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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  8,638 ratings  ·  143 reviews
They call it the Academy.
A secluded, cliff-top mansion overlooking the rugged Pacific coast.
A school for children gifted - or cursed - with extraordinary minds.
Children soon to come under the influence of an intelligence even more brilliant than their own - and unspeakably evil.

For within this mind a dark plan is taking form.
A plan so horrifying, no one will believe it.
Audio CD
Published December 25th 2005 by Brilliance Audio (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dustin Crazy little brown owl
April 2011 Group Read in the John Saul LitGroup. I read this as a teenager and was excited to revisit the story :-)

I really liked this book - it still lives up to my brilliant memories :-) There is a scene early in the book when Josh is first arriving at the academy and sees this pristine fish tank. I love how this is a glimpse of things to come. I had to return my copy of the book to the library or I'd post the passage. I'm giving the book 5 stars. I did notice that there seemed to be more focu
Rebecca McNutt
Shadows was really thrilling and suspenseful, not to mention one of the most creative and original horror stories I've ever read! Though it gets a little choppy at times it was still really great.
Тежка ми беше тази книга, най-вече заради замесените деца. Не че експериментите с живи хора са оправдани по какъвто и да било начин, но когато са с деца, ми свирят по най-тънката струна. Епизодите с родителите им ме разплакаха на няколко пъти. Усетих болката им много дълбоко.
Динамична и добре написана история, искаше ми се да не я оставям чак до самия край. И въпреки, че действието и краят донякъде бяха предсказуеми (малки забележки от страна на Джон Сол за създаване на подходящо настроение изда
Great concept, unique book, but overall some aspects do not hold up well to time.

Without spoilers, this review is nothing, so I'll just say that it was well-written, naturally paced, and super unique.

The biggest thing that dates this book, however, is the talk of computers from the 1990s. It's hilarious to hear about C:/ command prompts, cable modems connecting a phone line to the internet, and "text boxes" and images forming on the screen. It is really funny, but takes me out of the story. I b
S.L. Dixon
What a fantastically unnerving story, the best John Saul I've read yet.
The characters were sound, the descriptions were good, the imagination concerning the ability of computers was great considering the impossibilities of the future and the relentless killing typical of his work was awesome, as usual. You just never know who will make it, if anybody, with this guy.
The story moved at a quick pace and I tore through the entirety in only four or five sittings.
Quality shit for sure.
There is someth
Iancu Alexandru
Absolutely briliant,the first half of the book is very mysterious,it makes you wonder "what are they talking about,what's gonna happen?" after you learn and discover what is really happening (partially) you'll get that feeling of "I freakin hate you John Saul",the second half of the book is very animated,Josh finds out what is going on,without any help,and that makes him the smartest kid,smarter than Amy and Adam. In my vision Dr.Engersol is a very smart man but truly sick
This book has single-handedly made me a Saul anti-fan.

I love suspense and horror stories. But something about this story just rubbed the wrong way. It may just be the trouble getting into an out of date technology-driven suspense. I also remember really disliking the prose, specifically the sentence fragment repetition used throughout.
One of the worst translations I have ever read. Almost ruined the reading experience.
The book was filled with cringe-worthy cliches, but I could forgive it for trying to go into too many technical details for 1992.
Reinforces my opinion that Stephen King is The King.
This was a really short but interesting novel. It didn't quite end the way that I thought it would but that is not a bad thing. John Saul had me wondering and speculating until the end. An excellent story.
Apr 07, 2008 Talia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Talia by: My mom.
Shelves: favorites
This book is by far one of my favorite creepy books. Gave me nightmares for months after reading it and it's still one of my favorites that I return to.
Karina Halle
May 30, 2012 Karina Halle is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Someone at my work is a horror fan - managed to snatch this and Clive Barker from the book bin in the lunch room :D

The book was promising. I was excited within the first 3 chapters and continued so till the part of the book where things start to happen.

Once I knew what was happening it went downhill for me. I felt that there were too much details when I wanted to just know what happens. It lingered a bit too long on the whole kidnapping/killing/tech.

Overall it was ok but I skipped certain words especially towards the end. This was my first John Saul's book and I didn't know what to expect. It's certainl
Ever read a book whose generic title and equally generic summary does the book itself little justice? Or doesn't really describe the story at all?

Well, OK, to be fair, if the summary went into anymore detail it may have spoiled everything that was actually happening. I rather liked the direction it went in as opposed to what I thought it would be. I ALMOST liked how this ended, until that little twist at the end put a sour taste in my mouth, hence why I'm giving this three stars rather than four
So, this is where "Transcendence" got its inspiration from?
At least it had some sort of satisfactory conclusion where the 'bad guys' are discovered instead of remain unpunished.
Oh, right! I almost forgot it! JohnSaulisms drinking game!
-House near a cliff ----- CHECK
-Something happens to a kid some time ago ------ CHECK
-Kids turned evil end up killing people ------ CHECK
-There's a legend/curse -------- CHECK
-An animal needs to die -------- CHECK
-Some form of playable thing gets possessed by evil
Karen Field
This is the first audio book I've listened to. I thought I would have problems with my mind wandering, but the story was so intriguing that I found myself completely absorbed with what was happening.

In short, the story is about a school for genius children. It confronts the many problems these children experience on a daily basis, in normal life such as isolation, teasing, boredom, lack of friendship and suicide tendencies. Then it moves into life at the new school and shows the feeling of norma
Peter Gorman II
This is the second John Saul book I have read, although I didn't know that at the time of purchase. That sort of speaks to something, doesn't it? Saul tells a good story in Shadows, (whose title needs work). I rated it a three because it's a little beginning, middle, end, and not much else. I liked it. Liked the idea, anyway. Even though it is a concept repeated through TV, movies, and other fictional works.

