Shade’s Children – Garth Nix

Posted on June 22, 2008


Shade’s Children is a stand-alone novel by Garth Nix, and perhaps the only one that teenagers can truly relate to.  It is set in modern day britain , and all adults have disappeared. Children are only allowed to live until they are of 14 years of age , and then they are killed and their brains are used as a host for a monstrous spirit to be a servant. This also causes them to mutate. Nearly all teenagers are kept in the dormitory , a place where they are kept until they come of age. Girls  and Boys are kept seperate so they cannot reproduce and rebel. They are also chipped so they can be tracked if they do escape

This story revolves around a boy called Gold-Eye. He escapes using a stolen blade , and uses it to cut out the tracker in his wrist. All that happens when he was 11 years old. He is now nineteen , and as far as he knows he is the oldest living person on earth. He is being pursued by trackers – Creatures who hunt and return escaped inmates to the nearest dormitory – , and is almost caught as he climbs up a cliff. He is rescued by a gang of people not much older than himself. They take them back to their base. They turn out to be Shade’s Children , a group of children who have escaped captivity. Shade is a computer version of an old Professor deceased as part of the change. He commands them from the computer and they work towards reversing the change.

This book is extremely creative. It doesn’t go overboard like the the keys to the kingdom series either. It doesn’t dilute the teenage nature either. Sex and swearing are both featured , but only just enough to keep it teenage rated. It is a great Book , and I find it a travesty it has only won a BBC best read award :(. But this shows Garth Nix and can tone down his fantasy precedent and create a book that could well happen out of the corner of your eye. Hard to follow in some places , but still a classic read

**** and a half

By Callum 🙂