My reaction when I finished:
HOLY SHIZZLERS. That was awesome. Let me read it again! Sequel please? NO SEQUEL?!?!? DIE.
Yeah, that was me. For Darkness Shows the Stars was an amazing dystopian romance that just stunned me! It had everything I loved, strong characters, an amzing plot, an exciting romance, secrets, and one cold off-limits boy. SQUEAL TIME.
I absolutely loved the characters. Elliot knows what her duty is, what her birthright is as a Luddite. And that sense of duty was what kept her from running away with her childhood friend and first crush/love, Kai. She sacrificed a lot to be able to take care of the Posts becasue she knew her family wouldn't. So she gave up the one person she never wanted to. Now THAT takes a lot and it shows how strong and loyal she is. Although Kai definitely thinks something else. Speaking of Kai, I think Diana wrote his character SO WELL. I actually did want to strangle him for being so insanely cruel to Elliot, but I guess that was the point! Eventually he warmed up (thank goodness), but hey, I'm not telling you if they end up together or not. Kai really did get hurt and I was at war with myself. Hate him? Or pity him? ARGH. But trust me, you're going to LOVE him!
The world was just wonderfully made and I never felt as if it was too far-fetched or too stupid or just too fake. Everything was just vividily described like the Star Caverns and the Cliffs...ESPECIALLY the Star Caverns! The world of FDSTS just fascinated me and I wanted to know more of the history immediately! Not many things were left for us to draw our own conclusions when it came to how the world of FDSTS came about and that just made me love this book even more!
The romance was slow even though Kai and Elliot were childhood sweethearts! They had to start from Step 1 all over again which was harder than most because of their past. And it just HURT every time Kai said something cruel or meaningful about Elliot. I can't count how man times I wanted to kill Kai. Honestly, there wasn't much kissing (1 kiss maybe?), and usually that makes me feel as if the "romance" isn't a romance at all, but in FDSTS it felt natural. I doubt just anyone can do that.
As a retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen, I was delightfuly surprised by how Diana Peterfreund managed to insert some of her own sci-fi and dystopian flavors in it! Not many (if any) people have tried to rewrite the story of Persuasion and even if I haven't read the original, I think Diana did an AMAZING job, and although I didn't exactly LOVE it (I don't know hwy, but there was something I didn't like...I just can't put my finger on it), I'm desperately hoping she changes her mind or writes another post-FDSTS short story! Here's to hoping!