A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shade's Children is set in a future altered by "the Change," where human/machine hybrids terrorize the remaining population. The science behind the Change is glossed over, but the novel does raise interesting questions about the possibility of machine consciousness and what it means to be human.
Shade's Children emphasizes the importance of teamwork and sacrifice while offering a warning against those who would insist that the end justifies the means.
Positive Role Models
As the newcomer to Shade's Children, Gold-Eye holds the central point of view in the novel. At first concerned mostly with his own safety, he becomes part of a four-person team, ready to sacrifice everything for the hope of a better future for humanity. By the time of the climatic battle, each of Gold-Eye's compatriots has a clear vision of what they must do for themselves and others.
Violence & Scariness
Shade's Children features teens in a near-constant state of jeopardy as they battle deadly Wingers, Ferrets and Myrmidons. Because these creatures are human/machine hybrids, they gush ichor, rather than blood. But because they contain the still vaguely conscious brains of captured children, their deaths invite a variety of mixed emotions.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
All of Shade's Children take sex education and contraception classes. Those who choose may enter a lottery for sexual partners. Gold-Eye and Ninde are attracted to each other and engage in some form of sexual arousal, but the details are not given.
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Shade's Children contains a small amount of profanity. "S--t" and "f--k" are used a couple of times as expletives during moments of high stress.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drum has been chemically neutered as a side effect of involuntary steroids overdoses.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shade's Children is a fast-paced futuristic adventure that features teen characters in almost constant jeopardy. The characters battle mechanical hybrids, so there is little blood shed, but an awful lot of ichor gets spilled. There is a small amount of profanity ("s--t," "f--k" used as expletives a couple of times), and the teens are eligible for a sex lottery (though few details are given).
Is It Any Good?
This a fast-paced tale of futuristic guerilla warfare, and Nix keeps the action and suspense high while still paying attention to the emotional lives of these hard-bitten survivors. There are few easy answers in this unforgiving world, and Nix keeps readers guessing and involved until the very end.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.