Shade's Children
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Shade's Children

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  7,577 ratings  ·  350 reviews
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...more
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Published January 1st 1997 by Harper Collins
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Angel Martinez
Yes. I'm reviewing a YA book. (Picture me sticking my tongue out at anyone who has a problem with this.)

I've read a lot of YA as an adult, partly because of my own child, who liked to have me read the same books to discuss them, and partly because I like YA SFF. There's often an honesty, a pared down-ness to the stories that attracts me. The flip side is that some authors tend to talk down to their audience, which is depressing and disappointing. Garth Nix has never, ever done this.

This is a man...more
Willow
Garth Nix is wonderful. He is one of the true great sci-fi and fantasy authors. Shade's Children was heartbreakingly sad and clever. This book is not a pick-me-up but I do think that it is original and interesting. However, fans of the Old Kingdom beware, this is very different from his other books.
Monica!
I remember this book from my youth primarily because of the phrase "tyrannical little shit," which at age 9 I thought was the most shocking thing ever written. It just blew my mind -- I couldn't even pay attention to the ending of the novel, because of the way I was just reeling from the terrible language.

Upon reread, it's... somewhat less shocking.

Also, I find I am still madly in love with the story in general. Crazed Overlords harvesting children's bodies and brains to power their twisted war...more
Espo
When I picked this up, I picked it up for the fact I was a fan of Garth Nix's Old Kingdom Trilogy, and was hoping to find more that he had written. And this really did ace it.

Shade's Children is set in a dystopia setting, perhaps more modern than not, as the technology of present day is still there in that setting, but no one knows how to use it. Fifteen years ago everyone over fourteen vanished, and eventually children were rounded up and taken to the Dorms. When you turn fourteen, you die. If...more
Wendy
This was a fantastic book!! Kind of made me think of a junior version of 'Battlestar Galactica', which is one of my favorite television shows.

The book takes place in a futuristic setting. One day all of the people over the age of 14 just disappear leaving behind nothing but children. Shortly after the adults disappear the children are rounded up and taken to dormitories where they are raised until their 14th birthday at which time they are taken away by creatures, to the Meat Factory. The Meat...more
Daria
*Spoilers for him or her who cares whether this book has a happy ending or a sad one. (In retrospect, that's probably loads of people, but I'm always unwilling to mark the "contains spoilers" box. I usually try not to spoil things.)*

We open the first few pages and here we are, cheerily dropped by Garth Nix into a world in which seven psychopaths of a higher life form, apparently hailing from another dimension, have taken over this world and taken World of Warcraft to the next level. So far so go...more
Asch's Anti-Paradigm
Jul 28, 2013 Asch's Anti-Paradigm rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 14+ fans of sci-fi who like darker tales, or people just looking for an original stand-alone.
Recommended to Asch's Anti-Paradigm by: uhmmm... can't remember. I think I found it on my own.

"If an action must be taken that will benefit the majority at the cost of the minority, is it morally indefensible?

If an action taken for the benefit of a majority occurs at the expense of a minority, is it moral action?"


***3.5 staritos***

I keep getting the vibe that this book would've made a great video game. Monsters, evil Overlords, runaway teens, a mysterious mentor.... it could be epic.

Shade's Children tells the story of the world fifteen years after the "Change" led to the rule of the ev...more
S.
High-octane, intelligent Sci-Fi for older YA's.

Garth Nix has a real thing about creatures and races put to the use of powerful beings who butcher them into grotesques animated by shadows of their former selves. He's used it in everything I've read by him so far.
I wonder what that's about?

I read this pretty much in one sitting, it was so grippingly suspenseful.
The actual premise isn't anything new, but you really come to care deeply about this Earth-you-like and its' enslaved teenage population....more
Dorothea
I liked this a lot when I was a YA myself, but while I still think some parts are well done, in general I don't find Shade's Children nearly as good as the Abhorsen trilogy.

