Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars (Diana Peterfreund)

The Deets:

Audience: anyone
Pages: 407
Publisher: June 12th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062006141
Genre: retelling, sci-fi, romance
Source: library copy


For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, 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.

Inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.


This book.

 Sigh.

I am such a fan of retellings. Especially modern retellings of my old favorites. I just absolutely adored this book. It was one part Persuasion and one part sci-fi romance. (and I do NOT like sci-fi books.)

For fans of Persuasion (that won't nitpick every detail), you'll be pleased with what the author has done. The main characters are loyal to their original Austen roles. The trade mark misunderstandings are also in place. There are a few differences that really make this book its own, and not just a copy cat.

For instance, the idea of this man-made plague type disease that destroyed humanity is obviously not Austen. Elliot is a bit more outspoken than her Austen character would be as well. And Kai? Well, Kai is Wentworth. Period.

There isn't much I could say because the plot really does follow the plot of Persuasion. The setting is uniquely its own, which really won me over. It wasn't over the top sci-fi (thank goodness), but it did have a few elements that would appease sci-fi fans. My only gripe is how quickly the ending wrapped up. The psycho father was ushered out of the picture with only a mild fight, and things became all rosy for Elliot in the matter of pages. That felt a bit rushed given the circumstances. I also got a bit annoyed by the letters from a younger Elliot and Kai that kept popping up. I eventually just stopped reading them because I didn't feel like they added much to the story.

 I really want to check out the remaining books in the series, but they don't seem to feature the same characters which is a big disappointment for me too. I really want to know what happens for Elliot and Kai.


Mini-review: Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Deets: 

Audience: YA
Pages: 386
Publisher: November 4th 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423168324
Genre: mystery, forensic thriller
Source: eARC from Netgalley




Killer Instinct (The Naturals, #2)Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?

With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.

























I'm not going to pretend and say this is the type of book I like to read. I'm a big baby with a very active imagination. It does not take much to work me up into a gigantic ball of crazy. Sleepless nights aside, I love this series!

The Naturals had me on the edge of my seat with every turn of the page. The twist at the end left me speechless. When I saw that book two was on its way, I knew I had to read it. I had very high hopes for Killer Instinct, and I was not disappointed (much).

If you're looking for a twist, you'll find it. This one had a bit more complications along the way than its predecessor. Although, I figured out the grand mystery before the big reveal. (To be honest, I was led astray once THEN figured it out.)

You'll also find a good sprinkling of gore. It's not over the top, but it made me read a bit quicker at times. (Super wuss, I am) My only complaint with this book is the on and off romance triangle. Jennifer Lynn Barnes did such a fantastic job of making both love interests so darn likeable that I just couldn't choose. I'm still conflicted. To be honest, I want an alternate ending so I can have both-- just in case I change my mind later on. I wasn't completely satisfied with the end result because it felt like one of those "not an option, option". Kind of like how Katniss ends up with Peeta because there is no one else for Peeta and Gale turned into a creep. Not really an option there.

The romance factor didn't distract from the book much, luckily. Cassie can be a bit wishy washy, but her role in the book still focuses on solving mysteries before she gets killed. It makes for a very fast-paced read!






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Review: Chasing Power (Sarah Beth Durst)

The Deets: 

Audience: YA
Pages: 368
Publisher: October 14th 2014 by Bloomsbury
ISBN: 9780802737564
Genre: fantasy, mystery, adventure
Source: eARC from NetGalley



Chasing PowerLies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla's life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive... or survive.



























One of life's greatest mysteries is how an author like Sarah Beth Durst can write a plethora of books, and yet, each one is unique and vastly different from the others. This woman never ceases to amaze me. 

Let me just begin by saying one of the things I LOVE about Sarah Beth Durst's books is the protagonists. They are always clever, strong-willed young women. This is a writer that empowers girls. It's wonderful. Kayla in Chasing Power was another strong female lead in a long list of kick-butt heroines. 

Chasing Power reminded me of the old X-Men cartoons I would watch as a kid on Saturday mornings. At first, I figured that was what I would get with the characters, too; I was wrong. Yes, Kayla and Daniel have super human abilities, but their adventures are more than just exploits of their power. There was a deep rooted family connection for both characters that influenced their actions. It's hard to explain much without giving things away, but you really want to root for both characters to get their happy endings. 

Aside from the characters and witty dialogue (one of the things I love the most about Sarah Beth Durst's books), I was really captivated by the Mayan mystery aspect. I do not know anything about the Mayans. Nada. Zilch. But the locations described and unique artifacts that were being sought after sure makes me want to learn more! Kayla's first visit to an ancient Mayan temple made me realize I was in for a very surprising read. 

The pacing in Chasing Power is pretty quick. The adventures are non-stop. The romance between Kayla and Daniel is slow building and believable (thank you!). All-in-all, this is a fun read that you should definitely check out.
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