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Shade's Children [Mass Market Paperback]

Garth Nix
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 24 1998
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 fewchildren 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 ...

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Product Description

From Amazon

In the brutal world of Shade's Children, your 14th birthday is your last. Malevolent Overlords rule the earth, directing hideous, humanoid creatures to harvest the brains and muscles of teens for use in engineering foul beasts to fight senseless wars. Young Gold-Eye escapes this horrific fate, fleeing the dormitories before his Sad Birthday. He is rescued from certain doom by other refugees who live in an abandoned submarine and work for Shade, a strange, computer-generated adult. Shade provides food and shelter in exchange for information that the children gather on dangerous forays into Overlord territory. But what does Shade really want? He is a sworn enemy of the Overlords, but his use of the children to gain knowledge and power seems uncaring and ruthless. Finally, Gold-Eye and his new friends set out to destroy the Overlords--with or without the enigmatic, dangerous Shade. Garth Nix, author of Sabriel, blends suspense, action, and high emotion in this excellent, fast-moving science-fiction story. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Earth has been taken over by the terrible Overlords in this "amply imagined" science fiction/quest story, said PW. "The twists and turns of the action-filled plot are compelling." Ages 12-up. (Oct.) r
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, but it has it's flaws June 10 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nix's boundless imagination shines in this novel. I enjoy reading post-apocolyptic SF, and this book fits the bill. The setting in which Shade's Children takes place feels real enough and believable, not to mention creepy. The main characters are well developed, and for the most part they stick to their motives. There's lots of fun action with gadgets and gizmos, as well as swords (a not-so-common element for futuristic sf.) The character known as "Shade" kept me guesing as to what his intentions were almost throughout the entire novel.
The book was good, bu not great. I like a plot to flow effortlessly without hinging on elements that are obviously there simply for the purpose of developing the plot,ie- the characters infiltrate the enemy's stronghold with the sole purpose of stealing a "projector" located on the stronghold's roof. They find the elevator that would take them to the roof, but because it's an unusual elevator, the team leader, a usually rational and inteligent character, decideds the whole team should take the elevator to a lower level because she thinks the unusual elevator won't allow them to come back down from the roof, even though it obviously allows them to descend, since they use it to go to a lower level. Once they reach the lower level they're ambushed by hundreds of the enemy and the rest of the story relies on this one event to create a suitable reason to turn the way it does.
Nix never really explains why the earth was overtaken by evil "overlords" intent on using humans as stock for their war-games. But when one of the characters has a chance to ask this question of one of the overlords I got the impression that Nix was placing a plug for animal rights/ animal liberation. The overlord says to the girl, "You animals are so stupid.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
This young adult science fiction novel from the author of the stunning fantasy "Sabriel" has some striking similarities to "The Matrix," although it was written before the film came out. In the future, enigmatic beings known as The Overlords have made all humans over age 14 vanish from the planet. All the remaining children were rounded up and placed in "Meat Factories" where they are bred to be used as raw material for slave-construct creatures, like Wingers, Trackers, and the fearsome Myrmidons. The Overlords use these creatures to play out cruel battle games for their own amusement.
But a resistance exists: children who have escaped from the dorms and who possess powers that the change in the world has given them. These children work for a being called Shade, a human mind inside a computer. Shade claims to be working at overthrowing the Overlords, but he seems too willing to toss away the lives of the children who serve him. Our four main characters, Drum, Ella, Ninde, and Gold-Eye, come to suspect that Shade has a larger agenda than he says, even as the struggle to defeat the Overlords starts to advance in their favor.
Although not as incredible a book as "Sabriel" (one of the best fantasies, adult or young adult, of the last decade), "Shade's Children" is action-packed, deeply imaginative, and filled with wonderful characters. The book is structured so that between the chapters dealing with the main action are short chapters containing computer read-outs, statistics, interview excerpts, computer self-analysis, etc. This is a clever device that splits up the action and gives dramatic tension to the rest of the book.
