Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Title: The Shadow Society
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: October 18, 2012
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Romance
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 5/5


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.  


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.

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Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children's fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner's Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children's literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

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