Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book Recommendation: FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS by Diana Peterfreund

Join us tomorrow for an INTERACTIVE installment of "Interview with an Agent" with Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis, Inc!

Confession: I've only read two Jane Austen novels in their entirety, and PERSUASION isn't one of them. Still, the idea of a retelling of one of Ms. Austen's lesser-known novels intrigued me, and it turned out to be just as awesome as I'd hoped.

FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS tells the story of Elliot North, the second daughter of a self-centered Luddite lord. Their ancestors rejected the technology developed by overreaching scientists, and it's a good thing, too. When these scientists' modifications led to deformities and even death, the Luddites were the only ones who stood between humankind and total annihilation. Now they care for the Reduced, the mentally stunted descendants of those who indulged in the technology, and follow the protocols that kept their species safe. Except Elliot is less interested in following the protocols than keeping her estate--and all the people who depend on it--afloat. To do that, she's willing to tinker with the genetics of her wheat, a crime against her ancestors and possibly herself, and turn her back on the only boy she's ever loved.

If Jane Austen had ever thought to tackle sci-fi, this is exactly how it would have turned out. In a market where so many YA characters have sex without a second thought, the Regency-like restraint exhibited by Kai and Elliot made every glance and touch that much more romantic. Their chemistry was palpable, even though they spent most of the novel pretending not to love each other (as Ms. Austen's characters are wont to do), and the journey of self-discovery that Elliot went on was an important one.

FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is an epic love story set against the backdrop of a compelling sci-fi world. I've seen some sites describe it as dystopian, but don't let that description fool you. This is no Hunger Games ripoff. All in all, I think Ms. Austen would be more than proud.


Jenilyn Collings said...

I'm gasping over your confession! Okay, not really, but I am very curious to know which of her books you've read.

You can probably guess how I feel about Austen retellings and won't be surprised that I've read this, but I love seeing what other people think of books. :-)

Kelly Bryson said...

Hey Krista! I saw your 5 stars on this book on goodreads and will pick it up next time I'm in the library. As not a Jane Austen fan either, I can relate to having read only two of her books. I think I read Persuasion, but somehow they don't stick in my head. I think the emotions are so understated and the social rules are so important yet not spelled out that I feel like I miss all the good stuff, which I assume is in there, since tons of avid readers love Austen, including many of my friends.

Thanks for the review- I haven't picked up a new book for fun in forever and ever- it's all verbal behavior and assessments and reinforcement for the last year. I'm in my last class, though, and there is a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. I've missed you and my other bloggy friends!

Have you heard of Bone Season? A local friend highly recommended it and is in fact going to drop it by my house tomorrow:)

Jessie Oliveros said...

Persuasion is one of my favorite Austens (after S&S and P&P). There is a lot of tension in the original, too. YOU SHOULD READ IT.

And thanks for the review--this one looks good. Sci-fi Austen, I never would have thought of it.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Jeni, I've read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. (I'm so original, aren't I?) And I noticed on Goodreads that you didn't give this one quite as many stars as I did;)

Kelly, I think you'll really like this one; it strikes me as your kind of book. You'll have to let me know what you think (even if you don't like it as much as I do). (And I haven't heard of BONE SEASON, so I'll have to look it up!)

Noted, Jessie! Interestingly, I don't think I've ever read a retelling, then gone back and read the source material, so this should be an Experience at the very least...

Myrna Foster said...

How funny! Q just told me that I HAD TO READ (yes, in caps) this one. She didn't say it was a Persuasion retelling. I think you'd love Persuasion. My favorite Austen novels are P&P, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey, not necessarily in that order.

Thanks for the recommendation!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

You're welcome, Myrna! And I agree with Q--I think you're going to like this one:)