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.
First, let me talk about I liked. This is a fresh mythology, I don’t think we’ve been down this road before. At least, I haven’t. the pacing is good and things happen throughout the novel though there is a lot happening at the end. Anyway.
I was excited when I first found out that Rutkoski was writing a YA novel because her middle trilogy is a favourite of mine. I expected something along the same lines in The Shadow Society but unfortunately, I didn’t get it. I don’t want to say that everyone will have the same feeling or reaction as me because obviously, that is untrue. My feelings about this book may be because I am a very close reader and I tend to read a lot between the lines and am conscious of what is implicit in the narrative
What troubles me most about this novel is that it feels less organic and more staged. I am just speculating here, of course, but honestly, throughout the novel, I got the feeling that the author was following a guide on how to write the perfect YA novel. What elements to add, what not to add, what works and what doesn’t. It didn’t seem like the story came together as it was being told but rather as though these elements were pushed together in the hopes they would bond and form a cohesive narrative. My feelings, anyway.
For instance, the love interest. The main one. I hated him. I hated him quite a lot and I usually do not have the energy to hate fictional characters. He is violent towards the main character, he hurts, betrays her more than once and in spite of all that, in spite of her friends acting as though the guy is, I don’t know, a skunk in disguise, the main character still falls for him. And I do not see one single reason why. I mean, yeah he has a reason for hating the main character and you know, arresting her, throwing her into prison and taking away from everything she’s familiar with and everyone she loves, oh but he’s hurting and he’s misunderstood and she loves him. Give me a freaking break. Like seriously. Maybe I have left puberty far behind and that is why this guy rings all the wrong bells for me. And then there is the absolutely unnecessary love interest. I mean, really? He has no reason to be in love with her and I don’t see why he likes her especially since she’s such a troll to him – even when he helps her out. Then there is another guy, her best friend, who loves her and has loved her since eons ago but of course, his charisma fades in the face of the misunderstood only occasionally violent main character.
Well. The plot also is not very impressive. There are predictable twists and there’s this “eureka” moment which is not really one at all. And just…I did not like the book. The way the friends react when this brutish love interest makes an appearance is too melodramatic to be real (even though it turns out their misgivings were sound). I just was majorly disappointed in this novel. If you want something by Marie Rutkoski which gives you a more accurate look at her wordsmithery, I recommend her Kronos Chronicles. Vastly superior.