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Shade's Children Hardcover – August 23, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Book Club Edition edition (August 23, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060273240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060273248
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the brutal world of Shade's Children, your 14th birthday is your last. Malevolent Overlords rule the earth, directing hideous, humanoid creatures to harvest the brains and muscles of teens for use in engineering foul beasts to fight senseless wars. Young Gold-Eye escapes this horrific fate, fleeing the dormitories before his Sad Birthday. He is rescued from certain doom by other refugees who live in an abandoned submarine and work for Shade, a strange, computer-generated adult. Shade provides food and shelter in exchange for information that the children gather on dangerous forays into Overlord territory. But what does Shade really want? He is a sworn enemy of the Overlords, but his use of the children to gain knowledge and power seems uncaring and ruthless. Finally, Gold-Eye and his new friends set out to destroy the Overlords--with or without the enigmatic, dangerous Shade. Garth Nix, author of Sabriel, blends suspense, action, and high emotion in this excellent, fast-moving science-fiction story.

From Publishers Weekly

Earth has been taken over by the terrible Overlords in this "amply imagined" science fiction/quest story, said PW. "The twists and turns of the action-filled plot are compelling." Ages 12-up. (Oct.) r
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Garth Nix has worked as a bookseller, book sales representative, publicist, editor, marketing consultant and literary agent. He also spent five years as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. A full-time writer since 2001, more than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into 40 languages. Garth's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly (US), The Bookseller(UK), The Australian and The Sunday Times (UK). He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book for any Science Fiction fans.
Amazon Customer
It has such a great story, but like many others have said it is much too scary for kids!
Kristen Billard
The character development is very good and the setting is very interesting.
A. Marrero

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Claude Avary on April 24, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This young adult science fiction novel from the author of the stunning fantasy "Sabriel" has some striking similarities to "The Matrix," although it was written before the film came out. In the future, enigmatic beings known as The Overlords have made all humans over age 14 vanish from the planet. All the remaining children were rounded up and placed in "Meat Factories" where they are bred to be used as raw material for slave-construct creatures, like Wingers, Trackers, and the fearsome Myrmidons. The Overlords use these creatures to play out cruel battle games for their own amusement.
But a resistance exists: children who have escaped from the dorms and who possess powers that the change in the world has given them. These children work for a being called Shade, a human mind inside a computer. Shade claims to be working at overthrowing the Overlords, but he seems too willing to toss away the lives of the children who serve him. Our four main characters, Drum, Ella, Ninde, and Gold-Eye, come to suspect that Shade has a larger agenda than he says, even as the struggle to defeat the Overlords starts to advance in their favor.
Although not as incredible a book as "Sabriel" (one of the best fantasies, adult or young adult, of the last decade), "Shade's Children" is action-packed, deeply imaginative, and filled with wonderful characters. The book is structured so that between the chapters dealing with the main action are short chapters containing computer read-outs, statistics, interview excerpts, computer self-analysis, etc. This is a clever device that splits up the action and gives dramatic tension to the rest of the book.
The four young heroes are realistic and wonderfully written. Ella, the eldest, and a strong leader who feels the great weight of responsibility.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shade's Children (Garth Nix) is honestly among the best books I have ever read. It is well worth your time to read it, particularly if you are a science fiction fan.
That said, let's get a little warning out of the way first: This book is intensely dark from beginning to end. It is a book designed to frighten you, and it does its job well. The trick is, Shade's Children does not rely on the gory sort of horror Hollywood and even many novelists have introduced to us as of late. Rather, it twists your mind around, leaving out the disgusting scenes and instead realizing God is in the details, and the book uses subtlety that will haunt you long after you have forgotten the blood and guts of the movies.
Shade's Children involves a world decimated by warfare, warfare comitted by enigmatic beings called the Overlords, whose sole puprose is to make war. On a child's fourteenth birthday they are taken to a facility where their brains, muscles and other organs are used to make the Overlords' death machines.
At the center of the storm is a creature known only as Shade, who gives shelter and help to the few children lucky enough to escape the Overlords. However, they also conduct strikes in an attempt to destroy these things that have taken over their world, and as they come closer to succeeding in their goal, Shade seems to become more and more like the enemy they have to destroy.
In short, this is a wonderfully written book you will be remember long after you have finished it. However, as noted, it is *not* something for the kiddies--Shade's Children is the stuff of nightmares. If you are ready, however, there are few books I've read better than this.
~Kei
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 31, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shade's Children is, in my opinion a very creative and imaginative book. This is the only book by Garth Nix that I have ever read. The whole idea behind the book is very fascinating, much different from other books that I've read. It is a mystery that is trying to be solved, how all of the adults dissapeared. One day they all just vanished. And then the Overlords came. Nobody knows where or how they came. One day they were just there, and then came their creatures.
Screamers scream singly, all alone;
Trackers track in trios of three;
Ferrets follow in fangs of five;
Myrmidons march in maniples of seven;
Wingers fly in flights of nine.
The Overlords captured the children and sent them to the Dorms, only to stimulate there bodys, for later on their Sad Birthday, they would be taken to the "Central Processing Unit" (i.e. The Meat Factory). Their muscels and brains were to be used only for the creation of creatures. But there is a band of rebels under the guidence of Shade. Children who had escaped the Dorms and been taken in by Shade. Though Shade is not a man. He is not even really living. Is Shade there to help them or is he just using them for his own purposes. Find out.
This book is really excellent and suspenseful. I strongly recommend it to anyone with a liking for science fiction.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought that this was one of the greatest books I have ever read. It was about 4 kids escaping the dorms. The dorms are a place where all kids under the ages of 14 are kept. When they get to the age of 14 they are sent off to the meet factory. At the meat factory they are basically killed, but there mind is put into creatures. The names of the creatures are Trackers, Myrmidons, Ferrrets, and Wingers. The leaders of all of this are called overlords. There are 7 overlords all of a different color and there own way of life. These kids all had there own powers. These powers were called "Change talents". Goldeye could see the soon to be now which was basically what would happen in around 5 seconds. He could not control this power. Ninde if she sucked on her nuckle she could read the thoughts of anything that could think. Ella if she knew what shape and size a thing was she could use all her strength and make the things. Drum the fighter of the group had major strength and could easily fight off 1 creature with some help from his group. These four people lived with a human personality computer named Shade. Shade had saved his personality into the computer right as the change was going to happen. The place that they lived was a submarine where the groups of kids that got out and could servive to get to the place could live and survive unless on a mission from shade and die. The group that he was interested in writing about were always close to death, but they always survived somehow. No overlord has ever been killed but if ever one did it would be great for all of human kind. This book is supposed to be happening sometime in the 3000s. If you ever want to find out if the humans survive the change read the book and you will be surprised at the beginning middle and end. This is a great book and I reccomend this book to people who like young adult books and who likes changed worlds.
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