For Darkness Shows The Stars — Diana Peterfreund

Taken from my Goodreads review and slightly edited. 

A sci-fi retelling of persuasion? It’s real? It exists? Apparently so. And for me? It delivered.

Let’s be clear, the world building is strange. But it captures the essence of Persuasion about as much as I could want, so I can’t even be grumpy. Elliot and Kai not knowing what to do with each other? Awkward if not slightly angry angst? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Changes were made from the original formatting. Obviously. It is only a retelling, after all. Like I said, I enjoyed the relationship between the two, which is the important part, to be grumpy. Instead, I understood the changes and kind of liked them. They made the old story new and refreshing.

I even liked how it flipped through the present with letters at different times in their past. It showed how they came to be and eventually landed where they were.

Kai was definitely more angry than his original counterpart. Understandably so. He thought she left him because she didn’t want to be with him, not her real reasons. Which he had to sort through because she refused to talk to him at first.

Elliot was just as reserved as her original counterpart. But at the same time… more moody, especially around Kai. She didn’t want to be around him, and generally avoided him at all costs. Because awkward.

Tatiana was better than whichever sister she stood for. I’ll be glad that there wasn’t a third one.

The real shocks came in the form of everyone else, though:

The Lord North was entirely scary. He may have been a frivolous man, but he had his reasons. Underneath, he was quite sadistic. Seriously. He would have done anything to keep things the way they were. And that made his sadistic tendencies all the more terrifying.

I’m assuming Andromeda was meant to be Captain Harville? But unlike her original, she hated Elliot’s guts. And it was interesting to see the two of them become friends, if they ever did at all.

Oh, Kai’s letter. It may take some parts from the original, but it’s also very much it’s own. Breathtaking and beautiful, all in one go. I’ll just be over here swooning.

I know. Lots of changes from the original. But in this case, I see those changes as a good thing. It brought new life to characters I already love. And seeing how this was sci-fi, most of the changes seemed fitting.

Yes, changes were made. Obviously. But they were good changes that managed to keep the original alive in spirit.

Persuasion is one of my favorite books, and I am so so glad that this exists. Go, pick it up. Recommended.


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