Thursday, July 26, 2007

#63 -- Shade's Children by Garth Nix

From the Publisher
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 ...

My Opinion
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 help until their brains and bodies are used to create more creatures, whose sole purpose is to participate in horrible war games for the enjoyment of 'overlords'. These overlords think of the children as nothing more than 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 reading more of his books in the near future.