more
the golden witch.
I admit that I haven’t read “Persuasion”, but I’ve read Peterferund’s previous work, and loved it. “For the Darkness” doesn’t disappoint. In a world several hundred years after humanity has nearly destroyed itself, a new society has been built by the new nobility, the Luddites, the peasants, the Reduced, and the new middle class, the Posts and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It actually makes me want to read the original if just to compare. All I know is that I absolutely adored this retelling, and wh...more
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Diana Peterfreund has been a costume designer, a cover model, and a food critic. Her travels have taken her from the cloud forests of Costa Rica to the underground caverns of New Zealand (and as far as she’s concerned, she’s just getting started). Diana graduated from Yale University in 2001 with dual degrees in Literature and Geology, which her family claimed would only come in handy if she wrote...more
More about Diana Peterfreund...
Rampant (Killer Unicorns, #1) Secret Society Girl (Secret Society Girl, #1) Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2) Under the Rose (Secret Society Girl, #2) Ascendant (Killer Unicorns, #2)

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“In every letter, in every line, she saw him. He hadn't changed - he'd only grown into the man he'd meant to be.” 53 likes
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