Title: Shadows Cast by Stars
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.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book before I had even heard about it. I am so glad I did get it because it turned out to be an amazing book written by a local author. Even before I read it, I fell for the cover and the summary instantly. I'm glad to say that I really enjoyed the book and it's unique premise. I was also lucky enough to meet the author shortly after reading the book as well.
The cover is simply stunning. It was captivating and beautifully colored and a great representation of the book. It carried a very futuristic feel with the coloring while still looking down to earth with the large raven and forest the character is walking in. The font was also conductive to the futuristic look of the cover, and the coloring of the title was neat too, not just one color, but a gradient look. The whole thing came together very nicely, to be one of my favorite covers of the year.
The characters were great, but some of them weren't used as much as they could have been. My favorite character was Cassandra because she was a strong young woman who had a sense of who she was and she didn't ever treat others with disrespect. I found that her relationships with her brother and father weren't showcased as much as I wish they would have been. At the beginning of the book when the story consisted of just the three characters it was, but later on, when more characters were added the relationships already set up weren't as focused on. I also found that the secondary characters weren't developed to their full potential. This was the case with Bran, though he was the love interest, his character wasn't explored (though I'm sure it will be in future books) making his relationship with Cass odd and a tad bit unexplained. Madda was an interesting character that easily sunk her claws into my emotions quickly.
This book was full of bests, first the cover was one of the best I've ever seen, the main character was awesome and then it had some of the best writing I've read in a while. It was obvious that a huge amount of work went into the writing. It captured every sense with a ton of detail, whether it was the foliage in the setting or the noises around the characters. The story was almost as good as I had hoped it would be, it got a little sluggish in places though. By no means was it a poor story, it just wasn't as timed as nicely as I would have liked it to be. I also wish that the blood thing was used more, but I'm sure that it will be brought into the story in another book. The paranormal aspects of the book were unique as they were based on lore from this area of the world rather than just vampires and werewolves. The end was clean and tidy, it had some action leading up to it, and it wrapped the book up nicely.
The ending was one that left room for a sequel, but it ended on a fairly round up note. I can't wait to read whatever Catherine writes next, but until then, I give Shadows Cast by Stars a 4/5. I'd recommend this book for people looking for a well written book with a distinct futuristic feel while still maintaining a traditional feel.