Elliot North lives in a world that once experimented with genetics, only to cause the Reduction which decimated humanity. Only the Luddites survived, outlawing technology to prevent further destruction of mankind.
Elliot is dedicated to her estate. Four years before our story opens she refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai. Elliot always puts duty before her own dreams. But the world is changing. The Innovation family and their mysterious Cloud Fleet of shipbuilders and explorers are introducing new technology “found” on their travels. Desperate to support her floundering estate Elliot rents the shipyard to the fleet...and who should arrive but the renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--Kai, who seems intent on punishing her for letting him go.
But everyone has secrets. Elliott is a Luddite who is breeding enhanced wheat, but this transgression pales in comparison to what she discovers about the mysterious Innovations and Kai. And as the summary says: “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.”
- Originality: World building the best! It is a very complex world that Elliot lives in regarding the technology and Luddite culture. But this bigger world building only comes through as supporting information. No explanation paragraphs needed. But the parts you get leave you wanting more.
- Absurdity: 2. Very low. No eye rolls at all. Elliot is awesome.
- Level of Paranormal Romance: 8. Swoon swoon, swoony swoon swoon. Kai was a jerk (but we get a vision of how much the two cared through the letters better chapters so it helped me guess that he was hiding his feelings). This grade reflects a swoon based on little glances and tensed jaws but it worked! (Hey it is based on Persuasion and Austin knows her way about significant glances.) And since his return there is something new about his eyes….HMMMMM. This book makes your heart hurt and makes you want to shout tell each other how you feel!
- Level of Harry Potter-ness: 4. This is a retelling, so it is hard to match it to the awesomeness that is J.K. Rowling OR Jane Austin. Still, I liked the format. Between chapters letters functioned as flashbacks to Kai and Elliot's youth that reveal the social dynamics ( think benevolent feudalism) and their history.