From renowned fantasy author of the Old Kingdom series, Garth Nix, comes a dystopian fantasy perfect for fans of Hunger Games and Divergent.
Imagine a world where your fourteenth birthday is your last and where even your protector may not be trusted….
In a futuristic urban wasteland, evil Overlords have decreed that no human shall live a day past their fourteenth birthday. On that Sad Birthday, the children of the Dorms are taken to the Meat Factory, where they will be made into creatures whose sole purpose is to kill.
The mysterious Shade—once a man, but now more like the machines he fights—recruits the few teenagers who escape into a secret resistance force. With luck, cunning, and skill, four of Shade's children come closer than any to discovering the source of the Overlords' power—and the key to their downfall. But the closer they get, the more ruthless Shade seems to become.
Plunge directly into a nightmare--a scrawny boy flees monstrous trackers in an urban wasteland. Gradually the reader learns that Earth has been taken over by the terrible Overlords, the laws of physical reality warped, all adults killed, the brains and body parts of children raw material for endless war games. Led by an all-too-human artificial intelligence known as Shade, a forlorn resistance battles on, with hope only because the misfit warriors have special talents that came with the Change. Throughout the struggle, hints that Shade's sympathies are not irrevocably human add additional suspense. Although the trappings here are science fiction, Nix tells essentially the same story as he did in Sabriel: a desperate quest by a talented few, aided by a potentially treacherous Other, to destroy the source of the power of an evil force that has poisoned the world. As in the author's previous book, the alternate world he creates is amply imagined and the twists and turns of the action-filled plot compelling, though the flat banality of the Overlords' evil is disappointing, as is the sketchy characterization of the four major protagonists. But while the book lacks some of the emotional depth of Nix's first work, it will draw (and keep) fans of the genre. Ages 12-up.
Loved this book as a teen, still enjoy rereading from time to time.