~FREE PDF ☾ Shade's Children ♫ The Key to Survival Rests in the Hands of Shade's ChildrenIf you’re lucky, you live to fight another dayIn 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 machine like creature whose sole purpose is to killThe mysterious Shade — once a man, but now 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 ruthless Shade seems to become
I liked this a lot when I was a YA myself, but while I still think some parts are well done, in general I don't find Shade's Children nearly as good as the Abhorsen trilogy.One problem is the backstory there are some small holes and some very big ones I mostly liked that Nix doesn't try to explain the situation very much, because it should only be a little less mysterious to the reader than it is to the protagonists; but then again, in science fiction there should at least be a pretense that the science fiction makes sense They came from another dimension is not really enough, especially when the solution is to (view spoiler)[send them back to wherever they came from by destroying the thing that (1) maintains their power but (2) was somehow placed by them or their agents in advance of their coming (hide spoiler)] After the Change, only children were left alive – and once each child reached the age of fourteen, they were taken to the Meat Factory to be harvested Gold Eye was one who managed to escape and not be caught, though his life on the run was a dangerous one The night he was close to capture, he was rescued by a group of three, Drum, Ella and Ninde and taken back to their refuge – an old, abandoned submarine where Shade ruled, and small groups of children ventured out into the danger to search for information for him.Shade was a computergenerated adult male who provided creature comforts for his children But he also sent them on dangerous missions into the Overlord territory where the risk of capture and death was constant The Overlords directed the Myrmidons, Wingers and Ferrets – so avoiding them all was difficult, but imperative The four friends quietly made plans to do all in their power to destroy the Overlords, which would in turn destroy the strange creatures who controlled their lives But could they do it? Would they have the strength and fortitude to complete their biggest mission yet?Shade’s Children by Aussie author Garth Nix is a fascinating, brutal, actionpacked scifi novel which I thoroughly enjoyed A fast read, even at 334 pages; I flew through it in a matter of hours I don’t read a lot of this genre – perhaps I should read ! Highly recommended. Garth Nix is wonderful He is one of the true great scifi and fantasy authors Shade's Children was heartbreakingly sad and clever This book is not a pickmeup but I do think that it is original and interesting However, fans of the Old Kingdom beware, this is very different from his other books. *Spoilers for him or her who cares whether this book has a happy ending or a sad one (In retrospect, that's probably loads of people, but I'm always unwilling to mark the contains spoilers box I usually try not to spoil things.)*We open the first few pages and here we are, cheerily dropped by Garth Nix into a world in which seven psychopaths of a higher life form, apparently hailing from another dimension, have taken over this world and taken World of Warcraft to the next level So far so good But to further the sense of catastrophe, these Overlords' armies are powered by the brains and sinew of fourteenyearold humans who are bred and raised in captivity Said brain and sinew power a variety of freakish cyborgthings who, when not engaging in bouts of capturetheflag, track down children escapees (Every adult on the planet, however, had vanished when the Overlords came, so everything works out conveniently.)Enter a myriad of characters, each of whom I found fully developed and interesting in their own right The characters thus were a great success, as was the dystopian environment The action unfolded well, gaining the right amount of momentum after the climax peaked The alternation of chapters, jumping from thirdperson narrative to the inside of Shade's machine system, was an incredibly clever touch The machine chapters served the dual purpose of being generally awesome and fulfilling the side of the plot which the narrative didn't So, in midst of all this, what was lagging?Garth Nix seems to like happy endings Having created a plot this grim, one would be astounded that he'd be able to get away with a happilyeverafter in this case Like the good writer he is, however, he steers us readers toward it The reader has no choice but to heartily wish that the end of this particular story is happy Indeed, there is so much dark content throughout the book that the ending desperately needs to turn out positive for our unfortunate protagonists But, given the overall dark content matter of the book, it must be positive to a certain extent.There are several points which are left unresolved by Nix and which glaringly do require our attention Throughout the book, Nix focuses us in on the setting and moment, letting our imagination supply the situation which is occuring elsewhere Only through occasional lines do we surmise that the rest of Earth is in the same condition as the unnamed city in which the given events take course, for example Having endured Nix's dark world for several hundred pages, full of abandoned urban structures and flooded sewage tunnels and all manners of horrid, inhumane things which will creep after you, capture you, and take you to a factory plant for disassembly, the ending could not beout of place And so the daisies burst from the ground! The sun started shining and the birds began singing! And all who were present joined linked hands in a circle andYou get the point Well, it seemed that Nix leftto our imaginations He did not specify whether the adults which were taken ever came back (we presume they did not) Nor does he tell us