The Shadow Societyby Marie Rutkoski
Darcy Jones doesn't remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywherebut she couldn't have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn't happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.
Memories begin to haunt Darcy
Darcy Jones doesn't remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywherebut she couldn't have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn't happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.
Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn't thought possible. But Conn's interest in her is confusing. It doesn't line up with the way he first looked at her.
As if she were his enemy.
When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can't rely on anythingnot herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades' latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . .
In this smart, compulsively readable novel, master storyteller Marie Rutkoski has crafted an utterly original world, characters you won't soon forget, and a tale full of intrigue and suspense.
“A sexy, mysterious, and above all, surprising romance between a wonderfully fierce heroine and the last person on earth she should ever love. I devoured this book in one day . . . desperate to finish it, but just as desperate for it never to end.” Robin Wasserman, author of The Book of Blood and Shadow on The Shadow Society
“A gripping and intelligent thriller . . . Filled with literary and artistic allusions, the action-packed narrative poses thorny ethical questions as Darcy wrestles with bigotry, identity, belonging, and love.” Starred review, Publishers Weekly
“The author builds an engaging world, similar to the real Chicago but different enough to tantalize and keep interest high. Entertaining and provocative.” Kirkus Reviews
“Containing a fantastic plot, realistic characters and two vivid but fundamentally different worlds, Rutkoski's novel is ultimately about family -- what it is and who defines it. You'll stay up late reading, and you can't skip to the end to know what happens: There is too much you would miss.” RT Book Reviews
“Just when they thought there was nothing original left in the paranormal romance genre, readers meet Darcy Jones. The fantasy is neatly tied up with the science fiction and an impossible romance, making this an excellent choice for readers of multiple genres.” School Library Journal
“An interesting premise.” VOYA
“Fans of supernatural romances will be pleased to find one that is both appropriately steamy and well written. ” BCCB
Read an Excerpt
The Shadow Society
By Marie Rutkoski
Farrar, Straus and GirouxCopyright © 2012 Marie Rutkoski
All rights reserved.
My first day back at Lakebrook High seemed innocent enough. I walked toward the beginning of my junior year in a fine spirit, scuffing my combat boots along the hot pavement. I was happy for a simple reason. For once, I wouldn't be the new girl, and I had friends. Sometimes being able to scrape a hard red chair up to a lunch table with the handful of people who accepted me was all I wanted. It was my second year at the same school. It was a personal record.
Little did I know that someone would try to take this and so much else away from me.
I liked Lakebrook. Sure, suburbia is soulless, but Lakebrook is a thirty-minute train ride from Chicago, with its skyscraping steel and wide pavements that feel like freedom. And, very important, Marsha had agreed to renew my stay with her for another year. This decision might have been inspired by the money the state sent to keep me clothed and fed. I wasn't complaining. Marsha was a little kooky, but she was also the only foster parent who hadn't gotten rid of me at the first opportunity.
I followed the yellow buses wheezing their way into the Lakebrook High parking lot and watched students swarm by the entrances. The air was heavy with the tarry smell of fresh asphalt as I walked up to my little clan.
"Daaaarcy!" Jims waggled a pack of Slim Jims—hence the nickname—stuck one tube of beef jerky in his mouth, and offered the rest to me. "Want some?"
"Um, gross," I said. "Vegetarian here, remember?"
"I thought maybe you'd come to your senses over the summer."
Lily lit a cigarette, inhaled, exhaled, and passed it to me, lipsticky pink. "Want some?"
I rolled my eyes. I hate, hate, hate smoke, and Lily knows it.
"Want some of this, then?" Raphael rested one finger on his chest in deliberate imitation of the Spanish soap operas we watched at his house. He looked the part of a lead: cinnamon skin, wavy dark hair. But the gesture was a joke. A bluff.
I stared him down. "Why do you all insist on giving me things I don't want?"
Raphael pretended to look wounded, Lily shrugged, and Jims said, holding his Slim Jim like a cigar, Groucho Marks style: "Because no one knows the square root of pi, because a stegosaurus is no match for a tyrannosaurus, because we always tease the ones we love, and you, Sunshine, we love. Some things are universally true."
