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Shadows Cast By Stars by Catherine Knutsson

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Old ways are pitted against new horrors in this compellingly crafted dystopian tale about a girl who is both healer and seer.

Old ways are pitted against new horrors in this compellingly crafted dystopian tale about a girl who is both healer and seer.Two hundred years from now, blood has become the most valuable commodity on the planet—especially the blood of aboriginal peoples, for it contains antibodies that protect them from the Plague ravaging the rest of the world.

Sixteen-year-old Cassandra Mercredi might be immune to Plague, but that doesn’t mean she’s safe—government forces are searching for those of aboriginal heritage to harvest their blood. When a search threatens Cassandra and her family, they flee to the Island: a mysterious and idyllic territory protected by the Band, a group of guerilla warriors—and by an enigmatic energy barrier that keeps outsiders out and the spirit world in. And though the village healer has taken her under her wing, and the tribal leader’s son into his heart, the creatures of the spirit world are angry, and they have chosen Cassandra to be their voice and instrument…

Incorporating the traditions of the First Peoples as well as the more familiar stories of Greek mythology and Arthurian legend, Shadows Cast by Stars is a haunting, beautifully written story that breathes new life into ancient customs.

Goodreads Summary

How far would you go to escape the dreaded Plague?  Would you take the blood of an innocent?  In this dystopic world, the only survivors or hopeful survivors are the ones who are immune or who have the ability to access that immunity.  Aboriginal blood is found to offer hope against the Plague and is highly valued.  Cassandra, the main character, might feel that she is safe against the Plague, but she has to worry about the government and people hunting her down to harvest her precious blood...not necessarily a common worry for a teenager.  The more Cassandra's family is threatened the more they desperately search for a way to protect themselves.  When they come across the Island, they think they may have hope, but is the Island as safe as it seems?

Cassandra isn't the easiest character to identify with or connect to, but her voice in the story is not uninspired or boring.  She is brave, smart, and protective of her family.  She does not back down and is amazingly resourceful, a character to look up to.  The other characters are interesting to get to know, they all have a reason for being in the story, the author limited the extraneous characters.  Cassandra is by far the most focused upon character.  Her connection to the spirit world and her understanding of the world around her will likely be interesting to the reader.

The plot is not the most unusual, but the twist concerning aboriginal blood is an interesting take on a dystopian world.  The author plays out the fear and tension created by a blood-hungry world very well, the reader will likely feel chills up his/her spine when reading certain excerpts.  Overall, this book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Steph said...:

    Great review! This book sounds really good - I can't wait to read it! The cover is awesome too!

  1. Nikki said...:

    This sounds like an awesome book!! I love Autherian Legends!!!

  1. I've had my eye on this book for awhile now! I can't wait to read it and see what I think of it too. :)

  1. I love dystopian and I have to say this one is very intriguing for sure! And I love when a book can give you the chills so I am happy to say that it gave you some! Great review! :)

  1. I've really been looking forward to this book. :D Glad to know you liked it! I'll have to go out and get myself a copy.

  1. Great review :D Thank you for sharing your thoughts. <3 I am really excited to read this book. It seems so good :D And I think the cover is so pretty. :)

  1. I am so excited about this book. I am not really sure why it is standing out for me. The premise isn't very original. But for some reason, I am just so excited about it. Maybe its the cover? Who knows, but I will either be very happy not to be let down or very let down by this one. Thanks for your review.

  1. Lili said...:

    This book doesn't seem super original, but the cover is pulling me in! An amazing cover hints at an amazing story, and I'm hoping this one is not the least bit deceiving.

    Thank you for the review. (:

  1. I love dystopians! I would do almost anything to survive. Morality becomes difficult when it means saving lives. They would need her blood to study it but should not torture or kill her to get it.