Shade's Children

Shade's Children - Garth Nix Yes. I'm reviewing a YA book. (Picture me sticking my tongue out at anyone who has a problem with this.)

I've read a lot of YA as an adult, partly because of my own child, who liked to have me read the same books to discuss them, and partly because I like YA SFF. There's often an honesty, a pared down-ness to the stories that attracts me. The flip side is that some authors tend to talk down to their audience, which is depressing and disappointing. Garth Nix has never, ever done this.

This is a man of astounding imagination. I would probably read an article about car maintenance if he wrote it. (Due to time constraints, I haven't kept up with his work in the past few years, but I devoured his Abhorsen series and several short works as well.)

Shade's Children is characteristically dark, stripped down and focused. You get a minimalist feel from the prose due to the tight beam on the five main personalities and their respective limited views/understandings of the terrifying world in which they live.

Is everything completely explained? No. It can't be. Is everything conceptually fully realized? Hell yes.

I won't rehash plot or details and I fully encourage the reader to approach this one with as little information as possible to get the full experience since this is a journey of discovery, of putting the pieces together as the characters do.

It's tense, it's stomach churning, it's immersive, it's tragic and triumphant.

I don't know why this man isn't more famous.