For Darkness Shows the Stars

For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund I know that this book is favorited on GoodReads a lot, so I'm not going to rag on this book. It was a good book. As a Persuasion fan, though, I was a little diappointed. One part of the Jane Austen novel that I always admired was Anne's strained relationship with her family. Her family isn't cruel, and they never outright mistreat Anne. They have just gotten so used to her, and her assignment to them, that they no longer see her as important. That drama is what sold me on Anne. It's what made her believable, for me, because she only valued herself as her family valued her. At one point, her need for their good opinion overrode everything else in Anne's life, including her great love, and that is what created the book's main conflict. Families aren't always abusive or vindictive. Sometimes they're just blindly self-involved, and that creates it's own unintended damage. And it makes it all the more satisfying when Anne puts her guilt for them aside and leaves to make her own life. So, needless to say, I expected some high-voltage drama for the North's--the futuristic Elliot's. Unfortunately, on that front, I was disappointed. The father was too bad-guyish. He was bossy, calculating, and even violent. Her interactions with him are too few to create an arc, and when he does confront Elliot, it comes out a little cliched. And her sister, who started out as nasty and unintelligent, undergoes a suspicious personality change and starts behaving with grace and understanding in the final pages of the novel. But, like I said, this book was good. Because what I did not expect was the great accomplishment of world-building. The evolution and history of the social classes was very interesting. I wish that idea had been a novel in itself--Kai and Elliot aside. I would have loved to see the interactions between the caste systems before this new shift, and how religion played a crucial role in the beginning. It was definitely a colorful world. Bravo, for that. So, I'm sorry, my review is persnickety. I was impressed with the science fiction, but I was just hoping for that family dynamic.