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on 23 October 2006
Readers of Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series will be well aware of his fantastic writing style and exceptional story telling. This time Nix provides his readers with a new and original style. Throughout the book we follow the story of 'Gold eye' who, having lost his loved ones to the evil overlords, must now seize the opertunity to escape from the 'factory like' dorms that all children are locked inside. For it will soon be his birthday; the sadest birthday of them all, when 14 year old children are taken and made into a grotesque machines, forced to serve the overlords for eternity. Gold eye must use his special talents to escape the dorms and be recruited by the ominous Shade. Obsessed with defeating the overlords, shade is both their saviour and their enemy. Suffice to say this book with both thrill and astound you; nix maintains the pace and the tension throughout, however the book is less up beat than his previous works. I prefer to see this as a posotive aspect; the fact that he can explore different areas and still suceed, proves once again his brilliance.
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on 17 May 2006
I was one of the lucky people who benefited from early versions of this book being given away by a high-street retailer 18 months ago. Little did I realise at the time how long it would take to be released and how much everyone else was missing out.

Without a doubt, this is a masterpiece from Garth Nix. The writing has a sense of urgency, unwinding the story at an incredible pace and keeping the reader hooked. Emotions and instincts play a major part in a story that is sinister and somehow very adult in its outlook.

This book is better suited to older readers, teenagers or above, but is a must-read for adult Nix fans.
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on 16 August 2006
This has got to be one of the best books i have ever read. It is dark and creepy and Garth Nix describes an alternative world with scary realism. The book is so well written and you get incredibly emotionally attached to the characters in the book that it nearly made me cry and i have never cried reading a book before. All of the events draw you in closer to the book and characters making you feel stronger emotions as the book goes on. The ending is worthy of the rest of the book and shocks you because of how sudden it is and also the contrast of emotions is unbelievable. What else can i say apart from this book is probably one of the best teenage books out there (i mean mid to late teens - no younger than 15 or 16 as it is inappropriate below that age and would not be truly enjoyed, see the other review entitled 'weird' - big misconception as it is enjoyable to any fan of reading) and anyone not reading this has certainly missed out. I'm going to be thinking about this for a long time.
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VINE VOICEon 28 February 2008
Barcode: 9780007174980

A warning to younger readers. This book isn't just scary, it is truly terrifying. I'm a big fan of Garth Nix and after i had finished reading the amazing Abhorsen Trilogy i was eager to try out more of his work and so got this.

Wow! What a surprise i got, this is a far more mature book, and while still aimed at a young audience, it deals with much, much darker themes than the aforementioned trilogy. To give you an overall idea of the feel of the book, imagine the film 28 Days Later. It is a world like that, devoid of almost all human life, where those remaining must be constantly wary of things ready to kill them in an instant. The world of Shade's Children is 100 times more terrible, mutant-cyborg creatures controlled by a mysterious force patrol the land making any kind of travel night-on-impossible.

The only remainder of the human population are enslaved by these creatures, and when children reach a certain age, they are taken away, killed, and their body parts used to make more 'creatures'. This vision alone is terrifying but as you will discover when you read the book, far worse is yet to come.

You follow the character of Gold-Eye in his escape from enslavement and struggle to survive in the remnanats of a shattered world. The plot is tense in the constant threat of danger that permeates every scene and believe me, if a book was ever deserving of the title 'unputtdownable' it is this one - seriously, i was addicted. Fans of stuff like Lost, Doctor Who, Torchwood and Heroes will love this kind of sci-fi-esque material and the way you gradually discover answers to questions throughout the novel. Many of the answers are provided in flash-back esque recordings, again, very Lost-esque and don't intrude with the plot at all. Instead, they only add to the gravity and power of the central plot.

Part of the appeal of Shade's Children is it's gritty feel - it's rough and ready yet at the same time slick and precise in a clinical kind of way. The reader isn't spared the gruesome details and by the end of the book you'll have been scared, shocked, revolted and amazed. The book also deals quite strongly with sexual issues, so again, caution for parents buying this for younger children.

For a book that isn't in fact that long, it feels truly epic. I'm not sure precicely what i think about the ending and i won't spoil what happens to anyone but i will say now that it is quite vague and is perhaps slightly dissapointing. Everything is resolved but nothing is specified, perhaps Nix's intention - allowing the reader to use their own imagination. Ultimately though, the ending doesn't matter when the journey getting there is so utterly enthralling. Truly, Shade's Children is one of the most terrifying, visonary and best books i have ever read.
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on 1 February 2005
In 1 word brilliant, this book rides you through a rollercoaster of ups and downs. It has everything, action non stop through out this book and in my opinion better than his Abhorsan Triology. With Unique characters that have defintite similarities with his other books this book will make you laugh, cry, worry and more.
No matter what age you are if you like reading youll finish this within days
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on 28 September 2004
This is one of the best books I have ever read its about a place in the future where all people of 14 and up in age disappear. Kids are left alone and when buses come by saying to get on they dont know what else to do. The buses take them to dormatories where they are taught things until they are 14 and then are taken off to the Meat Factory to make creatures out of them. The people who did this are the Overlords evil human like things.
This story is told in the life of Golden Eye a young boy who escapes the dormitories. He is rescued from creatures by 3 other people who belong to a group that is under control of Shade, a human personality inside a machine.Golden Eye joins them to help save the world and return it to normal.
This story is full of action that lasts the entire time.
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on 24 November 2007
I am an older reader and bought this for my son who didnt get a chance to read it as I couldnt put it down. I loved it, the characters felt like my own children, the storyline was fairly gruesome but a fantastic and compelling read, every chapter stepped up a gear, I was so dissapointed when the book finshed, I really miss Ninde and Goldeye, lovely little characters. Looking forward to my next Garth Nix book.
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on 1 July 2006
i do think this is for slightly older readers but that doesnt mean it is not a good book. being shown through the eyes of Gold Eye who is about as confused as the reader really works well, garth nix tends to have really intricate worlds which are easy to get lost in. you get a deep empathy with the characters which is helped along with little scripted videos, transmissions, lists and that sort of thing in between the chapters. the characters are well written with the determined and gritty to the excitable and dreamy. it is fast paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat when they go on missions and have to find daring means of escaping. aswell as burning with anger at the horrid overlords and crying with either sorrow or happiness.

just like all of Garth Nix's other books this is amzingly imaginative. and if you are a bit squeamish read the first little part quickly and dont let it put you off, the rest of the book is brilliant.
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on 31 August 2007
Possibly one of the best books I've ever read!
I read this in two days and was unable to put it down, and I have reread it again recently.
It is a very dark and sad book, dealing with death and evil, but its so enjoyable and the characters loveable.
I definitely recommend this book.
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on 24 July 2006
An excellent addition to the Garth Nix library. Shade's Children is dark and sinister, and the harsh and inhumane treatment of the children is shocking. But the relationships between the main child protagonists are touching and show there is hope for humanity.
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