Book number 25: Shade’s Children by G. Nix. This is the first sci-fi book I’ve read, I think. Again, I have to thank my sponsor… Thank you, Babe, from me and the bookstores, who are ever increasing profit because of your purchases. 😆
What it is: The plot of the book is the typical ‘save the world‘ story I often see on what little post-apocalyptic movies I’ve managed to watch: higher forms of being come and humans are demoted from hunter to hunted. Only children younger than 14 are allowed to exist, but only to be used for spare parts for creatures that the higher beings called Overlords create for their own battles with each other – pretty much like animals slaughtered for the benefit of others.
The heroes of the book working to “reclaim the world for humanity” include a biotechnological persona named Shade, who is some sort of a “human personality stored in a computer’s memory“; and Ella, Ninde, Drum, and Gold-Eye, children who were able to escape from the Overlords captivity. Shade’s Children is very Machiavellian, the old saying on how the end justifies the means. The task of the reader is to pick a side on this issue as the book wears on.
If an action must be taken that will benefit the majority at the expense of the minority, is it morally indefensible? If an action taken for the benefit of the minority occurs at the expense of a minority, is it a moral action?
What I liked about it: Shade’s Children is a moral struggle, apart from a sci-fi adventure. At the end of it, I go with Shade on his attempt to use the children to fight the Overlords: “No use for it [compassion] in these times.” It’s not like there are other people who can do the job. If Shade did not turn all megalomaniac towards the end, then he could even earn the first hologram statue the world has ever seen.
At first I thought Shade’s Children is a children’s book, but I’m glad it turned out to be a dark, thrilling, and fast paced adventure. The four children team who managed to bring the demise of the Overlords are also quite charming and believable. Their portrayal as sacrificial children soldiers is heartbreaking and I appreciate the contrast between them, two optimists and two pessimists. Of course the pessimists died in the end, but not without, shall we say, saving the world.
And only because I am fascinated by the weather, I am very well pleased with the ever changing weather throughout Shade’s Children. 🙂
What I did not like about it: I have not had the chance to indulge in one too many sci-fi books but I think in this genre, the environment plays a very important role to facilitate the story. However, I must admit my imagination failed to produce the dystopia that is the world of Shade’s Children. I’m not sure if it was my imagination, or lack thereof, causing the problem, but the appearance of the creatures used by the Overlords in their ritual battles also eluded me. Similarly, the twist and the ending of the story are quite predictable, but pretty much forgivable because of the smooth storytelling.
Recommended for: Sci-fi fans and young adults interested in science fiction books.