cover image The Shadow Society

The Shadow Society

Marie Rutkoski. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-374-34905-9

Rutkoski returns with a gripping and intelligent thriller, invoking the kind of space-time twists familiar to fans of her Kronos Chronicles. Sixteen-year-old Darcy Jones remembers nothing of her life before she was abandoned in front of a Chicago firehouse at age five. Since then, Darcy has lived in multiple foster homes, accumulating a thick behavioral file. Just as things are stabilizing for Darcy—she’s honing her talent for art and has a loyal group of outsider friends—an intense new boy at her high school, Conn McCrea, fixates on her. Not just a love interest, Conn also presents a real threat as he reveals that Darcy is actually a Shade, an ethereal creature who can “ghost and manifest” (disappear and reappear). Conn takes Darcy from “the Alter” (her Chicago) to a parallel version of the city where Shades operate as terrorists and live in a Shadow Society. Filled with literary and artistic allusions (some of which diverge in the dual Chicagos), the action-packed narrative poses thorny ethical questions as Darcy wrestles with bigotry, identity, belonging, and love. Ages 12–up. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Oct.)