The Shadow Society

408p. CIP. Farrar. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-374-34905-9; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-374-36757-2. LC 2011033158.
Gr 7 Up—Just when they thought there was nothing original left in the paranormal romance genre, readers meet Darcy Jones. She is 16, an artist, a loyal friend, not exactly popular, and she's been in the foster-care system since she was found abandoned at the age of 5. Rich with the history and geography of Chicago, Rutkoski's novel weaves a complex new world for readers. Darcy doesn't know it, but she's part of a race called the Shades, who have abilities beyond those of humans and are afraid of only one thing: fire. They are part of a terrorist organization called the Shadow Society, which is intent on killing humans. They live in an alternate version of Chicago. It is a dimension in which the Great Fire of 1871 never happened and the Shades and humans have been hostile to and suspicious of one another for generations. The fantasy is neatly tied up with the science fiction and an impossible romance, making this an excellent choice for readers of multiple genres. Although the ending may be too perfect for some, it manages to bring the pieces of the story back together with unexpected and satisfying ease. Questions are answered, and the future looks bright. Although rough seas may be ahead, there is no doubt that Darcy will weather the storm.Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA

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