Thursday, November 15, 2012

For Darkness Shows the Stars, Diana Peterfreund

Elliot North raced across the pasture, leaving a scar of green in the silver, dew-encrusted grass. Jef followed, tripping a bit as his feet slid inside his too-big shoes.

I enjoyed this science fiction retelling of Persuasion much better than the original novel. In For Darkness Shows the Stars, it's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong caused the Reduction, killing off many people, and causing the rise of Luddite nobility, who outlawed most technology. They believed that the Reduction was God's way of punishing people for trying to play god.

Elliot North is the daughter of Baron North, and a Luddite. Four years before the story begins, she refused to run away with Kai, a "Post", a child of the Reduced with normal functions. Now, the world is changing: the Posts are advocating progress and rising to power. The estate is not doing well, causing Elliot to have to rent out land to the Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes the explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth- Kai. Elliot wonders if this could be a second chance, but Kai is aloof- at first. Elliot discovers a secret that Kai carries. And she has secrets of her own.

I enjoyed the spin of off Persuasion, though I do think that Diana Peterfreund should have kept Wentworth, not Wentforth, as the name. For Darkness Shows the Stars is also its own story though, and quite interesting as a stand-alone novel. It has a lot of differences from Persuasion, so it's just loosely based.

I loved the world-building here; the society is described well, and the various viewpoints on the Reduction portrayed are quite interesting. I think the question here is quite prevalent today: to meddle or not to meddle, to modify or not to modify? For Darkness Shows the Stars is a smart and enjoyable science fiction.

Read For Darkness Shows the Stars:
  • if you liked Persuasion
  • if you like science fiction
  • if you are interested in genetic modification
  • if you like romance
402 pages.
Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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