Lily tilted her head, inspecting me. "Darcy doesn't look like sunshine. More as if someone drew her with pen and ink. Straight black lines. Pale features."
"I was using irony," Jims said. "It's meant to be inappropriate. The opposite of what you expect. You know, like getting hit by an ambulance. Or like a hot dog vendor drowning in a vat of ketchup."
"Your mind lives in strange places," I told him.
"True. But you all enjoy visiting."
"I also enjoy a jaunt through a haunted house once a year, come Halloween."
Lily tapped her Hello Kitty watch. "Ten minutes till the bell. Time to get down to business."
Raphael reached into the back pocket of his jeans and pulled out a folded white card. "Here's mine."
We passed around our schedules, except for Jims, who, being a senior, shared no classes with the rest of us. I was taking Art II and Biology with Lily and Pre-Calc with Raphael. PE, European History, and AP English were wide, vast deserts with nobody.
Right before the bell, when the noise of hundreds of people laughing, talking, squealing, and bickering had swelled into waves, I felt the back of my neck prickle. I was being watched. I knew this even before I slowly turned around, knew it like I knew I had ten fingers and ten toes.
There was a boy standing in the shadow of an oak tree. His stance seemed easy, even lazy. But his expression was electric, tense, taut as a corded wire I could tightrope-walk across.
He was dressed simply. Jeans and a white T-shirt. If he intended to blend in, he utterly failed. His beauty wasn't my type, but it was undeniable. A cool, angular face. Hair the color of golden wheat, shorn brutally short. Lips so defined they could have been carved by a deft knife.
He lifted his chin a little, acknowledging that I had caught him mid-stare. A smile flickered at the corner of his mouth. Some might have interpreted this as flirtation. I knew better. It was a warning. The smirk of a gunslinger in one of those old orange-brown westerns, as if tumbleweeds were skittering down the parking lot between us and he was daring me to fire the first shot.
Anxiety twisted in my stomach. I had no idea why I had caught his attention. But whatever the reason, it meant trouble.CHAPTER 2
The bell shrilled. I yanked my gaze away. With my friends at my side, I merged into the river of bodies that flowed through the school doors. I left him behind, whoever he was.
"Well, that was interesting," Raphael muttered with a sidelong glance, making clear that my staring contest with the stranger hadn't gone unnoticed.
"You all right, Darcy?" said Jims. "You look like James Bond's martini."
Lily raised one thin eyebrow.
"Shaken," I told her. "Not stirred."
"You seem plenty stirred to me."
"Actually," Raphael said, "you do."
I tugged Lily away from the boys. "We're going to be late."
We took the flight of stairs up to the art department. She paused before we entered the classroom. "Did you know that guy?"
"Because he acted like he knew you."
I almost asked Lily if she'd noticed the hostility lurking in every line of his body, then got paranoid I'd sound paranoid. I shrugged, so Lily dropped the subject and opened the door.
I breathed in the familiar smell of the art room. It helped calm me: Conté crayons, wet clay, spilled acrylics.
I had met Lily here last year, in Art I. For months, I had watched her out of the corner of my eye, curious that someone so quiet would dress in such a riot of color. Lily was a kaleidoscope that shifted every day into a new pinwheel pattern. She wore striped tights, red Chinese flats, blue nail polish. Her hair might be green. The next time I saw her, pink. She kept to herself, tucked into a corner of the classroom, her materials spread around her table like a protective wall.
We were working on our self-portrait projects when everything changed.
Mr. Linden had said we could choose our own medium. I peeked at Lily and wasn't surprised to see her with a set of watercolors. Me, I kept scrapping whatever I tried. I had crumpled yet another sheet of paper into a ball when I heard the sound of a fallen glass and something spilling. I glanced over and saw water flooding onto Lily's self-portrait. She kept her head down, shoulders stiff. A purple mascara tear ran down her cheek. Then she lifted her face and looked at me.
I smiled. It was a small smile of sympathy, and anything but spontaneous. It took several seconds for me to do it, which may not sound like a long time, but in my head I spent an eternity screwing up the courage to make my mouth muscles work.
Lily stood, crossed the room to my table, and said, "Etchboard."
