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Reviewed by Megan Saldecki

Growing up in the after-math of a genetic experiment gone wrong – The Reduction – Elliot North, a Luddite, knows her duties to the world and her father’s estate.

She knows she has to protect the Reduced – the people punished for creating technology that was far too advanced. Their punishment? Generations of their offspring confined to intellectual barriers and enslavement by the Luddite lords for their protection.

Now, the Reduced are having Post children with Luddites; children that do not have the intellectual barriers of their parents, but are still treated as though they are Reduced.

Elliot knows this is the way life is and she can’t change it. She couldn’t change it when her childhood Post friend, Kai, asked her to run away with him. And she can’t change it now since she has learned that Kai – who now goes by Captain Malakai Wentforth – is part of the Cloud Fleet, a group of explorers Elliot is forced to rent land to because her estate is diminishing.

Even when Elliot learns Kai’s secret – one that goes against everything she believes in – she has to decide whose side she’s on: the side she grew up on, or the side of the boy she loves.

For Darkness Shows the Stars starts out incredibly confusing and slow – for about a chapter or two. Stick with this novel and you’ll find it has incredibly powerful prose about the discrimination issues we still face today and about the growing issue of trying to be better, faster, stronger, and prettier than we were born.

Elliot was a wonderful character. She was so strong and I just wanted to scream and cry for her. She took everything in stride and had way too much responsibility for an eighteen-year-old. She was constantly up against obstacles and I loved how much she grew throughout the novel. If you’re expecting a novel where the female damsel-in-distress always needs aid from the male hero, you aren’t going to get it here. Elliot holds her own. She could go down in young adult history as one of the strongest main characters, in my opinion.

The plot was fantastic. Like I mentioned, it took me a while to get into it, because things were not well explained in the beginning. Diana Peterfreund heavily relies on you finding your own way instead of explaining every detail. While this method may be more realistic, it was also a bit frustrating. However, things quickly clear up and I found myself sucked into the world Peterfreund created.

Overall, I would highly recommend For Darkness Shows the Stars to any dystopian fan. I have not read Persuasion, the novel that inspired For Darkness Shows the Stars, so I cannot say for sure if it’ll live up to expectations fans of that novel have. All I can say is give it a shot!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Meghan is a 18-year-old book blogger. She likes to read and write in her spare time and would like to become a published author one day. She plans on going to college soon.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Balzer + Bray. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.