Review: ‘Shadows Cast by Stars’ by Catherine Knutsson

I received this book for free from publisher unsolicited in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Shadows Cast by Stars’ by Catherine KnutssonShadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson
Published by Atheneum on June 5th, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 456
Format: Hardcover
Source: publisher unsolicited
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 guerrilla 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.

Book OutletThe Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


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 antibodies in native blood prevents them from getting sick from the plague. But I definitely wished there was more world building. I really thought that would be the main plot of the story, the government trying to track them down and drain their blood. I guess the description was wrong since most of the book is about Cassandra trying to learn her new powers, and helping her twin brother.There was a lot of everyday tasks that Cass had to do to survive and I didn’t think it added too much to the story, so those parts can be edited down. There’s an unknown history with Cassandra’s brother Paul and I can’t help but wonder what it is. Even Cassandra herself has a dark past which are touched upon in a few paragraphs. I couldn’t help but cringe as to how the Band and their citizens treated her. It felt all too much like prejudice and superiority all mixed into one.

I loved the beautiful visualization that Catherine Knutsson writes with. It was detailed enough for you to add your own visual cues. I certainly imagined what their house looked like and how the Island looked like. There’s a lot of mystery and intrigue in this novel, and I would love to know how it all works out.


Dreams can be tempting, you know. Sometimes they’re so sweet we don’t want to come back to our bodies.





  1. Grace Lo

    October 27, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    This sounds like a beautifully woven story! What really drew me in was the idea of blood being passed around as a commodity, which is terrifying and probably violates a whole ton of human rights laws. But good books do that. They go beyond the norm and conjure up something that just isn’t generally accepted in society.

  2. Jaime Lester

    September 29, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    I still haven’t figured out whether or not there is a sequel, but I hope so with all of my heart. I went into Shadows Cast by Stars very skeptical, but I fell hard for this beautiful story. I loved every word on every page. Catherine Knuttson is an artist with words. Her vivd descriptions pulled me right into the story and the characters are so well written they jump out of the pages and into my heart. I loved it, and I hope we get the chance to jump into this story again. Thanks for your great review!

  3. Jenn@OwlReadIt

    July 27, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    This sounds pretty interesting! I think I’ll have to look into it a bit more, I’m not a super huge fan of creepy, so we’ll

    Great review!

  4. Rachel Cotterill

    July 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Sounds like my kind of novel 🙂

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