Shadows Cast by Stars

Shadows Cast by Stars

Book - 2012 | 1st ed.
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To escape a government that needs antigens in aboriginal blood to stop a plague, sixteen-year-old Cassandra and her family flee to the Island, where she gets help in communicating with the spirit world and discovers she has been chosen to be their voice and instrument.
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781442401914
1442401915
Branch Call Number: YA SFI/FAN KNUTSSON
Characteristics: 456 p. ; 22 cm.

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mackie93
May 05, 2018

This book was absolutely amazing, I binge read it in one afternoon and was sad to finish it. I would recommend this but with some hesitation. The story leaves quite a few loose ends and unresolved plot points that seem to hint at a sequel book, but it's been quite a number of years since this was first published and from looking at the author's website there's no word of a sequel.

SCL_Justin Jul 25, 2017

Shadows Cast By Stars is Catherine Knutsson’s first novel about Cassandra Mercredi, a young Metis woman, in a future where plague is decimating the population and for some reason the blood of first nations people holds the only cure. Does that sound grim? Well, it is. Natives who live in the Corridor are tracked and will be captured for processing by the authorities if they deem it necessary. This is the book’s setup and we don’t actually see much of the repressive regime because almost right away Cassandra, her brother and father have to flee to the island, where there’s a boundary protecting the people who live there from Searcher ships and they can live their old ways in relative peace.

Then it becomes a story of Cassandra and her family trying to find places for themselves in the culture of the Band. Because she has some facility with healing and the spiritual world (she sees totems of people) Cassandra is recruited as the apprentice to the medicine woman. Her twin brother, who sees visions, doesn’t find a role so quickly.

The story has first kisses and explorations of a person’s own strength along with the spiritual dimensions of wild women of the woods and Raven and Sea Wolves. Where it feels very different from something like The Hunger Games is that instead of being pulled away from a home to fight on her own, Cassandra is pulled from a place of isolation and thrust into community and has to do all this stuff not just for herself but be able to help the people around her too. Knutsson’s done a good job with that kind of power dynamic which really resembles the ways we try to fit our lives together here in the present.

My main problem with the book is that it is written as the first volume of a series, so things are not resolved by the end. Future books look like they will explore the regime of the outside world. I hope it’s as well-imagined as what you find in this book.

f
Fongpen
Jul 15, 2015

It was like a world within a post-apocalyptic world. I loved it!! It was also my first time reading a fictional novel including Canadian history- with things involving the Metis, Louis Riel, different Aboriginal peoples, and even Vancouver here and there haha.

d
Dzeni
Feb 13, 2014

Although the book is over 400 pages, I feel like nothing happens...at all. The setup with the blood is pointless and plays no role but to isolate Cassandra's people. Also, it doesn't make sense that those with the antibodies would be drained of their blood...why not (Daybreakers style) keep them alive in a catatonic state and continue to reap their blood. I don't understand the protagonist's association with Cedar who has essentially tried to assault her multiple times or the way in which every character seems to switch personalities (Henry for instance seemed a nice and caring man and then for plot purposes...not so much). What makes Cassandra the clever character that everyone claims she is in the novel? She stumbles into answers and solutions and rarely solves anything on her own. The redeeming trait of the book is the mysticism (although there is some over saturation of ravens in the story) and the interesting connection with the earth and totems. That being said, why did this book have to be set in a future where their blood is a commodity?

Youth Card CR1 Oct 26, 2012

The science takes a back seat to the spiritual in this great story about a strong young Metis woman who has to fight to make a place for herself in a futuristic society that resists what she has to offer. Really good stuff, though it has the "you have to wait for a sequel" problem.

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blue_dolphin_11457 Jul 19, 2013

blue_dolphin_11457 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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