November 28, 2012

Review of The Shadow Society by 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 anywhere—but 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 anything—not 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.

The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
Publication Date:  October 16, 2012
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux

I couldn’t find a trailer so here’s a song!
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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.

About the Author:


Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society, about a girl who discovers that she’s not human and that her kind are terrorists in an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire never happened. The Shadow Society will be published October 30, 2012. Marie has also written the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of WondersThe Celestial Globeand The Jewel of the KalderashThe Cabinet of Wonders, her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, among other honors.

Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and creative writing. She usually lives in New York City with her husband and two sons, but she and her family are now living in Paris for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Connect with the Author:  Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Available for Purchase:
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  1. Sunny

    Yay! I’m glad you like it. I want to read it so hopefully I’ll think the same. Great review :)

  2. Chapter by Chapter

    I hope you get to read it soon! Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    Love the song you picked!! I am a big The Fray fan! This book sounds like one I would really enjoy. I love the idea of it. It’s too bad that it kind of jumps around a little and leaves you feeling a bit lost, but in general it sounds very enjoyable. Fantastic review!

  4. Chapter by Chapter

    The Fray = win!

  5. Becky@Cardigans Coffee and Bookmarks

    I’m still trying to decide if I should read this one and your review did not help lol. I think I might end up reading just because I love the cover so much :).

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