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 14th 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 machines he fights - recruits the few teenagers who escape into a secret resistance force. With luck, cunning, and skill, four of Shade’s children come closer than the others to discovering the source of the Overlords’ power - and the key to their downfall. But the closer they get, the more ruthless Shade seems to become.
©1997 Garth Nix (P)2013 AudioGO
“This pitch-dark, postapocalyptic thriller will keep you reading and wild-eyed. Fast, brutal, and brilliant." (Scott Westerfeld, New York Times best-selling author of Uglies)
“The alternate world [Nix] creates is amply imagined and the twists and turns of the action-filled plot compelling.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Fast-paced, exciting.... Straight narrative chapters alternate with files from Shade’s increasingly unbalanced memory, a device that works well in this context. A well-written and engaging book.” (School Library Journal)
As the author is and the story isn't set in North America (dialogue clues). However, that said, the narrator is competent enough though he sounds as though he's reading to children. The story however, is fantastic and moving I highly recommend it. It's a unique dystopian vision of a world populated by children used as fodder for an invasive force bent on processing the children into creatures used as pawns in a literal battle to the death 'game'.
Excellent pot boiler! Taut writing by Garth Nix and colourful characters mean that this book is a hit.
In a futuristic dystopian world, a reality altering event means all the adults are gone and kids brains are being farmed by the "Overlords" in a sick game. Our heroes go about trying to fight the overlords with the help of AI.
Overall, I was totally hooked and enjoyed it. My only minor problem was with the storyline vaguely being similar to movies from the 60s, but you hardly notice it. The characters get you hooked as you move from scene to scene. The scenes are interrupted by "audio" excerpts from the characters in different scenes - just to provide an interlude. It makes for a great effect as it is not so commonly used, even though its a well known method.
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
Shade's Children has an interesting premise - dystopian Earth dominated by other world beings, all adults are gone, and the children are rounded up and cultivated for parts to create more evil beings. Into the mix, Nix introduces a human personality housed in a computer that becomes the leader of the few children who have escaped the clutches of the Overlords. Nothing entirely new, but certainly enough promise to deliver a cracker-jack YA sci-fi. But Shade's Children fails in the execution. The human children protagonists are sympathetic but not fleshed out enough to really invest a lot of emotion in them. Only Ninde was portrayed with enough distinct personality to make me care a little. There is virtually no explanation for how the Overlords came to seize control of the planet and since the story takes place in one city, it is hard to understand how our "heroes" will throw off the domination of a whole planet from one isolated location. The plot is predictable and not engrossing enough to make the listener suspend disbelief and the ending is rushed and rather a let down. In addition, Charles Carroll does not add much in the narration. His delivery is rather slow and although he does a computer voice rather well, he doesn't lend much to the characters in voicing the human or alien dialog. I know the author of the wonderful Abhorsen series can do better than Shade's Children.
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