I blinked. It took me a moment to realize she was offering advice—good advice. Before she had returned to her seat, I had snatched some etchboard and India ink from the supply closet. I started to work again on my self-portrait, and by the end of the period I had something that didn't look like a total waste of energy. And I had my first friend at Lakebrook High.
Now Lily and I shared a table in Art II. We sat quickly. I was eager for class to begin. I was eager for anything to distract me.
Mr. Linden liked to perch on a stool by a podium. He began speaking softly, and everyone settled into silence. "You will have one project in Art II." He stood and walked to the blackboard, a piece of chalk gripped in his stubby fingers. "Here it is."
He wrote: Do Whatever You Want.
God, I loved Art.
So I should have gotten busy right away, spinning ideas about my Whatever I Wanted. Instead, the image of that boy's face slipped into my mind. He acted like he knew you, Lily had said.
Was that possible?
There was so much I didn't know about my own past, so much I didn't remember. And then there were the many towns I had blown through like a scraggly leaf. Maybe I had met him, somewhere, sometime.
I felt jittery again. Fizzy, crackly. I glanced down and saw a stylus clenched in my hand.
It had never occurred to me before that a stylus could be used as a weapon. But it could. Easily. It was long and thin—more or less a pen-sized needle with a wicked point.
This was the tool I had used last year for my self-portrait. Etchboard is heavy white, glossy paper. I had painted over the entire surface of one sheet with India ink. The wet ink gleamed—black as my eyes, black as my long hair. When it had dried, I scraped at it with my stylus, revealing the white paper below. Listening to the scritch-scritch of the tool, I watched the features of my face emerge. A ghost, rising out of the night.
Etchboard art works not by adding color but by taking it away. Lily, even though she didn't know me then, had chosen well.
I was abandoned outside a Chicago firehouse when I was five years old. I had no memory of whatever my life was like before that morning—only of the rosy dawn, the frigid cold, the weary face of the firefighter who found me, and how the social worker in charge of my case handed me a styrofoam cup of hot chocolate. I didn't even know my own name. "Darcy Jones" is what the social worker chose to scribble on my file. I guess "Jones" is proof of her total lack of imagination. As for "Darcy," well, she named me after her black cat.
Silly. I made myself drop the stylus to the table. You're acting crazy, I told myself. Loony, loopy, mad as a hatter. So a boy had stared at me. It didn't happen often, but it wasn't earth-shattering either. It was stupid to feel vulnerable. And if I had met him before and had forgotten, no big deal.
Still, how can you trust your memory when it has so many holes?
How can you interpret the behavior of others when you're a mystery to yourself?CHAPTER 3
As the morning went by, I didn't see him again. I began to breathe more easily, and my eyes stopped darting up and down the halls.
Bio was fine, though Lily and I gagged when we found out we'd have to dissect a fetal pig. Pre-Calc was worse, much worse, but Raphael and I weren't too worried because we had Jims's notes from last year.
I was feeling iffy about lunch. As Raphael and I pounced on one of the small round tables, I couldn't help doing a visual sweep of the cafeteria. He wasn't there. I let out a slow breath and unpacked my crinkly brown lunch bag.
Jims and Lily joined us, Lily looking slightly traumatized from her PE class last period. The four of us slipped into the usual dance of our conversation as if three months hadn't gone by. Lily and Jims had spent the summer at a Young Scientists camp in Wisconsin. Never mind that they liked science about as much as I'd like to lick the inside of a used petri dish. Mr. and Mrs. Lascewski (Jims's parents) and Mr. and Mrs. Chen (Lily's) worked at a Department of Energy lab, and were practically clones. They lived next door to each other. They carpooled. And they ignored what their children wanted with pretty much the same level of intensity.
As for Raphael and me, we'd been working fifty-hour weeks—him at his parents' gas station, me at the Jumping Bean Café. He sometimes came by for a black Americano, and twice we took the train to Chicago for the day. We had fun, but it wasn't like when we were all together. It wasn't the same.
"New Boy's a senior," Jims announced, jerking my attention right back to where it had been for most of the day.
"I didn't ask you to do recon on him," I said.
