In a multidimensional Chicago, Darcy learns that she isn’t really human after all.
Abandoned at age 5, Darcy can’t remember anything about her early life. She’s always shifted from one foster family to another. She hopes to become an artist, but everything goes off the tracks when a charismatic new boy arrives at school and asks to work with her on an assignment. She finds Conn extremely attractive, but she comes to hate him when he kidnaps her into an alternate-dimension Chicago where society despises and hunts creatures of her kind. Darcy’s species, Shades, can make themselves invisible, and they have been at war with humans for centuries. Caught between the human and Shade factions, Darcy has trouble deciding where her loyalties should lie. Mostly, she wants to learn about her past and find a portal back to the old Chicago where she can continue her normal life. Rutkoski weaves an extended discussion of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” throughout the narrative, tying many of Darcy’s insights to the poem. After the long buildup to the climax, however, the solution seems a bit too easy. Nicely drawn Darcy comes across as a fully developed human, however intriguing her paranormal abilities. The author builds an engaging world, similar to the real Chicago but different enough to tantalize and keep interest high.
Entertaining and provocative. (Fantasy. 12 & up)