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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  7,616 ratings  ·  111 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 believ...more
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published June 1st 1992 by Bantam Dell Pub Group (Trd) (first published 1992)
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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 It may just be the trouble getting into an out of date technology-driven suspense.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.
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...more
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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...more
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...more
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.
It all starts with Josh McCallum a gifted child that has more than quite a few problems over the course of his life. The Academy, a clifftop mansion school for gifted children, is where the action starts to take place when the students begin to die mysterious deaths, and Josh McCallum, a brilliant but lonely boy, knows that someone or something evil is to blame.

-This is part of the prologue of the book that shows high importance to the story of the book.

"Shadows that surrounded Timmy, wrapping...more
Teresa Geraghty
Other than the information given in the blurb (which really intrigued me) , I had no idea what this book was going to be about. The reason I mention this is because, honestly speaking, if I had known what the actual plot was, I may not have given this book a chance at all as I would have seen it as more of a horror/sci-fi novel, which is not a genre I would have ever seen myself leaning towards.

HOWEVER, this book was a real page turner for me, as it leaks just enough information every so often t...more
had this story not centered around children, it certainly would not have packed the same punch. However, it DID focus on children, and as such, mild horror elements were instantly and horrifically propelled straight into the im going to mess my pants category.

very well structured horror, the story moves slowly but steadily, revealing just enough to keep you hooked.

the ending was ambiguous and spine tingling.

very solid.

would recommend to any horror fan, even tho the supernatural elements are non...more
Shadows is one of the best novels by John Saul. The horror behind this story slowly creeps up on you and will keep you guessing until the very end. Just when you think you have the children, and the adults alike, figured out, you're wrong. This is definitly a story for anyone who wants a good horror story without all the blood and gore that usually goes along with the genre. There is one aspect of the story that isn't answered in the end which I found odd that it wasn't addressed even though the...more
This wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it was absolutely one of the most purely entertaining. So for that alone, I gave it 5 stars. Sometimes, if you let go of your intellectual filters, pure entertainment value can turn an otherwise average book into something almost perfect!
Entertaining, easy to read. I wish there had been a few more twists and surprises. Overall i enjoyed it, but not enough for more than 3 stars.
Gabriella Stoy
A quick and easy read. Not my favorite book, but I also don't regret reading it. Supposed to be a horror, but more Sci-Fi than horror.
Christopher Manning
It's a little hard for me to explain what it was specifically that I didn't like about this book. I guess it was just the plain fact that I do not like John Saul's writing style. The whole time it feels like I'm reading a first draft, as if there could potentially be a good story out of it. The dialogue was distractingly bad, and the story never quite got me involved. I won't be too harsh, because it had its moments, especially in the last 50 or so pages of the book, and just because this is my...more
За първи път чета нещо на този автор. Стилът му на писане е леко елементарен и затова се чете доста бързо - това го казвам позитивно, а не като критика.
Историята ми беше интересна, но средната оценка я давам, заради поизтърканата идея. Не знам кои точно автори са прокарали за първи път подобни идеи, но се сетих за доста сходни книги и аналогични сюжети - напр. "Човекът с косачката" на Стивън Кинг, "Компютърът на боговете" на Стивън Кинг, "Пурпурните реки" на Жан-Кристоф Гранже, "Ген" на Майкъл К...more
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  • Night Chills
  • Come Out Tonight
  • The Hellfire Club
  • The House
  • The Mask
  • The Eyes of Darkness
  • The Ceremonies
  • The Voice of the Night
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
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