Only the Shadow of Greatness

The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski


First Look:

It’s cool.  The greeny-smoky-blue makes it look a little creepy, and the reflection hints at the plot.

Jacket Copy:

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.  


To the best of my knowledge, no.  It seems to be a standalone.

Worth Reading?


I’m not going to tell you that you have to read it, but it’s not terrible.  I actually think it could have benefited a lot from a bit more length.

Notable Things:

All of the Things I want to highlight are (mildly) spoilery, so proceed with caution.


Alternate Universe!  Turns out Conn is from an alternate timeline, and Darcy travels there, too.  I wish there had been a bit more exposition/development of the alt. universe.  I kept figuring that it would be explained later, in the next book, but then…no next book.


Invisible People!  I can’t say too much more about this, but it’s an interesting concept.


Non-instalove!  Darcy’s love interest develops over several months, not days (though there is undeniably instant attraction).


First, we have to get something out of the way.  I almost gave up on this book in the first few pages.  At the beginning, it sounds like a Twilight clone.  Girl who’s kind of a loner (although at least she has some friends) finds herself being stared at by the super-hot new guy.  She can’t figure out why he’s showing interest in her….blah, blah, blah.  However, then it veers away from that mold.  Although I liked a lot of things about this book, in the end I was a bit dissatisfied.  It was just too short for all the plot elements, and so I guess I wanted more (I know, I’m complaining that something isn’t a series).  Plus, the ending felt implausible and rushed.  “Great ideas, mediocre execution,” is how I’d summarize.


Borrowed from work.


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