"You didn't have to." Jims waved a lazy hand. "I know you're curious. I'd be, too, if he'd locked eyes with me in front of the entire student body. He's a quiet kid. Dull as dishwater, if you ask me." Catching Lily's disbelieving look, Jims rolled his eyes. "Oh, all right. Pretty dishwater."
And that was when, just as I was about to laugh, the very subject of our conversation walked into the cafeteria. The laugh caught in my throat. My pulse stuttered.
He eased across the cafeteria smoothly, as if on ice, and never once glanced my way. Taylor Allen raised her slender hand in a flirty wave, and he was gone—sucked into a seat at the long, rectangular table owned, stamped, and certified by the elite of Lakebrook High.
My friends, of course, missed none of this.
Jims shook his head. "We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward, you will service us."
"Jims," Raphael moaned. "No Star Trek references while we're eating."
"Listen, the Borg isn't simply an alien cyborg race that roams the universe in search of people to conquer. The Borg is really about human society."
Lily raised her eyes to the ceiling, begging it for patience.
"Seriously," Jims said. "The Borg is a commentary on the way humans form cliques, and how cliques, when they find someone they like, do their best to make him just like them. See? The popular crowd is the Borg."
"He was like them already," said Raphael. "That's why Taylor invited him to sit at their table. Birds of a feather."
"Catch avian flu together?" Jims supplied. "We can hope."
"Misanthropy suits you," I said, doing my best to keep up with the conversation—and, above all, act as if what had happened didn't matter one bit.
"Misanthropy. Is that, um, turning into a werewolf?"
"That's lycanthropy. Misanthropy is the hatred of people."
"I don't hate Taylor's followers. I just like avian flu more. Is it so wrong of me to want it to thrive and prosper? Viruses are living things, too."
Jims launched into a tirade about how we were virus-phobes, how he bet we used antibacterial soaps, too, and did we ever stop to think that flu shots meant that, every year, sad viruses had to watch their babies suffer? I was the worst, he said. "Darcy never gets sick. She's where the common cold goes to die."
I let his words wash over me. I smiled when it seemed appropriate. I tried to never once show on my face what I was thinking, which was this:
Typical. This was just typical of me. A normal girl would have been giddy at the thought that a beautiful stranger had noticed her. Me, I had felt instantly threatened. And now it seemed that I had made a huge drama over nothing.
I told myself I was relieved. But relief doesn't feel like a chunk of lead in your heart.
That's disappointment.CHAPTER 4
I was stepping through the door of AP English, weary and glad that this was the last class of the day.
Then I froze.
He sat in the exact middle of the class, tracing a long finger across his desk, lost in thought. He frowned, then raised his dark blond head. His eyes flashed to mine.
My nerves sparked and flared. I should have been prepared, I thought. I should have guessed he might be in a class that mixed juniors and seniors. If I had, maybe I wouldn't have been so easily snared by the intensity of his gaze.
Then his eyes skipped away. His expression cooled. Gone was the gunslinger from this morning. Gone was that curled smile. He looked, if anything, bored.
I edged toward the back of the room, sank into a seat, and barely listened as Ms. Goldberg asked us to introduce ourselves. I wasn't the only girl staring at him, and maybe they, too, had noticed that he wasn't quite so perfect up close. His nose had been broken.
Somehow, though, even that—that slight crookedness—was appealing.
And then it was his turn.
"My name is Conn McCrea." He spoke in a low voice, as if those three syllables were the most unimportant on earth. Despite the spelling, which I saw at a much later date, his last name was pronounced "McCray."
Taylor Allen, who was sitting right next to him, gave him a coy look. He didn't seem to notice. He slouched at his desk, but there was something a little calculated in his slumped shoulders and stretched out legs. I got the impression that he had riffled through his closet, found his Typical Teenager costume, and was trying it on.
And now we come down to it. My suspicion: Conn McCrea wasn't exactly normal.
My reasons? Let's just say it takes one to know one.
Ms. Goldberg leaned against the blackboard, ignoring the chalk that dusted her clothes, and said, "Our first text will be 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' by T. S. Eliot."
"Great. A love poem," muttered Jason Sloane. He added in a falsetto, "Smooooochies!"
The class tittered.
"Do you have a problem with that, Mr. Sloane?"
"Nope. I like smooches."
