|For darkness shows the stars|
Author: Peterfreund, Diana
Elliot North fights to save her family's land and her own heart in this post-apocalyptic reimagining of Jane Austen's Persuasion.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 154199
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 21.0 Quiz: 58117
Common Core Standards
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure
School Library Journal (00/06/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/06/12)
The Hornbook (00/05/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2012 In a futuristic Britain, genetic enhancement gone too far has produced a rigid new feudalist society. The childlike Reduced are a labor force with no civil rights, beholden to the unscathed, landed Luddites, who have forsaken technology wholesale. Now that the Reduced are having children with the same cognitive faculties as the Luddites but none of the rights, these Post-Reductionists threaten the social order. At the center of this upheaval is Elliot, a Luddite aristocrat who is fiercely protective of her father’s subjects, and Kai, the Post-Reductionist who was Elliot’s childhood sweetheart, now an esteemed ship’s captain. The account of their fraught reunion is intercut with letters they wrote during their youthful friendship, which fill in the blanks in their rocky history and help introduce the main philosophical debates dividing Luddite-ruled society. Meanwhile, there’s some inheritance drama, a prodigal cousin with seedy secrets, and a whole lot of biotech intrigue that should spark some lively debates on the danger and promise of science. Peterfreund (author of Rampant, BCCB 10/09) creatively draws on, of all unexpected things, Austen’s Persuasion both in the plot-socially inferior lost love returns with success, fortune, and something of a grudge-and in a romance navigated through politely innocuous social exchanges secretly loaded with longing. The genres of mannered romance and post-apocalyptic drama work surprisingly well together, with the focus on interpersonal microdrama allowing Peterfreund to engage in detailed world-building without having to pause the plot. Add in the perennial appeal of an upstairs/downstairs love story, and you have an easy sell to fans of Oliver’s Delirium (BCCB 2/11) and Revis’ Across the Universe (BCCB 1/11) alike. CG - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2012 Gr 7 Up—Told partially through secret letters between forbidden childhood friends, this novel is a postapocalyptic retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion that will be a hit with fans of sci-fi romances such as Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion (S & S, 2002) and Catherine Fisher's Incarceron (Dial, 2010). Four years earlier, 18-year-old Elliot North, a member of the Luddite ruling class, refused to run away with Kai, one of her family's servants and her first love. In the years since his departure, Elliot has become responsible for her family's struggling estate and taking care of the Reduced, laborers who are treated as underclass servants. Technology has been forbidden since the Wars of the Lost, a fight Luddites think was the result of humans trying to improve on nature, and Elliot's options for advancing the estate are limited. When a fleet of former servants offers to rent the family's shipyards, Elliot knows that she cannot afford to refuse their money. She's excited to discover that Kai is one of the captains, but soon learns that he is not the boy she remembers, and, like Elliot, he has plenty of secrets. Epistolary sections help readers connect with Kai and Elliot and bridge the gap between the past and present. Peterfreund takes her time developing characters and the political and social realities of a stratified society. The plot, nonetheless, moves along at a steady clip. Readers will keep turning the pages right up to the end.—Leigh Collazo, Ed Willkie Middle School, Fort Worth, TX - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.