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Shade's Children Mass Market Paperback – September 18, 1998
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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.
“A slick, dark, engrossing novel. Grim, unusual, and fascinating.” (Horn Book Magazine)
“An exciting read.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Fast-paced, exciting, well-written, and engaging.” (School Library Journal)
“The alternate world he [Nix] creates is amply imagined and the twists and turns of the action-filled plot compelling.” (Publishers Weekly)
“This pitch-dark, post-apocalyptic thriller will keep you reading and wild-eyed. Fast, brutal and brilliant.” (Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies)
Top customer reviews
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In a post-apocalyptic world, humans are enslaved by the Overlords and turned into monsters, which are then used to fight battles for the Overlords' enjoyment. Think Pokemon, but if Pikachu was made by splicing human body parts together rather than born as a cute fluffball of yellow.
Born during the year of the aliens' takeover, known as the Change, four youngsters work in tandem with a mysterious entity named Shade to defeat the Overlords and turn back the Change. But as they get closer to taking back their freedom, Shade gets more and more antsy, and they are abandoned by the one person they trusted the most.
A gripping, thrilling read from page one to the end. The one thing that irked me about this book was that we never learn how the Overlords came into the knowledge that the Earth was a perfect place for their battleground, or where they come from, how they got to Earth, or what will happen to them once the Change is reversed. But it's a small complaint, and definitely does not take away from enjoyment of the story. This would be a perfect Christmas present for any reader, young or old.
If you want to try it, check out the "Look Inside" bit, and just read pages 1 and 2, “Video Archive - Interview 1759: Ella” and you’ll see why it sucked us all in.
This is not the happiest of tales. It's dark, and harsh, and the world is often cruel. There's violence, and gore, and loss. But there's also love. And it's so wonderful in its own way. Give it a chance. I doubt you'll regret it.
First, the setting is different: dystopian, post-apocalyptic earth. Strange, unknown creatures ruling the earth, doing experiments on and altering humans to become even stranger creatures, and one group trying to rise against the main system and return everything to the way it was. They do this with the strange powers they got since The Change. Oh, and they're all young adults. Whatever apocalypse happened (Nix leaves it unclear and murky, more true to the "we're not sure what happened" feel of the characters' world rather than the reader knowing everything), it took away any adults that existed at the time. Technology, strange powers, and pure survival instinct all help the characters try and defeat this new system.
The writing is worth mentioning. Some of it is traditional narrative style, third person. Some of it is readouts or internal recordings from Shade, of the title, which are more like computer documents and logs. It's a fascinating read, and a successful experiment from Garth Nix.
Nonstop action, good characterization, excellent world building and all around great story. Its written so there's a bit of sorta diary excerpt from one of the characters and then the chapter, saying just one more over and over again meant I read the book in under 24 hours. The characters have emotions but they're in the diary bits, and don't get in the way of the action ever. I mean, these are the survivors in an extraordinary dystopia, their feelings wouldn't get in the way or they wouldn't have lasted this long.
In this story, 14 years ago, all humans over the age of 14 disappeared, and overlords came and started herding kids into dorms where they would eventually be taken and used as parts for the overlords monsters. No after school special type issue, no big technobabble explanation, something just happened. And in this book, things never stop happening. You won't be able to put this book down once you start.
I glanced through the other reviews a little harder and must include, yes this book deals with sexual themes some. Also love, and enough violence and scary setting that I wouldn't think it would be well suited to a 12 year old. I'm an adult and didn't think of the age this was directed torwards at all. It seems great for all ages but by this I mean perhaps older 14 or 16 and up.