Shade's Children



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... (Summary and book cover courtesy of


“Shade’s Children” is an incredibly creepy, dark and awesome book.  I read it for the first time growing up and again recently; it’s just as good now.  It is a much more interesting and innovative dystopian novel than other books in the genre.  As a warning, Nix does not explain everything and there will still be some open questions at the end of the book.  Though that typically drives me nuts, I found myself content with the novel.  Part of what makes this book so engaging is the ambiguity that slowly revealed (to some extent) throughout the story.

Each of the five characters has a quickly defined personality and specific focus even in their limited understanding of the horrific world they live in.  This provides wonderful variety throughout the book as you swap points of views.  Overall, this is a book with non-stop action that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it?  Dystopian fans and science fiction fans.