The four young heroes are realistic and wonderfully written. Ella, the eldest, and a strong leader who feels the great weight of responsibility.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Shade's Children Jan. 19 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Imagine that your spices are no longer dominant and everyone in the world over the age of 14 has suddenly disappeared. Now imagine that the wold as you know it is a race for life, survival of the fittest. If your caught you go straight back to the "dorms," where on your 14 birthday you are taken away for your brain to be harvested. Or if your lucky you'll die before they get you. But if you do manage to escape there is hope out there, in the form of a mysterious man named shade.
This book is a great, astoundingly well written book that will keep you guessing on what will happen next until the end. It has a perfect mix of action, humor, and drama with every turn of the page. When I read this book I could never put it down. This book catches your interest and clutches to it like a shipwrecked survivor to a piece of driftwood!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it to sci-fi fans everywhere! I say this because this book is simply put a great piece of work. You will connect with the characters as you follow them through this fantastic adventure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read Jan. 5 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Shade's Children by Garth Nix
"Screamers scream singly, all alone;
Trackers track in trios of three;
Ferrets follow in fangs of five;
Myrmidons march in maniples of seven;
Wingers fly in flights of nine."
What would you do if you live in a world where you 14th birthday was your last? What is all you had to look forward to for a life was being sent to the Meat Factory and having your muscles harvested to create deadly creatures for rulers you never met? What if your only chance of survival was trusting in Shade? A person that is more like the creatures he fights than a man?
Shade's Children is by far one of the most imaginative and creative science fiction novels that I have read. Though this is the only book I have read by Garth Nix, I have no doubt that this is a great book written by a great author. Unlike any book I have read, Shade's Children is full of facination and mystery that has to be solved. Why and where did all the adults go? That's all the children of the change know. Their parents disappeared one day, without a trace. Then the Overlords came. Then the Dorms were built. Then the creatures came.
Gold-eye is just like any other boy you's find in the Dorms. A boy with only enough education to talk and read, skrauny, and pale. Only, he escaped the Dorms, and found Shade and his "children." Gold-eyes now has to help in a plot to the Overlords downfall that Shade seems so eager to carry out. Maybe too eager. Gold-eye along with Ninde, Ella, and Drum get closer and closer to finishing off the Overlords, but the closer they get, Shade becomes more and more ruthless. What does Shade realy want? He claims to be a sworn enemy of the Overlords, but he is willing to throw away the lives of his children in exchange for knowledge.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived quickly and was a great read
It arrived quickly and was a great read, I've read it more than once since the initial read. Great condition. All around 5/5
Published 11 months ago by Vvv Ccc
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Fantastic
What would happen if we never lived past our fourteenth birthday? What would happen if, instead, our bodies were harvested to make other beings whose only purpose is to kill and... Read more
Published on May 1 2009 by Jamieson Villeneuve
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, Unbelievable and Breathtaking!!!
The summary on the back of the book about sums up what it's about. But honestly, this book is skillfully written and made me cry alot at the end, Nix has done a WONDERFUL job on... Read more
Published on July 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars book from my childhood
I have to say that this is one of the best books that I have ever read. Honestly, I read this book once, about six or seven years ago and yet it has remained one of my favorites! Read more
Published on June 24 2004 by C. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi for Sci-fi Haters
This book kept me positively glued until the very last page, at which time tears trickled down my face. Read more
Published on June 12 2004 by "phantasyelementz"
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to WOW you
This is the fourth Garth Nix's books i have read, and quite frankly i think it is the best. Only Garth Nix could write anything with this much thought and this many twists. Read more
Published on May 13 2004 by Kacie Cole
4.0 out of 5 stars Shade's Children
Overall this was a great book but it had a one major flaws. The ending happened suddenly, leaving many of my questions unanswered. Other than that it was a great book. Read more
Published on May 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
I barely ever read anything but when I had to read this book for a school project, I couldn't put it down. Every time you think you will stop reading, you can't. Read more
Published on April 20 2004 by "kaknj"
4.0 out of 5 stars dark and touching
I don't usually like "dark" fiction, but this didn't bother me because the 4 main characters were such essentially likeable people (and because I had a feeling they'd be victorious... Read more
Published on April 19 2004 by Min
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Plot! Beware of Language!
shades Children is one of the best science fiction books i have ever read. From the very first page you are locked into the world that Nix has created. Read more
Published on March 23 2004 by Hillary
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