I have read many of the reviews below, and to be honest whole-heartedly disagree. Many s
Tommy Bones
The entire first half of this book was almost tedious for me to read. There's nothing suspenseful or thrilling about a gifted boy being picked on in school and being moved to a private academy. I almost didn't finish the book because of the lack of action. However, the second half proved to be more exciting. I rated it three stars because *light spoiler alert* of they way Josh realized what was happening around him. I find it quite far fetched that he would be able to sit and wonder what was hap ...more
Josh MacCallum is ten years old and having a hard time. He lives in a small California desert town with his single mother and baby sister, is a genius, and has just been skipped forward in school a second time, making him two years younger than his classmates. Friendless, he is bullied constantly. It’s no real surprise when, in a fit of anger, he cuts his wrists. His panicked mother agrees to look into The Academy, a school for gifted youngsters affiliated with a university. Despite her reservat ...more
Johnny Worthen
John Saul is a great writer. I hold him to high standards, no matter how old or new his books are. I've read many of his and finally got around to SHADOWS. I was not disappointed.

The book is a bit dated insofar as it deals with technology, but the chills are still coming. The characters are engaging and the story, like all his work, flows like blood through throbbing veins. As a parent of smart kids, the Academy struck me with particular impact; the idea of the best and brightest being used... N
In a beautiful mansion on the grounds of an upscale California university, there exists a school known as The Academy. The Academy is a refuge for kids who far exceed their district school peers in intelligence. These kids are frustrated, bitter, mocked, and occasionally suicidal. At The Academy, they find themselves among friends, kids who are just like them: prodigies, the brightest of the brightest.

The Academy is also a place with some truly chilling secrets.

I read a John Saul novel last week
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cindy Adkins
Love John Saul!

Okay, if you read any of my reviews I always give 5 stars. That's because if I don't like a book, I stop reading it. It doesn't happen often though because I'm an avid reader and only get books I think I'll like. This story was GREAT! I would be reading, decide I need to get up and get something done, but this book would be calling my name and I would find myself right back where I was! The characters and storyline were great. Just read it!
I read this book circa 2005, when I was devouring every book in my junior high library that I could get ahold of at my level. It was a book I was meant to put away that caught my eye. It's been ten years and I STILL think about this novel and the terrifying implications. I recently acquired it on my kindle to reread, because it is an unbelievable novel about highly intelligent children being BEYOND exploited by an adult they trust.
Debra Jeakins
Loved every page turning moment of THE SHADOWS. Just when you think you have the plot and the characters nailed down,John Saul takes you into another twisty turn of events that have your eyes bugging out saying "Oh my gosh!" and "WOW!" I have always loved horror stories and have been a huge fan of them forever & John Saul doesnt dissapoint! I know this book is dated back in the 90's but hey, it NEVER goes out of style!
J.J. Zep
The story idea is hardly original, but the author still manages to turn it into a compelling tale, albeit one that seems a bit dated now (not the authors fault, technology moves on).

Where I do fault Mr. Saul is in his rather annoying habit of switching viewpoint in the middle of a scene and in his pervasive use of the rather quaint expression "for." (Tonight he wanted to be by himself, for he wanted to figure out what to do. etc etc)

I'm also a bit confused as to who the main character is. Osten
Scott Schiffmacher
I read this book years ago in middle school and loved it. I finally thought about it again the other day and decided to reread it for fun. It's not a great book or anything, but it is a fun read, and thinking back to how computers were when this book was written made me a little nostalgic. It's a little sci-fi, a little horror, and all amusing.
Another John Saul novel featuring young protagonists in peril. This one is set at 'The Academy', a school for gifted children. Not just gifted...geniuses. The type of child who never quite fits in at a regular school.

The Academy is a godsend, think the children and their beleaguered parents. Finally the students will be surrounded by other extremely intelligent kids...with a teachers who understand and challenge them.

But the old saying "be careful what you wish for" creeps into the first few pag
Quinesia Johnson
I read this book in high school back in the 90's, and was totally creeped out and amazed. It's a mystery/ thriller with a twist of science. It may be a little dated now. Now we have an internet and cell phones, this could affect enjoying the book. But most young adults in particular may still find it just as enjoyable as I did.
Ashley Harris
This was such a good book! Although dated, you can still understand where Saul is going with this concept. This can definitely be connected today's technology. We don't know what we, or technology for that matter are capable of. Definitely an idea that was way ahead of its time, being published in 1993. Long story short, I loved it.
While reading my Nook version of this book, there were NUMEROUS typos and grammatical errors. Someone definitely rushed when they made the Nook copy of this. Still,
Gross! I read this book because my friend kept pushing me too, and I must admit that sick-twisted books are not my type. It’s a mystery, filled with sickos, and I did not enjoy it. Plus it totally grossed me out with it’s brain-scooping and graphic “shark-attacks” and parent-killing-genius-children and whatnot. Eek!
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John Saul was born in Pasadena, California on February 25, 1942, and grew up in Whittier where he graduated from Whittier High School in 1959. He attended several colleges—Antioch, in Ohio, Cerritos, in Norwalk, California, Montana State University and San Francisco State College, variously majoring in anthropology, liberal arts, and theater, but never obtaining a degree.
After leaving college, he
More about John Saul...
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