Thursday, September 20, 2012
Dear Garth Nix,
Thank you for almost never disappointing me with your wonderful additions to the literary world. Shade's Children is a wonderful addition to your already very creative collection.
Shade's Children is set in the future (?) where one day, suddenly all of the grown-ups are simply gone. Some of the children are changed and have an extra ability that they may or may not be able to control. The children were rounded up and put into dorms where they endured many challenges before a "sad birthday". On their sad birthday, the children are taken to a meat factory where they are turned into machines and essentially lose their humanity and any sense of themselves.
Unless they escape the dorms.
Once they escape, they are mercilessly hunted by all manner of monsters. So, an AI has managed to set up camp in a submarine and hides children from the monsters. The AI is Shade. He trains the children, equips them with weapons, provides food and shelter to them.
Let me backtrack a little bit. The event that wiped out adults/grown ups (well 16 years old and up) is referred to as 'the change'. There are four main human characters that seem to have the underlying goals of survival, survive to undo 'the change', and find other survivors.
Really, the only thing I would ask for would be to witness the dorms and a child escaping the dorms. It was alluded to, recounted, but we were never placed in the moment. We never saw first hand what the dorms were like.
I also enjoyed how effortlessly we saw through the eyes of the different children and also the brief chapters of Shade recording them or interviewing himself. I also enjoyed wondering if Shade was good or evil throughout the book. He straddled the gray area as long as we weren't allowed to look at his character too closely.
I think the monsters, the world, and the entire feel were set up beautifully.
I couldn't put the book down; excellent read.