First of all, I loved finding all the similarities between For Darkness Shows the Stars and Persuasion. The book stands really well on its own if you haven’t read Persuasion, but I had a lot of fun recognizing the familiar characters.
For Darkness Shows the Stars is set in a post-apocalyptic world, but when the world eventually recovers and comes mostly full circle, it is eerily similar to Jane Austen’s time. Elliot North is only 18, but she’s basically running her family’s estate and its farms; her father has little interest in the day-to-day workings of his property. Kai once worked and lived on the estate, and the two were very close, despite their class differences. But Kai left at age 14, hoping Elliot would go with him to see more of the world and get away from the oppressions of the North family and all the other Luddites, the landowners who were not affected by the genetic apocalypse (just read the book…). When he returns four long years later with a prosperous group of shipbuilders to rent Elliot’s grandfather’s property for a while, the two have to see each other. But the misunderstandings and hurt on both sides make it uncomfortable whenever they do have to spend time together.
For Darkness Shows the Stars was a more faithful re-telling than I thought it would be, which I loved. I was a little confused with some of the terms at first (like the term “Post” for a class of people), but they are gradually explained. The history of how the world was destroyed and the people affected genetically is also revealed, but it is slowly parceled out over the course of several chapters.
I found the moral dilemma in the book of whether technology is good or bad completely fascinating. I would never have thought that a Jane Austen sci-fi re-telling would work, but it totally does. I loved this unique story and it is one that will definitely stick with me.
Rating: Mild. There is hardly any swearing (if any), a few mentions of kissing and some references to past violence and unsavory behavior and treatment of “lower classes.” But there are very few details. It’s practically a none.