Monday, June 30, 2014


(image from
Robin McKinley

Maggie lives in a world that has separated itself from magic. Newworld's workings are based on science, and magic was gene-chopped from every family generations ago. But Val, her new stepfather, carries with him a presence that can only be the magic of the Oldworld, where he came from. Shadows seem to center around him, and he refuses technology in his shed/office. But soon Maggie will have to face a reality that forces her to rely on Val's shadows and, possibly, her own heritage.

THERE. Summary DONE. If anyone can figure out what genre this book is, I'd be glad. Dystopian, fantasy, paranormal? I think I'll just file it under "other".

I'm going to have a Jill appreciation moment. Practically first YA BFF that wasn't cast aside for romance. Platonic relationships for the win!

On a less savory note, the plot didn't really come to a boil until nearly the end of the book. There was a lot of set-up, and that set up was cool, but even at the end the conflict seemed a bit hazy. I have a feeling this book is the first in a series and I'm missing the others. 

The characters were so great. I'm giving them individual paragraphs because I don't want a huge text block.

Maggie- Somewhat irritating tendency to use valley girl-esque slang, but that kind of added to character, so it was all okay. Cool with animals and non-animal things that may or may not be sentient, always a plus. Interesting character for a POV. B+ Character, would be A if she wasn't so obsessed with butts.

Jill- The best character by far. She's possibly the only character that, despite her foresight, was any bit NORMAL.If you can't tell from the top note, yeah, I really love how she was in a platonic relationship that wasn't thrown aside for the romance. Even if she acted as wingman occasionally.

Takahiro- Quiet, but not brooding. Interesting to learn about, but not because of some super deep-dark mysterious past. [DEAR GOD THE SPOILERS HAVE RETURNED, HIDE YOUR CHILDREN] He wasn't totally love interest material. However, no love interest is perfect- they can just sucker punch cliches like Taks here. [Hush my darling, don't fear my darling, the spoilers sleep tonight...] It's also really nice not to have another white love interest. Speaking as a white person, I'm okay without another black-hair-green-eyes-tan-skin-but-still-white guy.

Casimir- Well, I thought [THE Spoilers from Italy are coming today ] That he was going to be the love interest, and was kind of thrown off by how he wasn't. Really, he was kind of pushed away. Sad. [*creeps away from the spoilers with a sense of loss and confusion*] Anyhow, I think he would have been cool if he'd been given a little more time. Interested in science, knows his mythos... THERE WAS SO MUCH THERE. WHY.

Val- Seems like the bad guy, but I assure you he isn't. Fun to read about, decent for sympathizing. I'm glad he didn't end up as the villain, because that would be way too easy.

The writing style was a bit weird. There was a lot of future slang and a clear attempt at being open to the "younger" audience (read: valley girl talk). There was also virtually no commas. That's not a voice complaint, that's a comma-hoarder feeling bizarre that no one agrees with them. It's not a perfect voice, but you can get into it easily enough.

The fantasy elements were awesome. I loved the shadows, even though they weren't described in detail (lots of legs, snake-like, silver eyes- anything else?). I wish the cobeys were explained a bit more, but, eh, we can't have everything.

I'll admit, it didn't exactly keep you on the edge of your seat. The exciting stuff only really started in the last two thirds of the book. That was disappointing, but at least it happened eventually.

Now, to the romance. If you don't like spoilers just go to the point where I sign off. It'll be easier that way. Takahiro as the love interest gave me mixed feelings. While it's nice to have a love interest that isn't the mysterious bad boy, he didn't seem like a love interest. He doesn't seem to talk to Maggie until they fall in love. The two have one common interest- origami. That's ONE thing. ONE. I require two common goals or interests to be pleased.


No comments:

Post a Comment