Nancy Paulsen Books, Hardcover, 9780399165795, 356pp.
Publication Date: September 26, 2013
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.
“McKinley’s characters and dialogue make this novel a joy: Maggie is a brash yet vulnerable protagonist, and her family, Val, and two possible boyfriends (both of whom may be magical) are well developed. . . . The culture of Newworld is a fascinating amalgam of the everyday and the strange. All in all, a delightful read.”
“Maggie’s wry and witty conversational tone is an excellent vehicle for relating her fantastic yet logical adventures.”
“A winning combination of fast action, romance, likable characters and inventive language makes this YA novel hard to put down.”
“This fantasy focuses on the relationships among characters. . . . Exciting action, lovable characters, and witty dialogue.”
-School Library Journal
“Intricate world building is matched with rich characterization; a bit moody, a bit flighty, and all teenager, Maggie makes a relatable protagonist, and her wisecracks and astute observations help readers gain ground in this eerily familiar but nonetheless complex world of old magic, new science, and breaks in reality.”
-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“May just be one of her most brilliant books to date. Everything in the story meshes perfectly. The characters are compelling, well-defined people who become real.”