Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski

Goodreads Summary:

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.  

Publication Date: October 16, 2012

I liked many of the aspects found in The Shadow Society including a unique world and interesting characters. I liked how the author used a parallel dimension and an existence of creatures known as shades to create a unique story.

The beginning and the final chapters had the best pacing. Some of the middle dragged a little as Darcy and Conn’s romance develops. I liked that it wasn’t an insta-love connection between the two of them, but after a betrayal occurs, I found it hard to root for them as a couple.

I liked the concept of the parallel dimensions and how the Great Chicago Fire caused a split between the two worlds. The shades were cool creatures as well, but I wished they were more fully developed. There wasn’t an explanation on how they came to exist or how their powers worked. For instance, the characters state that their bodies ceased to exist, but I couldn’t understand how Darcy could hear, see and speak while in the form. The Shadow Society is one of those stories where you just have to go with it and ignore logic.

Darcy was a great protagonist. I liked the complexity of her character and how she could be equal parts tough and vulnerable. Her relationships with her friends and foster mother were also touching. I would’ve liked to see more of these characters in the story.

Conn was a confusing character and I think the author purposely made it hard to get a read on him. I understood some of his motivations, but some of his other actions felt forced. Another romantic interest is thrown into the mix, but didn’t really serve much to the overall storyline.

I enjoyed The Shadow Society more than I expected. I believe this is a standalone, but there is certain room for additional stories about the shades and Darcy.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review! 


  1. This sounds like an interesting book. I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks for sharing and for the great review! :D When a book starts off with a solid pace, it sure is bound to be a hit, right?!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  2. Your review is awesome. Thanks for sharing a book I would've probably never picked up on my own. WRITE ON!