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Shadows Cast By Stars

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,459 Ratings  ·  199 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 456 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Atheneum
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (the Grinch)
I expected an action-packed, fast-paced adventure, with incorporated elements of Native American mythology...I got a book filled with uninteresting introspection and a whole lot of boredom.

Shadows Cast By Stars is more of a self-exploration book, a rite-of-passage for the main character than it is a dystopian-based book. Technically, it is a dystopian tale, since that is the setting in which the story takes place, but it moves along at such a slow pace and the setting is so far removed from the
"There's a story among people, not my people, for I am, and will always be, one apart. But there's a story of how people came to be, how Raven dropped from the sky to pry open a clam shell, and found humankind inside. They say that this story took place a long, long time ago when earth was still young, when Raven still spoke words that were lies and truth at the same time.

So I say: This is the story of the way things once were, and now are, and how they will be, for if there is one thing I've
C Hellisen
Jun 26, 2012 C Hellisen rated it it was amazing
I am dying to get my hands on this one. The cover is beautiful, and I know Catherine Knutsson's writing is wonderful so I'm really looking forward to seeing what she does with this novel.

Okay wow, gorgeous, gorgeous book. Like waking up in the dark.

Have you ever watched Princess Mononoke? There's that one scene where the forest god is walking through the lake, with the half-submerged trees, and there's light everywhere and yeah....

This book felt like that scene - dreamlike, dangerous, wild, spir
DNF 28%

It wasn't necessarily a bad story, but by the time I had reached 100 pages, not a single thing had happened. It was uneventful and didn't manage to keep my interest.
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
A finished unsolicited copy was provided by the publisher for review.

There’s such a creepy tone when I read this book that I couldn’t help but get shivers. Thinking of the spirit world in a sense makes me think of ghosts! Eeks! Imagine being able walk into the world and talk and interact with souls. I wished there was more of this. I don’t know what to call it but soul searching.

I love the concept of the disease. The plague wiping out most of the world but when a scientist finds out the antibodi
May 03, 2013 Ingrid rated it liked it
Look at the pretty cover!
This was a unique book. I've read books that look into First Nation culture before (Keeper'n Me, April Raintree, but I've never read a futuristic, dystopian, fantasy that centered around Aboriginal culture. It was a really neat experience. It was a positive experience, because this book told its story really well, and the words flowed. There were a lot of good things, and as is my custom, I'll start with those.

1 The setting. The setting was really, very cool. The i
Jun 03, 2012 Nafiza rated it really liked it
This will be an interesting review to write simply because I have such conflicting feelings about this novel. I gave it four stars but really, that is no reflection at all on how I actually really feel about it so read on and I might be able to articulate myself. I read the ARC version of the novel so that may account for my muddled feelings but well...let's just get on with it. I really liked how Cassandra and her twin, Paul were characterized. There seems to be a gravity to them, in them that ...more
Claire Legrand
Jun 11, 2012 Claire Legrand rated it it was amazing
Strange, beautiful, and utterly original, SHADOWS CAST BY STARS is a breathtaking read that takes us into a whole new breed of YA dystopia -- one flavored by Native Canadian folklore, the spirit world and mysterious plagues, totems and shades, wild women and humming monoliths. And at the center of it all is a brave, resourceful, remarkably self-possessed (even when she doesn't think so) heroine named Cass.

Check out this haunting gem of a book. You won't regret it.
black lamb
May 16, 2014 black lamb rated it really liked it
Well, I liked it. I guess a lot of people thought the blurb was misleading? The synopsis makes it sound like more of a Hunger Games-y, Divergent-y, post-apoc-y dystopia kind of thing, when really this book is more of a magical fantasy. Frankly, I'm relieved. I'm sick of dystopias.

What I got out of this was much more interesting - a spiritual journey, a kind of coming-into-power or self-discovery fantasy about a young woman who gets to actually, you know, do stuff. She spends the majority of the
Sep 23, 2014 Tati rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a really weird book. I think that the author tried to do something different, but it was so confusing.

In a world where aboriginal people are immune to a disease that kills everyone else, their blood has become quite valuable, and periodic searches are made in order to try and capture those immune. When Cassandra's family is threatened by one of those searches, they decide to flee to the Island, a place protected by an energy barrier and a group of warriors. Once there, Cassandra sees he
Apr 08, 2012 Krystal rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
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 n ...more
jo mo

random notes
it's got bits and pieces of different books thrown in like ...

