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Shadows Cast by Stars Hardcover – June 5, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
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, spiritual.
It's definitely not going to be for every YA reader; the pace is languid, the prose elegant. But the imagery - I could see Cass's world as clearly as if I were there; smell the cold on the wind, see the shades rippling behind people. Also, while the setting is post-apocalyptic, because of the weaving of myths and legends through the narrative, I'd place this firmly in fantasy and recommend it to adult fantasy readers. I think this book has strong crossover potential.
I'm hoping there's a sequel written because while one part of Cass's journey is done (her acceptance of her powers and becoming the medicine woman) there is still so much more that has to happen, especially if Knutsson holds with her Arthurian motif.
Let's talk about characters for a moment. I thought Cassandra was a great heroine and I found myself quite sympathetic to her plight. She sort of reminds me of myself at times, an old soul that carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. She loves her father and her brother but I got the sense that she is the glue to this family dynamic. I couldn't help but fall a little in love with her brother Paul, and I think that is a huge feat and proves how amazing of an author Catherine Knutsson is. I usually get bored with brother/sister tales because one character always seems to be more interesting then the other. But Paul is such a well written character, a tortured soul that seems to be always hanging over a precipice, one step in the light, one step in the dark.
Once Cassandra, Paul, and their father are forced to leave and move to the Island, other interesting characters are introduced. I loved Madda, the village healer who takes Cass under her wing and teaches her about healing and controlling her powers.Read more ›
The prose is beautiful and haunting. The characters are original and easy to relate to, with strong influence by Native American legend and tradition, as well as much of early European Arthurian fable, and a touch of science fiction, that is not so far removed from a future painted by the influences of GMOs, pesticides, and the greed of Agricorporations.
This book is up for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Just my opinion.
What made it interesting also made it boring...if that makes any sense. What was supposed to enthrall me, like the barrier, the spirits, the totems, the mystery, the traditions...made it harder for me to take it seriously. And don't get me wrong, it's not the setting in which the author chose to create this story. It's the way she wrote it, her descriptions, her prose, etc. It was messy. So messy. All over the place. I'm not saying I could do any better, and I won't be presumptuous and say anyone else could have, either. But I was really disappointed to learn the plot of a book I paid money for and invested time in wasn't even very clear. Not even a little.
And, let's not forget the romance of the story. A young boy born to lead a band of warriors, or so his mother believes because she read it somewhere or feels it to be that way, who's also mentally unstable. A young girl suffering from seizures and constant pestering spirits, who has a brother whose gift is different, even more terrible, but not really, just as terrible–actually, no, they can see the same things...okay, now I confused myself. Point is...two people with different destines INSTANTLY are drawn to each other and not long afterwards do the deed in a lake where she almost died. Honestly their relationship was so flimsy and inconsistent (kinda like the book, really...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was captivating! It had me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book.Published 4 days ago by KAREN HESS
This book was magnificent. A realistic and rather depressing dystopia, it's true, but also full of magic and hope.Published 4 months ago by Soronia
A strong yet subtle mixture of fantasy, science fiction, and slice of life. Really takes off in the second half. Needs a sequel.Published 5 months ago by Mitspeiler
This book is wierd, depressing, and seems to end in the middle of a plot. It made no sense, and I regret buying it.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
Shadows Cast by Stars is something totally different and great! It was a lot different than I expected it to be, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Angie
Shadows Cast by Stars was a brilliant young adult book. Knutsson’s writing was captivating; you could tell her original story came from her heart. Read morePublished on December 14, 2013 by Mak
I loved this book it was a bittersweet story with a refreshing heroine . I loved the blending of mythology and a dystopian world.Published on May 12, 2013 by Devilbear
While I thought the writing in this book was good (trippy in a lot of places), I felt like there could have been a lot more work done with the whole plague storyline rather than... Read morePublished on January 30, 2013 by Evan the Dweezil
Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson is a vivid new dystopian retelling that weaves together many myths from various cultures to create a book that will leave you wondering... Read morePublished on August 23, 2012 by BeccaG