Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the StarsBook: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Publication Date: June 12th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 398
Rating: 2 Stars

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.

NO KISS? I went through this many pages of what-the-fappery and there was NO KISS? Jane Austen or no, I am angry.

The blurb proclaims that this book is inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion. When I think Austen, I think of witty repartee, handsome gentlemen, and annoying sisters. The third is not necessary, but funnily enough, is the only aspect of this book that comes even close to Austen's writing.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a dystopian retelling of Austen's Persuasion, but it failed on both parts. I haven't read much Austen, but I did enjoy Pride and Prejudice, and I definitely do not think this book does her any justice at all. It's about a girl, Elliot (had to think for five minutes before I remembered her name), who is left behind taking care of a crumbling estate because her useless father and sister can't do it themselves. While she takes care of the people and dabbles secretly in genetically engineered plants, she also pines after her childhood best friend.

Problem #1: The main character's personality (or lack of one). Elliot was pathetic. Completely pathetic. Most of the book, she's miserable but does nothing about it. She takes all the crap that her father and sister put her through and walks away with her tail between her legs whenever she's snubbed by Kai. She grows some balls about 300 pages in and talks back to him, but then she cries. And cries some more. Elizabeth Bennet would have said something smooth and appropriately cunning. Elliot just runs away with her eyes burning.

Of course, things happen in this book, as they happen in any novel. Though in this one, they happen excruciatingly boringly and slowly. Which brings us to

Problem #2: The nonexistent plot. What was it? Actually, scratch that. I hardly care right now. Who was the bad guy? The father and sister? But no, they suddenly stopped posing any threat at all at one point. The Posts and technological advancement? No, Elliot supports them even though they do experiments on children. Even though she is shocked and disgusted by the fact that Kai has, essentially, been injected with chemicals and become a sort of alien, she still goes abroad with him. So...was the enemy the Luddites and their views against advancement? But Elliot mentions that many of them are becoming okay with technology and wearing the garish clothes of the Posts. They rather reminded me of the Amish, though I'm sure the Amish are lovely people. They definitely aren't hypocritical concerning their beliefs. So...I didn't get what the conflict was. If there's any enemy in this book, that enemy would be Kai.

Problem #3: The male lead's completely unsexy personality. Kai, there are so many things I could say about you. But the main point is that you're a total douchebag. If one of my friends ever had the stupidity to fall for someone like you, I would slap her in the face a couple times for being such a blithering moron. Which is what Elliot is, in all matters that relate to Kai. There is absolutely nothing attractive about Kai. He badmouths Elliot to his friends so that everyone he's acquainted with hates her without knowing her, he insults her in public, and he even goes as far to pretend to be courting and even lay his head in her lap. It's only when he realizes his actions could potentially kill someone does he stop. After all the shit he puts Elliot through, all he has to do is write her some disgustingly gushy and cliche letter, and she goes running back to him.

*cue me sticking finger down throat*

The love story in this book is absolutely despicable. The book is basically just Elliot wearing ugly clothes, Elliot pining for Kai, Kai being a douchebag, Elliot pining some more, Kai being more of a douchebag, Elliot still pining, then BOOM happily ever after and everything magically becomes better. Also, a bunch of yawn-worthy info-dump letters that I skimmed.

Why did we need 400 pages for this redundant bullshit?!

Also, remember, there wasn't even a damned kiss.

The only consolation (and the only reason i gave this 2 stars) is that Peterfreund had the decency to write this one book and not extend it into a miserable series. Which she should be commended on, because not all authors have that sort of foresight (The Selection, cough.) 
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