Monday, June 4, 2012

Shade's Children

Shade's Children by Garth Nix, 1997. 345 pages. Source: Off my book shelf.
The Key to Survival Rests in the Hands of Shade's Children

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 machinelike creature whose sole purpose is to kill.
 
The mysterious Shade -- once a man, but now more like the machines he fights -- recruits the few children fortunate enough to escape. With luck, cunning, and skill, four of Shade's children come closer than any to discovering the source of the Overlords' power -- and the key to their downfall. But the closer the children get, the more ruthless Shade seems to become ...
First Sentence:
Gold-Eye crouched in a corner under two birdshit-caked blankets, watching the fog streaming through the windows.           
I first read Shade’s Children was about four years ago; I had picked it up on a whim after having read the first three books in The Seventh Tower (all try to re-read and review this series later this year if I have time).
The first time I read Shade’s Children I liked it, but it wasn’t love at first read. But after getting the chance to revisit this book, I find that my opinion of it has drastically changed. I’ll just come right out and say it, it was better than the first time that I read and I now love this book.

While Shade's Children is a really good read, it is one that is an acquired taste and not one that every reader is going to love. Regardless, I would definitely recommend giving this one a shot because it is a pretty action packed read that will most likely leave you burning through the pages.
What really drew me into the story were the characters, and their struggle to survive in a world where must children didn’t make it past their fourteenth year. I also enjoyed how each character had both their strengths and weaknesses; it definitely made their struggle that much more believable…especially since the setting for the story was so unrealistic.

Shade's Children is both a creepy and outlandish read. Creepy in what happens to the children throughout the book-where they disappear around their fourteenth birthday and are tested on and turned into creatures used by the Overlords. Outlandish because-hopefully- the reality of the their world is one that we ourselves will never have to face.  
While I really liked the four main characters of Shade's Children, Gold-eye was my absolute favorite.
What made Gold-eye such an interesting character for me was that he was far from perfect-when you first meet him he cannot read, can barely speak, and is not really able to defend himself.  It was definitely interesting to read about such an imperfect character and that imperfection is what makes him my favorite of the book.

What I loved the most about Shade's Children would have to be the Garth Nix's writing, which was brilliant as usual. One of the best things about his writing is that-so far at least-no matter what his writing about I always find myself into the world that he created and the struggles of the characters. Even though the story has bitter-sweet ending, I thought that it was handled quite nicely.

My least favorite thing about this book would have to be that there was a bit of foul language that popped up throughout the whole book. While I do not generally like swearing in the books that I read, I can sometimes tolerate it if it seems pertinent to the story or something the character would say-within moderation that is. So even though I did not much care for the smattering of swearing in this book, it did fit the in.

Final Verdict: Shade's Children

Shade's Children earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

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