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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  11,425 ratings  ·  216 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
Mass Market Paperback, 393 pages
Published May 1st 1993 by Bantam (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,425 ratings  ·  216 reviews

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Description: 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. No one but the children. And for them it is already too late. Too late, unless one young student can resis
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
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
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This book had a bit of a slow start but then it got really eerie. You feel for the main characters Josh and Amy and only wonder why no one found out about Dr Engersoll and his experiments as the number of the dead is rising. It clearly shows that science has to be controlled otherwise it gets out of hand as it is shown with this academy for extremely gifted children. In my opinion not Saul's best novel but an interesting subject. Recommended, when you're interested in artifical intelligence and ...more
Honestly speaking, I don't remember one bit of the plot line of this book. I read this a long time ago, when I was in the 9th or 10th grade in school but I remember being completely 'wowed' by the book so my rating of 4.5* for this book is based alone on that 'wow' factor! I definitely need to re-read this book again and since I don't remember the plot at all, it probably will be a fresh read for me...
Jun 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Chris Nortje
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Think Re-Animator, or wiring Frankenstein up to a Commodore 64 and bringing that bastard to life with a dial-up modem.

Classic 80's B-grade, right?

I think that is how you have to read this novel to enjoy it.

My seal of approval is the one thing I rarely bestow on novels that take me a week to complete. I have things to do and usually prefer those books I can finish over the weekend. Shadows took me a while to finish, but not because it's a very thick book. Firstly, I'm a chronic student -- still
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Taco Banana
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Tara Bush
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
The story was entertaining even though its computer plot was a little outdated. I liked that it's a creepy story that isn't bogged down in gore. The character development was pretty good, but it always seems to black and white when the "bad guys" don't have any redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Ken B
Nov 13, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a pretty average book. It felt really dated, published in 1992 when authors were excited about the possibilities of virtual reality and the endless opportunities offered by computers.
Karina Halle
May 30, 2012 is currently reading it
Someone at my work is a horror fan - managed to snatch this and Clive Barker from the book bin in the lunch room :D
Jennifer Collins
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror
I discovered John Saul in middle school, and devoured everything I could find him between my late middle school and high school years--yet, I read them so quickly, and read so many books back then, I haven't had many memories of them as an adult. Re-reading this was sort of fascinating and wonderful, though I'm a little bit horrified to think of how young I was when I first read this one.

Saul's writing is fast and dark, and he doesn't shy away from turning real-feeling characters toward unbeliev
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I would have loved to have given this book four stars, but the first 2/3 of it dragged for me. I was reading a few other books at the same time, because it just wasn’t keeping me interested. I’m glad I finally finished it, because the last third of the book was amazing. I do think the book could’ve been shorter, though. This is my first John Saul book, and I got halfway through it when I thought, “well I guess I won’t be reading anymore by this guy.” The latter third changed my mind, however. Th ...more
Nick Rijnsaard
4,5 Stars****

If I would describe this book in one word, I would call it: bizarre!
This is the second John Saul book that I've read and I'm pleased to say that I'm really enjoying his books quite a lot!

His books are full of excitement en tension that has been building up from page one. I really needed to know what was going on this strange school. I bet you can't put this book down once you started it.

Without saying any spoilers, I need to say that I never read a horror book with this concept. I
María Camila
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked that the book has not had compassion for the characters, although I thought it was exaggerated the fact that- almost- all died, but their deaths are justifiable and logical. I do not know if I didn't read a part but do not define what happened with The Language Teacher (I do not remember his name).

Me gusto bastante que la obra no haya tenido compasión por los personajes, aunque me pareció exagerado el hecho que -casi- todos murieran, sin embargo sus muertes son just
M Mella
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting read. If I read this in the 90s when it was released I would have been in awe about the technological aspect of it. However, the antiquated technology does bring a bit of nostalgia and amazement in how far technology has advanced in just a few decades.

Despite the technological aspect of the book not holding to time, I still enjoyed reading it. It is well paced, the characters are interesting, and the plot intriguing.
Chris Marsh
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jared Raymond
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely different from other john saul books I've read. This book took more of a sci fi horror approach. The first half of the book started off slow, not really going into anything too crazy, but once you get past that, the pace really picks up, and gets very interesting. Not my favorite John Saul book, but definitely a good read.
Domenico Giangregorio
Before I go on my little I rant would like to clarify that I believe the book is a 3.5/5 in my eyes. The story was definitely well told as most books written by accomplished writers are, but this story just didn't keep me as involved as I first hoped. I did enjoy the ending as it came quick and provided quite the punch.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book will take you to a world you wish you never heard of ... while it seems far fetched...even more so when written sadly I can see this happening .

As a young reader John Saul grabbed me and I always credit him for my love of reading the different.

Loved revisiting him and may just have to do more visiting.
Elizabeth Thomas
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
An okay plot for mass-produced horror... however, most of the story is given from childrens' point-of-view. Reads more like YA than adult. Some of the storylines tend to lean more toward cheesy than devious.
Oana Ciurdarean
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Meh with a touch of OMG, this could be so real.
Poor writing developed around an interesting idea - transfering human brains into computers to make the brain-computers smarter and help them develop continuously.
Udana Hiers
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gripping and terrifying

John Saul once again takes us to places never imagined!! Great book and a wonderful read. This is a story that makes you think and wonder...could this already be happening in the world. Must read!
Kimberly Flanagan
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book many MANY times over the years. It's freaky and even creepy at times. It's one of the best books I've ever read. I really liked Josh and Amy, but I had a bad feeling about her. That ending... was definitely interesting.
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a decent story. Last 75 pages kept me in somewhat suspense.
I may be growing out of this genre though. Just couldn't get
totally into it.
Lisa Byars
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
definite page turner and really makes you think "What if?"
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John Saul grew up in Whittier California 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 decided the best thing for a college dropout to

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“Indiferent ce mască își punea pe față, nu exista vreo cale de a cicatriza rana sângerândă din ea, nu exista vreo modalitate de a alina durerea care îi măcina sufletul.” 0 likes
“Ar fi trebuit să fiu altceva, ceva ce nu simte nici un fel de durere. La noapte, reflectă el, fremătând de anticipație, voi fugi de durere. Și nu mă voi mai întoarce niciodată.” 0 likes
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