Shadows

Author: Robin McKinley

When Maggie’s mom brings home Val and announces they’re getting married, Maggie’s world start to crumble. Well, who wouldn’t be a bit put out by a new stepfather with no fashion sense and a collection of looming shadows that no one but you can see? In a place where magic was cut out at the genetic level years ago, Val screams old magic, something Maggie may never adjust to. Little could she imagine that he may be the least of her problems and that the world she knows might be only a shadow of reality.

Shadows has got to be one of the best books to come out this year. You need to read it. Seriously. The plot is very imaginative, with a nice blend of science fiction, fantasy, romance, and family–with a good dash of animal story and humor thrown in. McKinley has gone to great efforts to build a viable world and a gripping cast of characters–which they are, gripping that is. I love all of them, Maggie’s friend Takahiro in particular. And all the animal (normal and not so much–and the algebra book) are wonderful characters in themselves. The one challenge of this book is that the first chapter or two could seem a bit slow because McKinley’s building a lot of character development and back-story. This is typical for her writing and is totally worth the effort to read through–the back-story is interesting in itself, and it contributes significantly to the story later on. So yeah. Incredible story. Read it.

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