Nightshade City (Nightshade Chronicles Series #1)

Nightshade City (Nightshade Chronicles Series #1)

by Hilary Wagner
4.8 16

Hardcover

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Nightshade City 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Lawral More than 1 year ago
I LOVED The Rats of NIMH, when I was a kid. When I picked up Nightshade City, I was half really excited about reading a new novel about a secret civilization of intelligent rats and half really really worried that it could never live up to my memory of Mrs. Frisby and her children. Well, I was right on both counts. The secret civilization of intelligent rats is there and, in the same spirit of O'Brien's classic, they are very human little rodents and the descriptions and characterizations of them are simply magic. For example: "Lamenting his large dinner, Lithgo leaned against the wall for support as sweat trickled down his thick russet brow and steam wafted from his now-filthy coat. The two young lieutenants stood without a sound, waiting for the major's orders. All that could be heard in the dusky corridor was Lithgo's weighty breathing." p.4 Can't you see that scene? You know what kind of major Lithgo is, the overweight, past his prime, spent kind. He's also really evil, but that's not the point of this paragraph. Wagner manages to describe the rats, especially when we first meet them, in a way that reminds you that they're rats but also reminds you that they're "people." But this is not a novel about a sweet widow and her helpless children or even a society of rats who are fleeing humans. This is a novel about a just civilization of rats that was overthrown in a now legendary Bloody Coup. The bad guys are other rats, and they include a very large albino rat, escaped from some kind of testing facility, who delights in torturing and scaring those over whom he rules. This monster, Billycan, leads an army of orphaned male rats, teaching them to be killing machines and to police their former friends and neighbors before they even reach adulthood. There are parts of this book that are definitely not for the faint of heart. Teenagers worry that their younger siblings are being tortured on their behalf; powerful leaders try to seduce young and beautiful girls; people (rats) die. Through all of that, Nightshade City and its early inhabitants never lose their resolve that things will turn out alright. Because of them, their normalcy and their senses of humor, the story never gets too scary or harsh. It's just important. What Vincent, Victor and the rest of the rats of Nightshade City are doing is of utmost importance and people will suffer greatly if they don't accomplish what they've set out to do. In this way, and in the way that violence and evil and other scary stuff is used, I think it is along the lines of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. What the characters are doing feels epic and like it will change everything. Maybe it will. This definitely one of my favorite books read this year, which is something I almost never say. I just LOVED this! Book source: Review copy provided by the publisher
EdgarG More than 1 year ago
This was great! Right away I felt I was underground with the rats. The characters are compelling and the story is not only exciting, but teaches valuable lessons.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this for my 9 year old granddaughter. She raved about it and told me to read it. I loved it too. Just ordered her the second book in the series for Christmas, hoping to borrow when she's done!
Liza44 More than 1 year ago
I read this last month and recently found out on the book's website that this is a series. I thought the character development was strong and the plot was well thought out and kept the action moving. This is truly a book about overcoming odds and making life better. That's what I loved most about it. The writing has a very classic feel, harking back to Wind in the Willows and Watership Down, yet updated to what our kids would read.
packratx More than 1 year ago
I'd been waiting incredibly impatiently for this book to come out--the Author is one of my favorite bloggers, and um, IT HAS A RICK RIORDAN blurb, need I say more? So I was SO excited when my friend loaned me her ARC, and I'm happy to say the story did not disappoint. Here's what I love about this book: the main characters are rats and worms--two of the most under appreciated creatures on the planet--and yet the author makes you feel for them. Care about them. She's kinda made me feel sad for every dead worm I've ever seen on the sidewalk, or every rat my cats have caught--and believe me, I did NOT feel that way before. Not to mention she gave them just the right mix of animal and human qualities, so you could never *quite* forget that you were reading about rats and worms, while still being completely able to relate to them. NOT an easy thing to pull off, I'm sure. If you love animal adventures, middle grade, or just escaping to a new, imaginative world you'll love this book. Highly recommended!
Annabelle17 More than 1 year ago
This contains the right mix of creepy, adventure, plot and family. It reminds me of some of the true classics I grew up with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, and it reminded me of The Undreland series (with Gregor). Both have intellegent animals waging war on each other. FANTASTIC SERIES'!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for kids.
VictoriaLorr More than 1 year ago
I'm a teacher and I received the early copy of this at a recent trade show. Great story and characters. If you or your kids enjoy animal stories than this is an excellent choice!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss your hand three times rwpost this on three other books and one will be under your pillow
224perweek More than 1 year ago
This was quite the adventure. From start to finish, I was on the edge of my seat. I loved all the characters even though they were a little predictable. However, my favorites were the earthworms. They added a bit of mystery to the story. Them and Billycan. Very strange.
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wordforteens More than 1 year ago
I LOVE stories told through animal points of view. In my opinion, there aren't enough of them. The Warriors series by Erin Hunter is my favorite of all time - it does such a fantastic job of connecting you to the characters and tying in a fantastic plot along with it. This is followed by the Sight series by David Clement-Davies, which has some of my favorite plot points ever. Needless to say, I have a very high standard for books set in an animals point of view. Nightshade City is interesting - obviously you're not going to like it if rats skeeve you out, but I've always been a big fan of all animals. I didn't connect to these rats as well as I hoped, despite the fact that they were portrayed as little tiny people. They all had short scenes as they jumped back and forth between characters. However, I did LOVE the setting. That's a big deal when it comes to animal set books, and I thought Hilary did a great job at creating that. Watching Nightshade City develop was fantastic as well, though I wish we had seen more of that. (The sequel, perhaps?) The only note I have is that the pacing seemed a little weird. I can't explain how, but... it was weird.
Teeny32 More than 1 year ago
This was an absorbing story and I was immediately sucked into this underground world of rats. The writing is Dickensian in feel, something very classic about it, takes you back to another time even though it's modern day, sort of like the Harry Potter series. The plot grabbed me and the fact that the author can even give intriguing personalities to a tribe of earthworms is unique in and of itself! It has both strong male and female characters and the author did a great job with the interaction between the rats and a human boy named Ramsey.