Maggie knows something’s off about Val, her mom’s new husband. Val is from Oldworld, where they still use magic, and he won’t have any tech in his office-shed behind the house. But—more importantly—what are the huge, horrible, jagged, jumpy shadows following him around? Magic is illegal in Newworld, which is all about science. The magic-carrying gene was disabled two generations ago, back when Maggie’s great-grandmother was a notable magician. But that was a long time ago.
Then Maggie meets Casimir, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen. He’s from Oldworld too—and he’s heard of Maggie’s stepfather, and has a guess about Val’s shadows. Maggie doesn’t want to know... until earth-shattering events force her to depend on Val and his shadows. And perhaps on her own heritage.
In this dangerously unstable world, neither science nor magic has the necessary answers, but a truce between them is impossible. And although the two are supposed to be incompatible, Maggie’s discovering the world will need both to survive.
I really wasn't sure what to expect with Shadows, especially after the first couple of chapters. Robin McKinley has created a totally fresh and unique world that takes some adjusting to. I have to admit, I was confused quite a bit there in the beginning! That confusion kept me from loving the story at first, but once I got to know the characters? Completely different story. Shadows reeled me in and kept me glued to the pages until the very end.
Shadows introduces us to Maggie, a Newworlder who is less than thrilled with her mom's choice in a new husband. Val creeps Maggie out majorly, mainly due to the weird and frightening shadows that she sees clinging to him and following him around everywhere he goes. Maggie is convinced he's hiding secrets, and that he didn't quite leave all magic behind in Oldworld.
Just when Maggie begins to fear she's losing it, she meets Casimir, a beautiful stranger from Oldworld who seems quite intrigued and taken by her. An explosive encounter with Val leads Maggie to some shocking truths about what she has been seeing. It all comes to a head when Maggie and Casimir encounter a shocking and dangerous event in a park, an event that Maggie seems to have the power to stop. Maggie is thrust into a world that she thought was gone in Newworld forever and she learns that she may just have the power to help fix everything. Shocking twists and revelations abound in this fantastical tale by Robin McKinley.
Like I said above, there are many elements to the world that Robin McKinley created that are a tad bit confusing in the beginning. It takes a little while to wrap your mind around everything! But don't you worry... you will end up so attached to Maggie and Taks and Mongo and EVERYONE that you won't care that you don't FULLY know what's going on, it just ends up adding to the experience!
This book has so many good things going on: action, intrigue, mystery, romance, friendship, family, love, magic, and lots of sweet and helpful critters. I want a dog just like Mongo now! And the characters are FABULOUS and you will end up rooting for them all. And the romance... the romance!!! LOVED it! The book leaves things totally open so I'm hoping that Robin McKinley is planning on writing a sequel ASAP. Seriously... you will love this book. Look for it in September! Enjoy! *XOXO*
Expected publication date: September 26, 2013 by Penguin Group (USA)