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Shade's Children (Shade's Children)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  10,080 Ratings  ·  477 Reviews
If you're lucky, you live to fight another day.

In a futuristic urban wasteland, evil Overlords have decreed that no human shall live a day past their fourteenth birthday. On that Sad Birthday, the children of the Dorms are taken to the Meat Factory, where they will be made into creatures whose sole purpose is to kill.

The mysterious Shade—once a man, but now more like the m
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by HarperCollins (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Angel Martinez
Jan 15, 2014 Angel Martinez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 03, 2007 Willow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 15, 2009 Rems rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-books, youth
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
Zahra Dashti
فرزندان سایه داستان تلخی بود. حداقل برای من در این سن و سال . شاید اگر در سنین نوجوانی می خوندم ، تلخی اش رو کمتر حس می کردم. نمی تونم در این مورد نظری بدم.
داستانی که در اون ، بچه هایی رو می بینید که به زور ، به جبر زمانه ، مجبورند کودکی نکرده وارد دنیای بی رحمی بشن ، دنیایی بی رحمتر از دنیای بی رحم اطرافم ما. یا تبدیل به ابزارهایی بلا اختیار (هرچند که ناخودآگاه انسانی شون رو حفظ می کنند و این رنجشون رو افزون می کنه) یا تبدیل می شوند به جنگجویانی که با ید با همون ابزارهایی که قبلا از جنس خودشون
Dec 23, 2012 Dorothea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 25, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 12, 2010 Daria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
*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
Jenn, Reader of Things
Jul 28, 2013 Jenn, Reader of Things rated it really liked it  ·  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 Jenn, Reader of Things 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
Oct 02, 2007 Jenni rated it it was amazing  ·  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!
Dec 18, 2011 Lindsay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Milad Ghezellu
کتابی که بر خلاف کتابهایی مثل آقای دوشنبه و سابریل از یک سری و مجموعه نیست و کتابی مستقل و کامل است. کتابی که خیلی عمیق و جدی نیست، داستانی از ماجراجویی است.
در آیندهای نزدیک همهی افراد بالای سال ناپدید میشوند و فقط کودکان زیر سال باقی میمانند که آنها نیز به اردوگاههای منتقل میشوند. در جشن تولد سالگی این بچهها را به کارخانهی گوشت میفرستند تا بخشی از ساختههای اربابان برای مبارزه باشند. موجوداتی به نام اسکریمر، ترکر، وینگر، میرمیدون و فرت. این هیولاها از سه بخشی جادویی، ماشینی و انسانی تشکیل شده
May 11, 2009 Marsha rated it liked it  ·  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
Jul 08, 2012 Stefanie rated it liked it
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
May 20, 2012 Angypants rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 02, 2015 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason I found this book rather difficult to get into the first time around, although upon picking it up for the second time I managed to work my way through it in next to no time at all. I cannot pinpoint what prevented me the first though, yet I am glad I managed to get over whatever it was.

It’s a thrilling story of a group of people in a world where children are the only ones left and being used for a much darker reason. The characters themselves are all easy to believe, the fictiona
Jul 17, 2009 X rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to X by: Q
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, ya
One day, everyone over the age of fourteen has vanished from the Earth, and in their place are Overlords and hideous alien creatures. The children are rounded up and trained until their "sad birthday," when an alien attaches itself to them or they are ripped apart for meat. The few children who manage to escape live a borderline life, constantly fleeing the aliens that have overrun their world. The only ray of hope is "Shade," a personality left behind in a computer. And yet Shade has been worry ...more
Normally I love anything by Garth Nix, but I'm just not so sure about this one. Obviously the writing is fantastic - that is to be expected, but I just couldn't seem to connect with the characters or really feel involved in the story. Perhaps that might be because I've so enjoyed everything I've ever read by Garth previously, so my expectations may have been elevated.

This is a good book, but just not great... In my humble opinion.
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
From what I remember, this was a really dark book to read. Being as young as I was, I do remember picking up once and unable to read it. The second time was better because I was so sucked in, I couldn't put it down. Unfortunately, because I was so young and naive, I didn't understand half of what I was reading until the third reading. Quite intensely dark for a children's book--for a child!
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
So I've finally re-read Shade's Children after all these years. I was about eleven or twelve when I first picked it up in the school library, mostly because I recognized Garth Nix as "that guy who did Sabriel etc." It's one of those books that I actually remembered the plot of later on in life, which I always thought was the mark of a good book. (I read a lot of non-descript YA back then. It was... weird.)

Re-reading this as an adult was, of course, a radically different experience. I guess I nev
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
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
Dec 11, 2011 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
[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
Jan 24, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, science-fiction
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
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
Oct 04, 2013 Con rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: form-1-shelf
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
Jul 06, 2012 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.

More about Garth Nix...

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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.”
“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?”
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