Scootsa1000 put this book in the same category as Clueless and Bridget Jones in her recent review of Jane (a retelling of Jane Eyre) and I immediately checked to see if my library had it. Because a good dystopian retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion? So here for that. Luckily my library had it in stock and I was able to immediately dive right in.
The world Elliot North and Malakai Wentforth live in is recovering from something they call the reduction. Basically genetic engineering and implanted technologies went wrong and left most people and their offspring unable to care for themselves or speak. The only people left to lead society were the luddites who quickly outlawed technological advancements. Many generations later, a new class of people called post-reductionists are growing in numbers and power. They were born to people still suffering the effects of the reduction, but are just as able as the luddites. Malakai grew up on Elliot’s luddite farm as one of these posts. They became the best of friends despite their differences and the disapproving people around them. When Kai decided to leave and make his own way in the world, he invited Elliot to come with him. Her decision not to and his bitterness severed their relationship which makes it incredibly awkward when he shows back up years later when the fleet rents the North’s shipyard.
This was a wonderful adaptation. It stays true to many parts of the original Persuasion by Austen, but changes things as needed for the story to make sense in this dystopian world. I loved how complicated Peterfreund made her world. The love story emerges naturally from the complicated web of ideas and issues surrounding them. I do feel like there were a few instances when conflicts could have been easily cleared up with a little communication (a pet peeve of mine), but it didn’t happen often enough to take more than one star away. Definitely read this if you’re craving an Austen adaptation that’s actually good. Up to this point I’ve mostly been disappointed and unenthused.