directly if the Overlords ever left (This is also assumed.) Why not somedetails, Mr Nix? I mean, he left enough to write a whole companion novel, it seems I think we'd like to knowabout these parallel dimensions, and the world from which the Overlords came Why do they look like us and yet act so brutally? Why would they treat those who look like them as animals? (Very nice allegory here by the way, Mr Nix I'm surprised those groups who are against animal testing/genetic meddling have't recruited this book as their manifesto yet.) And finally, how is it that, leaving the whole world postapocalyptic and at the hands of a multitude of children, we see human civilization pick up right where it left off with hardly a blunder? That's a pretty farfetched leap, and it was the one which made me unhappiest I must also add that I very much approved of Shade's machinehuman struggle, although his redemption was rather bland He had nothing to lose at the very end, so the final triumph over the Overlords did not feel as satisfying as it might have been.All that said, if one performs a final leap of faith for Garth Nix (who, if you don't already know, wrote the stunning Sabriel, which you, without question, must immediately go read), one will find Shade's Children to be a compelling and bloodchilling telling of dystopian settings and events which hurdle by with barely a breath to spare. When I picked this up, I picked it up for the fact I was a fan of Garth Nix's Old Kingdom Trilogy, and was hoping to findthat he had written And this really did ace it.Shade's Children is set in a dystopia setting, perhapsmodern than not, as the technology of present day is still there in that setting, but no one knows how to use it Fifteen years ago everyone over fourteen vanished, and eventually children were rounded up and taken to the Dorms When you turn fourteen, you die If you're bred or put on drugs, you might last longer But you all die And all the children know that when you die, you become monsters It's not all children that meet this horific end, though some manage to escape and find their way to Shade, a man fighting against the Overlords who is not as he seems Maybe he's your friend maybe he's not.The book, to me, was different from a long of things I have read, and no the kind of thing I usually would But it's compelling once you start, and you have to read as the many mysteries surrounding it are unravelled.My favourite part about this book is probably the breaks between each chapter, whether it be an interview, a conversation that Shade's recorded, or some records that Shade has, though particularly the interviews It was the first one that gripped me, Ella's, right off the bat, from the Now you're watching me and you're wondering what got her? Not to say I don't enjoy the rest because I did There's something about Nix's writing style that makes it very easy for me to read his books, regardless of the subject matter, and it was easy to read as well as enjoyable.Recommendable, but not for the faint of heart. This was a fantastic book!! Kind of made me think of a junior version of 'Battlestar Galactica', which is one of my favorite television shows The book takes place in a futuristic setting One day all of the people over the age of 14 just disappear leaving behind nothing but children Shortly after the adults disappear the children are rounded up and taken to dormitories where they are raised until their 14th birthday at which time they are taken away by creatures, to the Meat Factory The Meat Factory is a holding area where the children are held until their brains and bodies are used to createcreatures, whose sole purpose is to participate in horrible war games for the enjoyment of 'overlords' These overlords think of the children as nothingthan animals and treat them as such While most children are resigned to the fact that they will be taken away when on their 'Sad Birthday', some manage to escape, and try to stay alive, constantly running from the various creatures who hunt them down This book follows a group of 4 of those survivors who are taken in by 'Shade', a computer program that holds the consciousness of an adult man left over from before the Change Shade shelters and trains the children to survive against the creatures, while at the same time, using them to gather information so that he can 'set things right' His ultimate goal is to defeat the overlords and return the world back to the way it was before But at what price? This book is non stop action and I had a very hard time putting it down once I started it What a fantastic storyteller Garth Nix is and I am looking forward to readingof his books in the near future. From what I remember, this was a really dark book to read Being as young as I was, I do remember picking up once and unable to read it The second time was better because I was so sucked in, I couldn't put it down Unfortunately, because I was so young and naive, I didn't understand half of what I was reading until the third reading Quite intensely dark for a children's bookfor a child! This book was originally published in 1997 but I feel that it stands up well against current YA fiction.At the beginning of the book we discover that on one night everyone over the age of 14 suddenly just disappeared The story jumps straight in to the action and centres on one boy, GoldEye, who is running and hiding from monsters The action once begun does not stop for the rest of the book.I enjoyed all the characters, especially Ella who was exactly the kind of person you would expect to come to the fore as a leader in an emergency Shade was suitably creepy, a bit like a computer generated Fagin There were a few plot holes if you think too deeply, but if you sit back and go with the flow the book, overall, is excellent. My favourite individual book from Garth NIX The plot is great! It's racy, thrilling, futuristique and the ending made me cry it was that good!