* a soul/totem which manifests itself in an animal form(the golden compass),
* on a mission to find the lost (twin) brother (blood red road) and
* a dark tinge not unlike that of the dark angel trilogy (view spoiler)
* various myths,
* aborigines culture and
* the magical feel (including the relationship between humans between animals and nature) of miyazaki fi
Diana Stevan
Jan 07, 2013 Diana Stevan rated it it was amazing
I was so impressed by this book. I loved the fact that Cassandra, the protagonist, was so multi-faceted. Not only was she strong and courageous, but she was also loving and giving, and therefore very appealing. The author, Catherine Knuttsson, wove in First Nations mythology, the supernatural, and herbal medicine as she told the story of a family in the future, trying to survive in a land at a time when so much was uncertain. It seemed that with every chapter, things couldn't get worse, and yet ...more
Apr 12, 2016 Hannah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, ya, dystopia
This was billed to me as a "Native American retelling of King Arthur," and it wasn't. It was the standard YA dystopia set on a reservation...

Except it wasn't standard at all.

Instead of overthrowing the evil government with the power of a love triangle, MC trains to be a medicine woman/nurse and falls deeper into the spirit world. There was also an actual description of the setting rather than vague references to how the world is now run like a suburban high school.

I thoroughly enjoyed this an
Jan 24, 2014 WatermeLoonie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This was quite a reasonable in my opinion, just not my kind of story. Too much bark, not enough bite one might say. It lacked a... I don't know... Spark, I guess. It didn't have a lot of emotion written inside it, but then again, maybe the author designed it that way, thus bringing everything back to my first statement.
The cover I bought was a lot more prettier and simpler than the other one. I don't know, people say "don't judge a book by it's cover," but I tend to think the ones with simplisti
Jul 15, 2012 nick rated it liked it

Read more of my reviews at Nick's Book Blog

What attracted me first to Shadows Cast by Stars was the beautiful cover. Dystopian novels are really rocketing in the YA world these days, but good solid dystopian books are very hard to find. In Shadows Cast By Stars, I was looking for a book that would completely surprise me. Fortunately, it did, up to an extent.

In the dystopian society crafted by Catherine Knutsson, society is divided into two different sectors: The Corridor and The Island. The citi
Dark Faerie Tales
Jun 10, 2012 Dark Faerie Tales rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-by-emmy
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This novel crosses boundaries of science fiction and fantasy to weave together a world of racism, plagues and myths that test the heroine in ways she never imagined.

Opening Sentence: We live the Old Way.

The Review:

The UA’s greatest concern is the Plague. With everyone crammed into Population Corridors and quarantine sections numbered off, they harvest the Others for their blood. The Island is the last resort of Cassandra’s father, who’s clun
Brianna Kilcrease
Aug 12, 2012 Brianna Kilcrease rated it it was amazing
First Line: We live the Old Way.

This is by far, one of the best books I have ever read. It probably sits up in the top twenties. This morning at 11 in the morning I was eighty pages into Shadows Cast by Stars, and got so into it that I finished it at 4 in the evening this same day! For five hours I sat in the same room, on the same chair reading this book! And the crazy part? I don't think there was any better way I could have spent that time.

I chose Shadows Cast by Stars to read first out of th
Mia Searles (The Muses Circle)
**GIVEAWAY** ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A HARDCOVER COPY OF SHADOWS CAST BY STARS by: Catherine Knutsson! Go to my review posted on my blog HERE to enter. Giveaway ends June 20, 2013. Open to US residents ONLY!

My Review: Shadows Cast By Stars is one of the most uniquely original novels I've had the pleasure of reading within the past year. I regret that it has taken me this long to review it, but things happen for a reason and I'm always happy to bring attention to a novel whether it has just bee
Rich in Color
I wish I liked this book more.

As a moving-to-a-new-town book, Shadows Cast by Stars is serviceable. Cass’s struggles to fit in with the people on the Island—including wanted and unwanted attention from boys—make for some interesting character dynamics and conflict. I particularly enjoyed Cass’s scenes with Madda and her (sort-of) friendship with Helen. The women are the most memorable characters in the novel, though the boys don’t give them much competition in that regard (more on this in a bit
Rose Vanden Eynden
Jun 27, 2012 Rose Vanden Eynden rated it really liked it
This beautifully-written novel is hard to describe. The story moves at a slow, deliberate pace, much like the thoughtful and sacred world in which we find our protagonist, Cassandra, a young woman who can see into the spirit realms. Cass is Metis, of Native ancestry, which gains her access to a world that penetrates the dystopian society in which she lives. Her Native blood also keeps her immune from a Plague that has ravished society, and the majority of the people who are not immune soon drive ...more
River Lange
Dec 11, 2012 River Lange rated it it was ok
The writing was exquisite!!!

