Shade's Children by Garth Nix cover

Shade’s Children

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Synopsis: On your 14th birthday, you're dead meat! Chilling SF adventure from international bestselling author Garth Nix. 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!

What would it be like to live in the future? In Gold Eye’s case, not very nice. Ever since the Change, Overlords have taken over the world, killing all over 14 years old. They are needed, for at 14, they are transformed into machines of war, for use in the Overlords’ battles. But there are some who escape the ‘dorms’-the child prisons. These are children who are gifted with talents….Talents that help them run and hide. But they cannot survive alone. They are recruited by shade, and will undergo  missions for him. Shade hopes, that one day, the Overlords will be overthrown.

And that time is Gold-Eye’s time.

I’m not really into all this apocalyptic sci fi/fantasy stuff- but this one I did enjoy. Garth Nix has created a very intresting scenario, and it’s not a cliched, either. He has made it very believable- the process of the Sad Birthday and after it. There’s no religion whatsoever, or at least none that is mentioned, and no hero archetypes. In fact, it is very hard to identify the hero/ and or main character, as Gold Eye is very quiet, and follows Ella, Drum and Ninde. You could say that they are all main characters.

The characters are all well crafted, and none are perfect/excel especially well. Gold Eye is, I have to say, my favourite, but I’m sure you might have a different opinion.

I particularly liked the short and periodic chapters that explained some history of some of Shade’s Children, and these were not too long, so they didn’t tear you away from the story, which was good. One thing that I would have liked to see is some more time right at the end, and maybe a longer Epilogue type thing.

I know I haven’t written much, but it’s because really enjoyed the book, and couldn’t criticise a lot. So now that I’ve read it, it’s your turn, and I can guarantee you’ll enjoy it…

About Rhys

Rhys is a 19 year old with roots in the UK and Germany. Aside from reading and blogging, he also produces theatre, loves Kate Bush and hopes to pursue a career in publishing. His reviews have been widely quoted in books such as Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines Quartet, Catherine Bruton’s Pop!, James Treadwell’s Advent and Anarchy and he has presented at such events as Book Expo America.

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