Sometimes, words on a page do not seem to adequately express one’s feelings. I write this post with tears still in my eyes – good tears – because this book was AMAZING.
And now, because it was apparently based on Jane Austen’s Persuasion, I am going to have to add Persuasion to my reading list. (Yes, Pride and Prejudice is one of my absolute favourite books. I liked Sense and Sensibility but hated Emma and that was as far as my reading of Austen got, to my eternal shame). I have also just discovered (thanks goodreads) that this is not the only book by Diana Peterfreund set in this world, and I am thrilled.
For Darkness Shows the Stars follows Elliot North, a young woman who is desperately trying to hold herself and her Estate together – despite the casual cruelty of her father (who – in title – runs the Estate) and her own heartbreak. Elliot is a Luddite – one of the ruling class, who shunned technology in times past. The Luddites hid as the world around them descended into chaos when genetic manipulation went wrong. The Luddites emerged from hiding and took charge, saving the Reduced by employing and providing for them – protecting them. Now, generations later, children are being born to Reduced parents. These children, Post-reductionists (or, as Luddites call them, Children of the Reduction) are not like their parents, and resent being treated like them. Elliot North knows her duty as a Luddite only too well and she is doing her best to protect her people, even if it means going against the Protocols and perhaps risking everything.
Elliot rents land to the Cloud Fleet, in an attempt to ensure she will be able to feed her people. This brings her face-to-face with her childhood sweetheart, Kai. In the four years Kai’s been gone, much has changed. Elliot is forced to choose between tradition and secrecy – to protect what she has been taught is the only way, or to protect her heart.
This book definitely swept me up, pretty immediately. Elliot is such a powerful character – pretending strength while hiding her own heartbreak and sacrificing her own desires for her responsibilities. I felt so much with her while reading this book. You really understand why Dee and others have staunchly stood by Elliot, despite the difficulties and dangers of being a servant on the North estate. You feel the raging internal conflict that Elliot is struggling with, as she works for her people, secretly and blasphemously. You respect the balancing act that Elliot lives every day. She makes the story.
I would definitely recommend this book, with the highest praise. LOVED it. So so much. What else is there to say? 5 / 5!!