"Then you may be disappointed to know that there are none in this poem. You might wonder, in fact, if there is any love at all. The main character, J. Alfred, can't decide if he should tell a woman how he feels about her, but he's just as concerned about whether he belongs to a world of dirty one-night hotels or to the chic society of tea parties." Ms. Goldberg opened a slim book and began to read:
"Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky ..."
Excerpted from The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski. Copyright © 2012 Marie Rutkoski. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe, and The Jewel of the Kalderash. She is a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children's literature, and creative writing. She lives in New York City.
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I was sent this book for free for a review quite some time ago. I had it in my Library and on my to do list to read, but thinking that it was going to be like Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments, I kept setting it a side. Now that I have read it I can say that it is a pleasant surprise. Darcy is a beautifully flawed character, she has a heart breaking story that doesn't just hold you're interest but makes you want to know what happened to her. She grows through the book and finds that she has what she has wanted all her life. Conn and Darcy's relationship was intriguing from the beginning, He knew he shouldn't fall for Darcy but couldn't help it. He was hot and cold through the book but giving the circumstance I feel anyone would have acted the same way in his shoes. The book left off with a great ending that could potentially lead to a series. I have came across a lot of books in my profession and this is a breath of fresh air.
The story flowed with always something happening. Never dull. To bad it's only one book. There could be so many more adventures between worlds.
I was skeptical at first but i ended up loving this enchanting story withtwists around each corner
**4 Stars** MY OVERVIEW: A creative inter-dimensional, abnormal human story. I really enjoyed how different this book was from everything else I have read. And I also liked that just when you thought you knew what was happening… nope… you don’t. PROS: I really enjoyed Darcy. She had a rough life, but it made her a better person. She wasn’t a whiney teenager who blames the world for her situation. She is a very well written strong heroine. I’m not normally a huge fan of the very strong heroine cause they normally aren’t written very believable. They tend to be over-done. But Darcy was done perfectly! CONS: Orion was very annoying. His character seemed like it kept bouncing between over-protective and controlling. He just didn’t feel as nailed down as the rest of the characters in the book. I am hoping that questions were left unanswered because there is going to be another book. But there was one hint of something more between Orion and Conn, and I just wish that it was either explained fully (if there isn’t going to be another book) or a little more information given for better “cliff-hanger” if another book is in the works. MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I actually really hope it becomes a series, as it would be very interesting to find out more about what is going to happen between the IBI and Shadow Society.
IM ACTUALLY COMENTING ON A POST. THE BOOK IS GREAT FOR TEENS AND PRETEENS WHO ARE LOOKING FOR EXCITEMENT BUT ARENT ALLOWED TO SIT ON THE COUCH WATCHING TV ALL DAY! IM A PRETEEN AND THIS BOOK HAS MY ATTENTION AND TWO OF MY FRIENDS WANT TO READ IT AFTER ME! SO DONT YOUR PANTIES IN A BUNCH BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT THE BOOK WAS PREDICTABLE! thank you for your time if you read to the bottom comment on both my posts BEST BOOK EVER and OK LITTLE MISS GUSH the put a two by it so i know its a comment on my post thanks! *+-+*
Darcy Jones doesn't remember anything before the day she was abandoned at a Chicago firehouse. She was five years old. Since then, Darcy has been bounced from foster home to foster home--never quite fitting in, never quite putting down roots. Things finally seem to be different on Darcy's first day back at Lakebrook High. Her second year at the same school, Darcy finally has friends and even a foster mother who seems keen to keep Darcy around; all simple reasons for Darcy to be happy. Then a new boy arrives at the school and eyes Darcy as if she were an enemy, maybe even a threat. Conn McCrea is both fascinating and frightening as he insinuates himself into Darcy's life. As she gets to know Conn she also begins to discover strange truths about herself and a world that shouldn't exist--a world where the Great Chicago Fire never happened and creatures called Shades have created an organization called the Shadow Society intent on eliminating humans. Darcy always wanted to be part of something, to belong somewhere. But she may have more than she bargained for with Conn and infiltrating the Shades in The Shadow Society (2012) by Marie Rutkoski. The Shadow Society is Rutkoski's first young adult novel. She is also the author of the popular Kronos Chronicles series for younger readers. Part fantasy, part alternate history The Shadow Society is an evocative novel that is as haunting as it is enchanting. Rutkoski masterfully brings not one but two versions of Chicago to life on the page with characters that are charmingly real and entertaining. While the story is grounded in Darcy's journey to find the truth about herself, the novel also is refreshingly grounded with strong friendships. (Conn and Darcy's complicated relationship doesn't hurt either.) A well-realized world and completely delightful characters come together with a gripping, surprising plot to create a winning combination in The Shadow Society. Possible Pairings: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot
I loved the world and idea. Great story.