One problem is the backstory -- there are some small holes and some very big ones. I mostly liked that Nix doesn't try to explain the situation very much, because it should only be a little less mysterious to the reader than it is to the protagonists; but then again, in science fiction there should at least be a pretense that...more
Jessica
I'm a big fan of Garth Nix and have read practically all of his books. Which is why I was so surprised to find this one since I've never heard of it before. And after reading it, I realized there's a good reason for that: this book kind of stinks. As a book, it's all right, but as a Garth Nix book, it's terrible. It's his worst book by far. It's almost like he decided he wanted to do what all the other young adult authors were doing by putting in a bunch of swearing and sexual references, but it...more
X
Jul 17, 2009 X rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to X by: Q
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenni
Oct 02, 2007 Jenni rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young people - adults
Shelves: garthnix
My favourite individual book from Garth NIX. The plot is great! It's racy, thrilling, futuristique... and the ending made me cry it was that good!
Emily
[Possible spoilers]
Sometime in the near future a phenomenon has occurred instantaneously removing all adults from the world leaving the children at the mercy of a mysterious group they refer to as Overlords. Some children escape their fate as mere body parts bred to become soldiers in the battles these Overlords have against each other. Their "protector" is Shade, whose personality resides in a computer and sends these children out on missions to learn more about the Overlords and possibly how...more
Rebecca
I really enjoyed Nix's Abhorsen trilogy, so I found this book deeply disappointing. His world is suitably imaginative in its gruesomeness. But his characters are incredibly flat. Ninde, in particular, is incredibly annoying, and she never seems to grow up or learn. In fact, all of the characters have no arc to speak of, with the possible exception of Shade. And Shade's arc is handled so clumsily as to be confusing and not particularly satisfying.

In the Abhorsen series, there is clearly a lot of...more
Marsha
May 11, 2009 Marsha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tess Prudencio, Katreniah Washington
Picture this: A group of humans from another dimension come to Earth in the late 20th century and found a church and a religious movement. They direct their ignorant followers to build "churches" for them on mountaintops, on which the other-dimension humans install projectors that radiate energy. They cause these projectors to be installed on the rooftops of the tallest buildings in this unnamed metropolitan area in which this novel takes place. Once all their preparations have been done, they t...more
Angypants
Possibly, if this book is read in these days of popular post-apocalyptic stories, one might be tempted to throw this one in with the "ah, someone read 'Hunger Games' and wrote a book" crowd. Now, some of those books fall in the AWESOME category (DIVERGENT), but others can make someone either say, "Ooo, I love that kind of book", or "No more!". Well, luckily, "Shade's Children" was published in 1997! Ahead of the trend! Booyah!

Aaaand now it's been re-released, with a new cover.

Garth Nix is known...more
Kulsuma
Shade’s Children had an interesting storyline and had great potential. I was gripped by the fact that the main character at the beginning of the book, Goldeye, was in a life-threatening position and about to be caught by mutants. I was interested in the children’s Change talents and wondered how they had developed these abilities. Also, I wanted to know why they only lived until the age of fourteen- which I found out the answer to later on in the book.

However, the lack of emotional development...more
Seawood
An absolutely relentless dystopia. If you liked The Hunger Games and the Monsters of Men series, you may well like this; but be warned, there's very little in the way of redemption, human connection or joy-in-the-little-things here. It is seriously bleak and it never lets up for a moment. This is hard, unlovely, unpatronising sci-fi in a kill or be killed world where *everything* is out to get you. It is aimed at a YA audience and honestly, the reviews here make me laugh when they give warnings...more
Lindsay
It took some time for me to determine whether to give Shade's Children two or three stars... but decided on two in the end. The premise is compelling: four children (who appear to range in age from 15 to 19) escape from evil overlords who rule a dystopian future where humans don't live past age fourteen, and all adults have disappeared. On their "Sad Birthday," the children are taken to the "Meat Factory," where they are dissected and used for parts to create the Overlords' nightmarish creatures...more
Stefanie
There were three reasons why Shade's Children only got 3 stars, for it was a entertaining storyline and you bonded with Ella, Ninde, Drum and Gold-Eye. First, after having read a series of dystopian novels such as the Gone series, Matched, The Maze Runner series etc.. I found the novel to have way too much sci-fi for my taste. Picking up the book, I excepted it to be similar to other dystopian novels. However, I found out later on that the author specializes in sci-fi.

Second, I found it hard to...more
Con
This book is about not losing hope even when things turn bad. In an urban wasteland weird humans from other dimensions turn people older than fourteen into dangerous creatures that follow their every command. Most humans are trapped in facilities, but a few fight back against the darkness. Gold-eye, a person who escaped from the facilities joins with the Shade. He is the mastermind behind the rebellion to make regular humans in control again. Finally they figure out how to win, but it is probab...more
Robyn
I was pretty surprised coming to this book from Nix's Abhorsen trilogy. I found the change in tone and pace pretty refreshing, honestly. While I love the Abhorsen books, they have a tendency to drag in places, which is one thing this book can't be accused of; I was on the edge of my seat for every page.

