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October 21, 2012

Review: The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski - Juhina

The Shadow Society
Title: The Shadow Society
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publication date: October 16
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Genre(s): Young Adult (Sci-Fi/Dystopian)
Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 416
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
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 . . .
The Shadow Society starts off with a normal girl going to school, hanging out with friends, and pursuing her hobby in drawing. However then you find out she’s adopted, has moved from one foster family to another, and also that some crazy, weird things have been happening to her. Then she meets the guy. Yes, the guy that appears in every book and sometimes you love him and sometimes you don’t and unfortunately I didn’t like him all that much. The plot then kicks off and a ton of things happen in these 400 or so pages. I’ll just discuss the characters then the plot in the next paragraph. 
The main protagonist, Darcy Jones, has a mystery revolving around her past. She doesn’t remember her first 5 years and doesn’t know what has become of her parents. Conn, the guy she meets and can’t seem to get out of her mind is somehow implicated in all this. Darcy finds out there is a parallel earth and is thrown head first into it. She then has to become a spy against her own kind and this is when everything gets complicated. I honestly felt that too much too soon happened in the story. Her and Conn, then his betrayal (its in the synopsis, not a spoiler), then her being a spy, then ALL the missing pieces that somehow connect everything but you just can’t find. It was great the first 300 pages, but then it got draggy. Recently I’ve been reading many 400+ novels that could have been reduced less and enjoyed more. Also the ending was just too convenient, too easy, and too comfortable. I know many reviewers had the same problem. I hoped the author somehow shocked us but I felt the easy way out was taken. 
Plot wise, many things happen as I mentioned earlier. Many of them were unique, such as the parallel worlds, but other things were left unexplained and that frustrated me to the extreme. Other parts of the plot were very predictable, others were too comfortable, and others heart tugging. However, I did enjoy the plot, with all of its craziness, I did like the direction it went, and I especially loved the relationship between Darcy and her foster mother. Even though this relationship barely occupied any pages but it really showed me Darcy’s vulnerability and that is what made me like her. There was also a very brief love triangle that I choose to ignore. All in all I did like the overall novel. Was it memorable? Not really, but I did enjoy it in the end. If you are a sci-fi fan then you should check it out. 


  1. I love how you think of them all as the same guy. You're absolutely right. As for the rest... darn! I had such high hopes for this book, but the reviews are all just mediocre at best. It makes me sad, especially because I own a copy.
    I'm not a fan of loose ends and unexplained bits. That will definitely bother me.
    Great review, Juhina!

  2. Great review I also found this one to be a little on the long side. And yes... the same old guy. The beginning of this was so cliché it had me rolling my eyes and I was sure I would hate the book so I'm glad it kind of changed around when they got to the alternate world. I didn't find it particularly memorable either. That ending was too... perfect with a little bow, huh? I felt the same! I was still entertained by a lot of it but it's nothing I'll remember in a few months time.

  3. I am reading this one right now. I am not even 100 pages in yet, but so far I like it. It's not anything amazing though. I want to see how things will change once Darcy learns about the parallel earth. And then this whole ending thing doesn't sound so good. I need to see it for myself...soon hopefully.
    Great review Juhina. :)

  4. I can't wait to read this one :) I recently got. I've been looking to read a little more of the sci-fi genre, so hopefully I'll enjoy this one. Great review Juhina!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  5. So many books seem to go overboard with the craziness yet still manage to feel like it's something you've read before. From your review, it feels like this sort of handled the craziness well and sort of didn't. I'm curious about it but not sure.

  6. Oh wow this book sounds like it has so much going on, I totally get why some aspects left you frustrated Juhina, I think I would be in the same boat too. Despite some of your issues I'm glad you still enjoyed this book, it does sound like a promising read. Lovely review! :)

  7. I have wondered about this one but haven't seen a ton of reviews. It sounds like a bit of a wild ride. I'm not sure if it's one I would enjoy or not. I guess I'm not sure yet and should maybe look up more reviews.

  8. Great review! I'm glad you enjoyed this one for the most part :) It sounds really great although I'm sorry parts of the plot was too predictable I hate when that happens sometimes :P

  9. I am very intrigued by this book after your review. I have seen this around before but this is m first review. I like the sound of the plot, but that predictability of it is holding me back. I'll just have to read this for myself to find out how it goes! I'm glad you somewhat enjoyed this. LOL ;p Thanks for the brilliant review, Juhina! :D

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

  10. Aww... I thought this one was pretty good. Although... I have to admit it was kinda dragyy. But I'm glad you liked it :) Great review, Juhina! :D

    Fara @ Tumbling In Books

  11. I really enjoyed this book Juhina, but you make some good points. I agree that a lot of things were left unexplained, and I would have liked a little more information on the history of the war between the humans and Shades and how it escalated to such a level, as well as how humans discovered shades in the first place. Still, even with those questions rattling around in my head I still loved the book:)

  12. Your review is really great, Juhina. I'm not your biggest sci-fic fan and I'm sure the components that irked you will irk me as well(unexplained, predictable plot, no thank you!) Parallel worlds, though... Intriguing :)