As I have always been fascinated by the possible existence of other dimensions and dimensional splits, The Shadow Society both stimulated and entertained me. When Darcy Jones catches Conn McCrea staring at her on the first day of school, it gives her an ominous feeling. Little does she know that Conn's presence will mean adventure, fear, betrayal and even, love. Utterly different from anything I've read before, this paranormal romance completely captivated me. The parallel dimension in which most of this story is set, is cleverly and creatively designed. Highly advanced transport systems and futuristic technology combined with old-fashioned architecture, and no tv service in this alternate Chicago, brings an imaginative variety of the old and the new to this book. Darcy is a wonderfully realistic main character. Brave and loyal, often impulsive and sometimes really distrustful, she is the kind of character with whom most young girls would be able to identify. When she finds out that she isn't exactly human, she takes it quite well and focus on discovering the truth about her past as well as making the best of a tricky situation. Conn McCrea, the male protagonist, is in two minds as to where his loyalty lies until he realizes that not all shades and, hence, members of The Shadow Society are evil. This, however, creates a wonderfully realistic misunderstanding between Darcy and Conn, driving the story to a deeply emotional level. For once, thank goodness, the foster parent in this book is a good, level-headed and forgiving person. Although The Shadow Society is filled with adventure and romance, it is also a tale of friendship, trust and second chances. (Ellen Fritz)
Some people gush about this book. Were we even reading the same book? This story was stupid. Plain and simple. 1.Conn is supposed to have grown up hating Darcy and her kind, but he is quick to trust her and she is quick to trust him. Their relationship is not developed, it just happens. 2. This book is freaking predictable. It has all the cliches. Two enemies that fall in love, a failed love triangle, a fall out between a couple based on misunderstanding. 3. Okay I figured I could survive the how unoriginal this book was but I couldn't get past the ending. This book was building to a climax, a final battle and I thought the book might redeem itself. I was wrong. The conflict ended up being a non-conflict. Everything ended nicely and tied up with a little pink bow, resolved in about five seconds. WFT. What was the point of this book? There was none.
Very good read! Totally recomend
Everyone allways asked me what my favorite book was. I always had the same answer. I read too much to have a favorite. But the second I saw thhe cover I was intreaged by it. I read it in two days. Wouldve been less if it werent for school amd chores but I lived every minute i spent reading this book. I literally couldnt put it down. I was hoping that it was a series but its not, sadly. But still a wonderful read and worth every penny. Enjoy! I know you will. Marie is a wonderfful author that i hope to read more of!
