The Shadow Society by Marie RutkoskiPublication Date: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.
Let me first say that Marie Rutkoski, author of The Shadow Society, sure knows how to set the stage of her novel by starting off with a mother of all hooks. Holy fire hose was that intense!! She really had me from the opening scene, and continued to draw me into her novel with her constant twists and turns. This book had enough fuel to keep me turning the pages at a rapid pace until the final outcome. Very entertaining!
In The Shadow Society, we meet Darcy Jones who is a foster kid that’s jumped from home to home since the age of 5. She can’t remember anything from her past, but one thing is for certain… her future is about to take an explosive turn. When Darcy comes across Conn, the new guy in school, she begins to develop feelings for him. However when her abilities as a Shade suddenly start to manifest for the first time, that marks the beginning of her battle to stay alive even from the one person she’s come to feel closest to.
There are so many layers to this story to evaluate. My mind was truly going at 100 mph as I turned the pages of this paranormal thriller. I was definitely intrigued with the setting this author chose, which revolved around the Great Chicago Fires. This was probably the largest disaster recorded in US history for the 19th century, where hundreds of people were killed and miles of land was destroyed. Rutkoski uses this time in history to set her stage and creatively implements the concept of an Interdimentional Bureau of Investigation that patrols the borders between worlds to protect human society. Their main targets are the Shades that ghost in and out of existence and according to the IBI, they are a terrorist group that prey on humans and caused the Great Fire of 1871.
I applaud Rutkoski’s creative spin where she clearly parallels the Shades with the concept of terrorism. It’s hard not to contemplate how we consider terrorists synonymous with people of a certain place and faction. This book clearly employs the concept that simple association with a faction does not make someone a danger to society and terror on people can come from both sides of the fence… or portal in this instance.
Lastly, I really enjoyed Rutkoski’s ability to build a strong secondary cast. Darcy’s friends were definitely the highlight in this novel and my only regret is that they played rather minimal roles. Conn best described them in the novel as Raphael fighting with his fists, Jims using psychological warfare, and Lily being the mastermind and leader of this small army that protects Darcy. I enjoy reading about friendship and loyalty and The Shadow Society carried it in spades.
Well done novel that is perfectly positioned as a stand-alone. It has an explosive beginning and a conclusive ending. I couldn’t ask for anything more and definitely enjoyed it much!
WinterHaven Books is giving away an ARC of this paranormal thriller. The book we are giving away does not have the final art cover. Please see the picture below and fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win this ARC. Thank you!a Rafflecopter giveaway