Review Detail

4.2 12
Young Adult Fiction 4724
A Satisfying Retelling
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Do you ever have those books where you enjoy reading them WHILE you’re reading, but when you have to put it down it’s not a big deal? That’s what For Darkness Shows the Stars was like for me. While I was reading, I enjoyed the story and the writing, but when I would look down at my watch and see I needed to leave to go to work or a meeting and had to put the book down for a while, it didn’t bother me at all to leave the story. If I had to return this book to the library before I finished, I wouldn’t have been upset at all.

I haven’t read Jane Austen’s Persuasion, so undoubtly this affected my reading of this book in some regards. I LOVED the inclusion of the technology drift. Instead of society being stratified based upon economic class, the two main classes in this book were based upon their views towards technology. The Luddites, or the class of people to which Elliot belongs, shun most technology as evil. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book, and so many of my favorite parts where the ones in which the ethics of technology was debated. I think it was an interesting addition to this story, which at it’s core, is a love story.

The main aspect of this book that made it not a I LOVE THIS! book for me were the characters. Now, I am typically a character-driven reader. Nothing makes me DNF a book faster than characterization that is sloppy or makes no sense. Peterfreund’s characterization wasn’t bad by any means, and they grew and learned throughout the story, but I never felt as emotionally connected to them as I would have liked. I kept reading because the plot intrigued me, but I felt no loyalty towards the characters. I was a happily-ever-after not because I cared about the characters but just because I wanted a happy ending.

By the end of the book, I was only half-heartedly rooting for Elliot, and wasn’t too fussed about Kai at all. They just didn’t stand out to me in any great way. I did think that Peterfreund’s writing was had a great natural rhythm. It felt Austen-like, but in a more modern, contemporary way. As far as actual retellings go, this is a pretty good one from what I know, though I haven’t read the source material. It felt familiar, but with a spin that made the tale fresh.

In short, I liked this book, but I didn’t love it the way I thought I would. I never REALLY felt a strong connection to the characters, and I never felt emotionally invested, only marginally interested. I would have also liked a little more exploration of the ethics of the society. It was a good read and when the book was opened, I enjoyed it, but it’s not a story I fell in love with and would have a desire to re-visit any time soon.

Final Impression: Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it as an entertaining read, but wouldn’t expect to much out of it(which is a bit sad, because the technology ethic in the post-apocalyptic society had SUCH potential!). I did enjoy the plot a lot and by the end, some of the characters, though I wished I had felt that a bit stronger in the beginning. The writing was very Austen-ish and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story. 3/5 cupcakes.
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