The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski was a read that quickly captured my attention. Main protagonist, Darcy Jones, can’t remember how she ended up at the front of a fire station at the age of 5. She doesn’t remember her past, she doesn’t remember her parents, she can’t remember who she was… Her life hasn’t been easy either. Moving from foster home to foster home, group home to group home, Darcy knows what it’s like to start all over again. But this time will be different. Her current foster mother, Marsha, has agreed to continue having Darcy under her care, which means Darcy doesn’t have to make new friends! She can stay at the same school, and feel normal for once. But this school year already promises to be different with the appearance of a new student, Conn. After being made partners for an English project, things between Darcy and Conn start to heat up, until truth about Conn’s appearance and who he really is comes to light. The life that Darcy thought she knew is nothing like she thought it was. Darcy is not exactly…human. She is what is known as, a Shade. One who is able to ghost (disappear) at will, who exist only in another dimension, and who are considered murders and hated by all humans. With the options presented to her by the IBI (Interdimensional Bureau of Investigation) and by her own people in the Shadow Society, Darcy is playing a dangerous game of who’s side is she’s on. When she discovers a plot that will kill many, Darcy must find a way to keep everyone (both Shade and human) safe…but how? With a whole new way of life, Darcy is not quite sure who she can trust, and who she can trust her heart to. When I started reading The Shadow Society, I was quickly absorbed into this world created by author, Marie Rutkoski. I really enjoyed the way in which she introduced us to the world of the Shades, and how Darcy comes to learn what, or who, she is. I enjoyed the early moments between Conn and Darcy. Moments that were cute and made you smile and witness two people falling for each other…until that dream is RIPPED right out of ya! One moment I’m all “awwww this is such a sweet scene”, and not a moment later *BAM!*, the author throws you against a brick wall with some unravelling news. And it’s at this point where I was like “What the heck is going on here?”. And it’s at this moment of surprise where things start to get interesting in the book. Within these pages is a tale filled with action and some mystery. I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next, and who would reveal a new shock moment. But then there are moments where I wasn’t quite sure what was going on! One moment I was following the story and am one with the moment, and then all of a sudden, the story goes off on a different tangent…and I was left behind. Then it turned into a game of catch up and trying to figure out how I ended up from point “A” to point “B”. The sudden changes in the events also didn’t sit well with me, or rather the follow up to a sinister scheme. At one point, we find out that a certain someone is really out for one thing, and wants more with Darcy. But when his affections are kicked to the curb, we see a whole different side to him…well, more like a glimpse really. We don’t really get to see how Darcy’s decision affects him. I wanted to see more of this evil that is brewing up deep inside, but instead, he just disappears. I will admit that there were a few sweet and tender moments between Conn and Darcy, and I loved seeing this soft side of Conn. It reminded me of the drawing scene in Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. I really loved the chemistry between these two characters, but I found Conn to be too hot and cold. I understand his inner struggles within himself, but still… All in all, I did enjoy The Shadow Society. It was different, the world created was one that I would love to continue to be absorbed into, and characters that may (or may not) grab your attention. A strong start that kind of tapered off for me in the end, but still worth the read.
Read it in less than 4 hours. Absolutely brilliant!
My favorite book. I've read it about 12 times and I can't get enough of it. I am just sad she did not make a sequel.
The Shadow Society starts off with a normal girl going to school, hanging out with friends, and pursuing her hobby in drawing. However then you find out she’s adopted, has moved from one foster family to another, and also that some crazy, weird things have been happening to her. Then she meets the guy. Yes, the guy that appears in every book and sometimes you love him and sometimes you don’t and unfortunately I didn’t like him all that much. The plot then kicks off and a ton of things happen in these 400 or so pages. I’ll just discuss the characters then the plot in the next paragraph. The main protagonist, Darcy Jones, has a mystery revolving around her past. She doesn’t remember her first 5 years and doesn’t know what has become of her parents. Conn, the guy she meets and can’t seem to get out of her mind is somehow implicated in all this. Darcy finds out there is a parallel earth and is thrown head first into it. She then has to become a spy against her own kind and this is when everything gets complicated. I honestly felt that too much too soon happened in the story. Her and Conn, then his betrayal (its in the synopsis, not a spoiler), then her being a spy, then ALL the missing pieces that somehow connect everything but you just can’t find. It was great the first 300 pages, but then it got draggy. Recently I’ve been reading many 400+ novels that could have been reduced less and enjoyed more. Also the ending was just too convenient, too easy, and too comfortable. I know many reviewers had the same problem. I hoped the author somehow shocked us but I felt the easy way out was taken. Plot wise, many things happen as I mentioned earlier. Many of them were unique, such as the parallel worlds, but other things were left unexplained and that frustrated me to the extreme. Other parts of the plot were very predictable, others were too comfortable, and others heart tugging. However, I did enjoy the plot, with all of its craziness, I did like the direction it went, and I especially loved the relationship between Darcy and her foster mother. Even though this relationship barely occupied any pages but it really showed me Darcy’s vulnerability and that is what made me like her. There was also a very brief love triangle that I choose to ignore. All in all I did like the overall novel. Was it memorable? Not really, but I did enjoy it in the end. If you are a sci-fi fan then you should check it out.
So cool very
When is the next book ir is this just a novel, woukd be a great series!!!!