Shadows Cast by Stars is a book with a common theme given an original twist. In a world where a plague is wiping out mankind, only those of aboriginal descent are immune. As a result, these “Others” as they are known are hunted for their blood. Living outside of society, they live in constant fear of searchers wanting to bring them in.
Cassandra and her family are Métis, and one day they are suddenly forced to flee from their home to the Island, a refuge protected against outsiders by a magical barrier and the Band, a kind of Native American militia. While Cass slowly begins to find her way in their new home, her twin brother Paul becomes ever more withdrawn. One day, while on a mission, he and his canoe disappear with all aboard, including Cass’s boyfriend Bran. It is up to her and her friends to rescue them, but it soon becomes clear that there is more at stake than Cass could ever have dreamed.
I really liked Knutsson’s treatment of the YA dystopia genre. She is herself Métis, which I think gave Cass’s experiences a realism that an outsider might not have captured. There is a lot of mythology in this one, and at times, it seems the pacing a bit too fast, that there’s too much happening to keep track, but overall it’s a very satisfying read. The ending is rather open, and while I can’t find any mention of a sequel, it wouldn’t surprise me if there wasn’t one eventually.
Recommended for fans of YA dystopias, books set in the Pacific Northwest, Native American-based fantasies, or books by Aboriginal authors.
The summary and review were written by Jennifer Stewart, Library Assistant, Sanchez Library.