There is a lot of the standard Sci Fi convention here, but Nix manages to make a lot of it feel pretty fresh by tinkering a bit with the tropes, and giving us a few twists to the standard "Robots...more
Liz
Very mixed feelings about this one. It gets four stars because I thought the writing was excellent, and the scene-setting brilliant. I was instantly drawn into this dystopian world, in which everyone over the age of 14 has disappeared and children are basically farmed for their body parts, which go to provide soldiers for the "overlords" that have taken over the earth. Garth Nix's imagination seems so fertile, it makes me despair of ever being able to write anything decent in comparison.

The rest...more
Courtney Reads A Lot
I just realized that this book was originally released in 1997. I had no idea. My edition was published in 2012 so I was stupid in thinking that this was a newer release. How have I not come across this before? Anyways, I love Garth Nix and I loved this book. I am not a big science fiction fan. In fact, I hardly read science fiction at all, but this book was a little lighter on the science fiction side.

So, why did I love it? It was a haunting read that sent shivers up my spine and that will sta...more
Ryan Mishap
An odd dystopian novel with a pnderous ending--even the tragedy of the end can''t fully redeem the over-lying premise. Okay: the future where children are herded into fascist-like dormitories and when they reach a certain age, their brains are harvested for placement into cyborg warriors. Children manage to escape, though, and some have banded together in an old submarine under the control of Shade, a hologram imprint of a dead professor. The rules are just as strict here, and the children are...more
Stevecrandell
The first 200+ pages of this dystopian sci fi thriller are excellent. Some strange force has triggered a radioactive Change and vaporized all humans 14 or older. Children are raised and harvested to bio-engineer the hideous creatures that patrol the battered landscape.

Shade is the creepy holograph mastermind of a band of child guerrillas. Or at least he’s creepy enough, until he goes all Dr. Evil. His sinister side becomes obvious and camp, complete with diabolical tics of suppressed diabolisho...more
Shanna
I read this book, I believe, in junior high. It's one of those novels that sucks you into the story and doesnt let you go till you've reached the end, and then want more.

It's about these kids, set in the future, when all the adults are gone. Poof, gone. And these kids are trying to survive in a world run by machines when at 12 years old you might as well kiss yourself goodbye because you're old enough to become a drone of some kind, or food.

So there's a rogue group who are trying to change thin...more
Dawn
Dark, bloody, intense. Fabulous choice of writing style and integration of a variety of genres and tools. Others compare it to Ender's Game, but I found it lacking. The end is sappy, but what drives the emotion??? What sort of world are the survivors left with? What will their economy be based on? What sort of industry will they be prepared for? How will their leaders (an ignorant boy and a selfish, petulant girl) actually be able to do anything productive? The lack of forethought about what hap...more
Liz B
The second time I read this it just wasn't as good. It's still an excellent, fast, and extremely creepy read, but on the second reading I felt it lacked the depth and complexity I usually give to my 5 star books. Still, I'm not changing it, because if nothing else, it's incredibly memorable.

Premise: Fifteen years ago, everyone over the age of 14 disappeared, and mysterious strangers, the Overlords, put all the kids into dorms. On their 14th birthdays, the children are taken to a facility that ha...more
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8347
Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia, to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing 'Hail the Conquering Hero Comes' or possibly 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Garth left Melbourne at an early age for Canberra (the federal capital) and stayed there till he was nineteen, when he left to drive around the UK in a beat-up Austin with a boot full of books and a Silver-Reed typewriter.

De...more
More about Garth Nix...
Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1) Abhorsen (Abhorsen, #3) Lirael (Abhorsen, #2) Mister Monday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #1) Drowned Wednesday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #3)

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“VIDEO ARCHIVE-
INTERVIEW 24768 . GOLD-EYE
I like trees… grass… only birds in sky. People walking safe. Family
No Creatures. Sleep all night safe. Walk under sun in own place.
Grow plants. Build.
Be father with mother. Have Children. A place like Petar told me. Home.
After Change goes back…
I want home.”
9 likes
“If an action must be taken that will benefit the majority at the cost of the minority, is it morally indefensible?

If an action taken for the benefit of a majority occurs at the expense of a minority, is it moral action?”
3 likes
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