Tuesday, November 6

Shadows Cast by Stars: Book Review

Shadows Cast by Stars

Catherine Knutsson

Atheneum
June 5th 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal
Indian Lore

Official Blurb -
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.

In the beginning there is this very big danger posed to the small family. They could be harvested at any time for their blood to help cure others. This problem and threat never gets addressed or solved in the whole book. It is such a driving power for all that they do and their early choices yet it is left alone. Instead, after being fed that story, we switch gears and go somewhere else completely. A whole new problem or villain is introduced that overshadows all other concerns.
The native lore and paths are entertaining at first but mid way through become a bit too much information. Instead of being helpful and good guidance they  confuse and misdirect. There came a point where I just threw my hands up and stopped trying to follow it. We just continued to delve into deeper levels of strange. So much of the last half of the story focuses on lore that the characters take a back seat. My connection to them faded more with each page. Bit by bit I had less desire to see them in a better future.
The ending was really odd. It left me feeling groggy. I don't think I will be picking up the next book and indulging in any more of these strange ways.


New word to me: Fiddlefarting

Content:
Sexual: Moderate (not very descriptive)
Language: Mild
Violence: Moderate

Moment Divine:
"Do you want me to heat up some water for you?"
"Thanks, but no. I'll bathe in the lake."
"Then you'd better hurry. No matter who his father is Bran Eagleson doesn't get to see that much of my sister."
"Hah. Funny."

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