Book Summery (Via Goodreads): 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.
I have been meaning to read Diana Peterfreund's books for a while now. Specifically her Killer Unicorn series. When I heard this book was based off of Jane Austin's Persuasion, I wasn't sure if it was the right book for me. I will openly admit that I have not read any of Austin's books. However, after reading several rave reviews, I thought I would give Peterfreund's book I try. I'm glad I did. While I can't compare it to Austin's writing, it did have some Hawthorne undertones which I appreciated. I was hooked instantly. In fact, I lost several hours of sleep reading this beauty. I loved the overall character-driven story arc. The contrast between Elliot and her family is profound. Elliot sacrificed a lot for the good of the people who worked on her farm. I experienced Elliot's triumphs as well as her downfalls right along-side her. Her pending romance with Kai was EPIC, it made me ache. The dystopian setting was fantastic. It made me think about the type of genetic research that goes on today...what will the human race be like in 100 years? There are many ethical and moral dilemmas which led me to ponder what I would do were I in Elliot's shoes. What I didn't like about this book was the ending. It felt a bit rushed and a wee bit anti-climatic. There is such a build-up over the first 350 pages, it made the ending feel abrupt. Peterfreund could have easily added another 50-75 pages to smooth and flesh out the ending, which would have left me feeling more satisfied. All in all, a fantastic read, abrupt ending and all. I will definitely be diving into her Killer Unicorn series soon!
“Envy hurt exponentially more than heartbreak because your soul was torn in two, half soaring with happiness for another person, half mired in a well of self-pity and pain.”
Cover Art Commentary:
This is one gorgeous cover! I love the backdrop of stars against the dark blue background.