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Shade's Children

(Shade's Children)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  11,339 ratings  ·  554 reviews
The Key to Survival Rests in the Hands of Shade's Children

If you’re lucky, you live to fight another day.

In a futuristic urban wasteland, evil Overlords have decreed that no child shall live a day past his fourteenth birthday. On that Sad Birthday, the child is the object of an obscene harvest resulting in the construction of a machine like creature whose sole purpose is t
Paperback, 345 pages
Published September 18th 1998 by HarperTeen (first published 1997)
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,339 ratings  ·  554 reviews

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Angel Martinez
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
After the Change, only children were left alive – and once each child reached the age of fourteen, they were taken to the Meat Factory to be harvested. Gold Eye was one who managed to escape and not be caught, though his life on the run was a dangerous one. The night he was close to capture, he was rescued by a group of three, Drum, Ella and Ninde and taken back to their refuge – an old, abandoned submarine where Shade ruled, and small groups of children ventured out into the danger to search fo ...more
Jul 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 19, 2009 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
Jul 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jenn, Reader of Things
Jul 20, 2013 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
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!
Katie Lumsden
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Maybe 3.5 stars. An interesting teen novel with some great aspects. The characterisation is very good and the plot engaging, although I feel like the premise had more potential that was perhaps actually explored. Anyway, an enjoyable read.
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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!
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YA Scifiers
Recommended to Kereesa by: Gordon; Kaylee
You know that moment of pure emotion where you just sit there gasping and wondering what the hell just happened to you?

Well, that's me right now.

I haven't been affected by a book like this in a very long time.

And it's a pretty fabulous and terrifying feeling all at once.

Bare with me, I'm trying to find my thoughts.

I fell in love with Garth Nix the first time I read Sabriel, then fell deeper in love with the rest of the Abhorsen trilogy series. I kind of fell out of love with him when I got to
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 26, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sasha Ivashkov-Herondale-Jackson (aka Clarisse)
i think i read this book like when i was in grade 6 and i was scared imagining a world were i would have died in 3 years. (i was 11 at the time)

Garth Nix is a FANTASTIC writer and i was hooked, i tell u HOOKED!!!! to this book till the end. It was one of the very few stand alone books that blew my mind....

fantastic writing and veryyyy original considering its a dystopian and i dont usually like dystopian (after suffering from PTSD from readin fail dystopians such as Matched and Delirium)

so yeh
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 r
Oct 11, 2014 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 02, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jul 07, 2009 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.
May 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-books-read
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.
Loryn Kelley
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nearly twenty years ago, I purchased Shade’s Children. I hadn’t read it since I was a kid. Two decades later, the story is still mesmerizing. I couldn’t put it down! The book reads like a film; there is constant action. Every sentence serves a purpose; there isn’t fluff. For a Young Adult book, it’s rather impressive. Honestly, someone should consider making this into a movie or a short series. It would do well.

The genre of the book is science-fiction. Essentially, only children remain on the
Jan 28, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Dec 11, 2011 rated it liked it
[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
Courtney Reads A Lot
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Fantasy: Telepathic girl [s] 3 40 Oct 12, 2014 09:20PM  
Class of 2014: Shades Children 3 21 May 28, 2013 04:49PM  
Class of 2014: Book Review 2 12 May 28, 2013 04:48PM  
What's the Name o...: dystopian scifi cyberpunk computer ai guides a group of kids toward a sketchy goal? [s] 5 61 Apr 08, 2013 06:29AM  
Class of 2013: Cool Book 1 3 Mar 07, 2013 10:55AM  
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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.

“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?”
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.”
More quotes…