Oh my Austen! Need I say more? I had the sheer pleasure of picking up “For Darkness” and I was not expecting the roller coaster ride I received.
Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Diana Peterfreund creates an Austenian world in which two young people fall in love. And then, of course, are torn apart. Elliot North is a strong central protagonist with a pragmatic head on her shoulders and a heart as big as the world itself. After the fall of civilization, she lives as the youngest daughter of the Luddite Baron North, a cruel man with a serious temper.
I loved the romantic estate setting in which Elliot lives, complete with her forbidden boy-next-door crush on the adventurous and mysterious Kai. There were so many single moments of this story during which I though. “Yes! This is the moment!,” but then I’d get another chill-inducing moment within the next few pages. The sea-side estate was enough to draw me in, and the stars in the sanctuary were enough to keep me there. And Elliot was just one of many exciting and important characters. I was amazed, at first, that I was able to keep all the names and roles straight, but once I got to the end, the entire population felt like family.
I gave this books five stars for many reasons:
- I am a sucker for any story that incorporates an epistolary model;
- I love a strong, kind, and ferocious female lead;
- I love an irresistible love-struck boy who does mean things because he thinks it’s for the best;
- 12th Century English caste system meets 18th Century British romance;
- The breathtaking scenery was enough – the characters were a bonus; and
- “For Darkness” was a good old fashioned tear-jerker at times and a solid, emphatic love story at others
I would strongly recommend this book, not only to lovers of the greats like the Bronte sisters, Austen, or Dickens, but to anyone that wishes to pick up a novel and have a sincere experience with it. This story bridged the gap for me between the classics and YA, and tied it all together with a giant red bow! From “For Darkness” I got love, hope, happiness, sadness, anger, hatred, revolution, and resolution – all within 403 pages. The only thing I didn’t love was the end as I felt it didn’t leave appropriate room for a sequel.
It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong-the Reduction-decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed technology.
Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago she refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, instead choosing duty to her family’s estate. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists threatens Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the Cloud Fleet, a group of explorers that includes renowned Captain Malakai Wentforth-an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot what she gave up when she abandoned him.
But Elliot soon discovers Kai carries a secret-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.