Cover image for Shadows
Saul, John.
Personal Author:
Bantam paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, 1993.

Physical Description:
393 pages ; 18 cm
Format :


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X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks

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They call it the Academy. A secluded, cliff-top mansion overlooking the rugged Pacific coast. A school for children gifted -- or cursed -- with extraordinary minds. Children soon to come under the influence of an intelligence even more brilliant than their own -- and unspeakably evil. For within this mind a dark plan is taking form. A plan so horrifying, no one will believe it. No one but the children. And for them it is already too late. Too late, unless one young student can resist the seductive invitation that will lead... into the Shadows .

Author Notes

Saul has several major themes in his horror fiction; children as victims, and sometimes perpetrators, of evil; technology used for horrific ends; and occult occurrences (is it something external or internal that causes the horrible things to happen to his characters?). While Saul's earlier work has been noted for its extremely gruesome quality, in his later writing Saul is trying to restrain that aspect of his fiction. Often his plots revolve around hidden, secret evil that is discovered by an innocent person, who must then battle against seemingly impossible odds to defeat the demon.

(Bowker Author Biography) Author John Saul was born in Pasadena, California on February 25, 1942. He attended numerous colleges including Montana State University and San Francisco State College and majored in various areas of study including anthropology, liberal arts, and theater, but never earned a degree. He spent the next fifteen years attempting to become a published writer while working various jobs. His first novel, Suffer the Children, was published in 1977. He has written over twenty novels since then and writes the Blackstone Chronicles. He received the Life Time Achievement Award from the Northwest Writers Conference. He currently divides his time between Seattle, Washington and Maui, Hawaii.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ten-year-old Josh MacCallum is a genius, 'way too much of a genius for the public schools of Eden, California, in which teachers treat him like a brilliant pet and peers bully him unmercifully. After he attempts suicide, his husband-abandoned mother, Brenda, finds out about Barrington Academy, a boarding school that so much wants kids like Josh that tuition is nominal or waived. It seems like a godsend, at least until Brenda finds out that Josh's suicide attempt is a positive factor in favor of his acceptance by the school. Shortly after Josh starts, another boy plants himself squarely in front of a speeding train. Brenda's not the only suspicious parent, but the dead boy's inquisitive mom and dad die in a mysterious accident when they try to remove their other son from the academy. Saul's latest is ultimately a variation upon Curt Siodmak's oft-filmed and -imitated but now risibly naive Donovan's Brain. Until that secret is revealed, it gets a lot of sympathetic mileage out of Josh's predicament as a poor child suffering the cruel social stigma placed on him because of something he can't help, that is indeed a virtue. Hoity-toity horror fans justifiably prefer Stephen King and John Farris, but Saul's grade-B charms remain readably--and bestsellingly--charming. (Reviewed May 1, 1992)0553074741Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

After a very slow first half, Saul ( Darkness , The God Project ) picks up the pace and delivers aword? tense, high-tech psychological suspense thriller. Ten-year-old genius Josh MacCallum is bored, lonely and almost always angry at his older, teasing classmates. After he attempts suicide, his frantic single mother jumps at the chance to enroll him in the Academy, a school for very gifted kids in Northern California. Run by aloof Dr. Engersol and matronly housemother HildieHildie not Hidie/eed , the school, which occupies an old mansion, offers Josh a friend in another `fellow genius' awk when describing a woman genius, Amy Carlson. Trouble surfaces when a 12-year-old kills himself, but calm returns as Hildie dispenses hugs and common sense. Soon after Josh and Amy are picked for an advanced ``seminar,'' Engersol and Hildie are revealed as nasty and the mad-scientist plot hurtles to a violent conclusion featuring dueling brains?? Josh and Amy's? unclear You're absolutely right but i'm afraid it will have to stand as is. I can't reach the reviewer, and altho I have the galley, connected to a mainframe computer. The novel's padded beginning and only serviceable prose are tolerable `lesser' implies comparison w greater flaws, not w virtues flaws in light of Saul's chilling conceit, Hildie's jarring comeuppance and a delightful final twist. 150,000 first printing. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved