“The Shadow Society” Marie Rutkoski

ARC (Advance Reading Copy). To be published October 16, 2012. Farrar Straus Giroux. 405 pp.

After living in numerous foster homes since the age of 5, sixteen-year-old Darcy has finally settled into her new home and school. She starts to fall for Conn, a new student, but everything quickly unravels when he arrests her.

Conn comes from an alternate universe and was working as a double agent for the Interdimensional Bureau of Investigation (IBI). Conn believes she is part of a terrorist organization called The Shade Society. The Society kills humans, so the IBI hunts Shades to save humanity. Shades have the power to “ghost,” appear or disappear at will. The only thing they fear is fire. Ever since Shades killed hundreds of humans in the Great Chicago Fire, the two groups have hated each other and have been at war. Darcy doesn’t know anything about this, as she’s had amnesia since the age of 5.

Darcy’s only hope of saving her life and regaining her freedom lies in working as a double agent for the IBI. She is expected to infiltrate the Society, and leak their secrets to Conn. While doing so, she finds Shades don’t hate humans as much as she’s been told, which gives her hope that perhaps the two groups can reach some common ground. As she and Conn’s feelings for each other deepen, so does a rebellion in both organizations. Soon, one will have the upper hand over the other. Can love conquer all, or are the two of them too different to ever get along?

I really liked this book and the storyline. From the first few pages I was hooked, and know students ages 12 and up will be just as fascinated.

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