I read in some of the reviews, the readers thought the plot was slow. I have to disagree. However, somewhere around page 250, things went horribly wrong. And maybe I was overly disappointed because I expected the wonderful story to keep me on the journey, instead of a wild chase through the forest, like a dog chasing his tail in circles.

From here on, the book started shapeshifting and couldn't decide if it was fighting a war against mankind/the plague/tribal warfare/o
Nov 15, 2012 tH3LiN rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-agains
This book was written with such thought that in moments I felt the true emotions of what these characters were feeling. It was something that kept me reading until there was no more to read. Through struggles, love, hate and pain...that is what our heroine had to face but in the end, she sucessed through the sorrows and sacrifice that helped her become a person she thought she might never come to be. A story of person rising from the shadows to become something more or something their destined i ...more
Jaime Lester
Aug 15, 2012 Jaime Lester rated it it was amazing
This review will be short and sweet. The reason? There is nothing I can say about Shadows Cast by Stars to explain just how amazing it really is. And believe me when I say, it is truly an amazing tale. I have never read anything like this before. When I first started it, I wasn't sure if I could stick with it, but it didn't take long for me to get pulled into this story. And once I was in, I couldn't get away. It is beautiful. Hauntingly beautiful.
Usually I am clamoring for stand-alone's, but
Jul 29, 2014 Maggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of spirit world mysticism! Loved it!
Mar 27, 2016 Chalyss rated it did not like it
I had been eyeing this book for quite some but the price was so high that I just didn't buy it. I finally gave in and am sorry to say it wasn't what I wanted or thought it was going to be.

The idea was so intriguing, a girl who connects to the spirits and the spirits trying to connect to everyone through her, it sounded great but the actual story line did not truly come in until about 75% of the way through the book. The actual plot didn't even fully come to fruition it was half of what the blurb
Mar 03, 2016 Neon rated it it was ok
I'm honestly feeling very conflicted about my rating on this one. On one hand, the plot seemed scarce, the book had a plethora of themes and points that it eventually did not make. The end came down to absolutely nothing considering the build up of themes throughout the book. Nothing was learned of the Plague, nothing was learned of the sea-wolf, whose appearance was confusing. Helen's trauma felt, to me, used for little more than shock factor, as it was sort of poorly addressed, and Helen herse ...more
Levin Low
Mar 27, 2015 Levin Low rated it did not like it
Possibly quite the worst book I have ever read.

Let's look at why it is so.

Pros: The setting is wonderful. A beautiful island steeped in various cultures and myths.

Cons: Everything else. The main character, Cassandra feels fake. So little is devoted to her feelings. Where are her emotions? Like, oh, I just got electrocuted. I will carry on! And: dear me. My hearing has been sacrificed to the angry spirits. I cannot hear anything. Or express anything either. Her ability to see totems is also fair
Gina Schaarschmidt
The description of this book is utterly, completely misleading. It's described pretty much as a dystopian thriller in a future world that has been decimated by some kind of Plague. The jacket also mentions, as almost an aside, that the story brings in mystical elements of the pacific southwest's First Peoples. "Old ways are pitted against new horrors in this compellingly crafted dystopian tale about a girl who is both healer and seer."

Nope. The marketers got it backwards. The story starts in the
Sarah Insomnia
Jun 26, 2014 Sarah Insomnia rated it really liked it
(NOTE: This review is an excerpt from a graduate level research paper. The rating (stars) and the critical review are mutually exclusive; the former simply pertains to my subjective partiality to the story)

While dystopia encompasses the driving theme (some argue it to be a sub-genre of science-fiction), of some novels, for others it can serve as merely another element or plot device that yields to other, more prominent themes. Like all genres (particularly those whose definition, like dystopia,
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Shadows cast by stars, by Catherine Knutsson 2 15 Sep 02, 2014 04:52PM  
  • Cybernetic
  • Ashes of Twilight (Ashes Trilogy, #1)
  • The Glimpse (The Glimpse, #1)
  • Above
  • Innocent Darkness (The Aether Chronicles, #1)
  • When the Sea Is Rising Red (Hobverse #1)
  • Silver (Bandia, #1)
  • The Other Life (The Other Life, #1)
  • Destiny's Fire (Kythan Guardians)
  • Chosen Ones (The Lost Souls, #1)
  • Touching the Surface
  • Mystique
  • Auracle
  • The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)
  • Struck (Struck, #1)
  • Katana (Katana, #1)
  • Above World (Above World, #1)
  • The Nightmare Factory
I live on beautiful Vancouver Island, where I write, ride, run, and hike in the wilds. Oh, and I'm Métis, just like Cassandra, the main character in SHADOWS CAST BY STARS.
More about Catherine Knutsson...

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