The Compulsive Reader: Shadows by Robin McKinley

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Shadows by Robin McKinley

When Maggie’s new stepfather Val moves in, he brings with him dozens of dark shadows that no one except Maggie can see. Val is from Old World, where dangerous magic is rampant, but this is New World, and magic is illegal and has been eradicated—or so Maggie thought. Val’s shadows spell trouble for not only Maggie’s family, but for her entire way of life.

In classic McKinley style, Shadows is a mysterious, absorbing book with multiple plot layers and an inviting world much like our own, but with fascinating differences. Maggie tells her story in a very personable, conspiratorial tone, not holding back on her sarcasm, vulnerabilities, and fears as she recounts how she first met Val and as she deals with the shadows that drape her once-mundane life. McKinley’s world-building is slow and steady, punctuated by humorous accounts of Maggie’s friends and her beloved dog Mongo’s antics. Shadows is the sort of book that readers will want to take their time with, wading through Maggie’s richly-drawn world, getting to know her family, friends, and community, and following along on her high-stakes journey to uncover the truth about her world and her own capabilities.

Cover Comments: I really like this cover. I love the use of color and the way the title fades into the water. The outdoor image is really great, and I think it;s a unique look that will appeal to a wide range of readers.

ARC provided by publisher.


LinWash said...

I love Robin McKinley's books. I read this when it first debuted. So well written!

The Compulsive Reader said...

I loved it, too! I like these types of McKinley books, the more Sunshine-esque, fantasy and reality melded together books. I loved Maggie's voice so much in Shadows that I actually wrote an essay on it for Packet 1...

Irene Jennings said...

As always the writing quality and character development are simply extraordinary. Shadows is a must-read for any McKinley fan...and if you are new to the world of fantasy, only McKinley's own Damar books might be a better place to start.
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