Penguin, 2014 (2014)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
ere's something different from Robin McKinley author of some of my favorite YA fantasy novels ever, like
The Blue Sword
. The genre is full of wicked stepmothers. But seventeen-year-old Maggie, McKinley's teen heroine in this story, has a new stepfather and is terrified of the
she sees all around him.
er mom's new husband, Val (short and hairy with a funny accent), is a professor of philosophy from Oldworld, where they still use magic and avoid tech. Newworld worships science and has used it to eradicate the magic-carrying gene from its population. Maggie's brother Ran gets along well with Val, and even her crazy dog Mongo seems to like him. But Maggie can't abide the shadows and avoids Val, even though that hurts her mom.
uckily Maggie has her best friend Jill to confide in. Jill has shared her own big secret, that she occasionally has foresight, previews of bad things ahead. Maggie is also close to her friend Takahiro, who has taught her to fold
guardians out of paper. Maggie folds origami paper constantly. And she spends as much time as she can helping at the animal shelter, to avoid being at home.
his is a world that's constantly on guard against
, dangerous magical eruptions. Oldworld fights them with magic, Newworld with its Watchguard and tech. Maggie begins to suspect that her stepfather is an evil magician. Then the gorgeous Casimir shows up in town and shows an immediate interest in Maggie - he's from Oldworld and is here '
to study the physics of the worlds.
hen a big cobey erupts around Maggie and Casimir, she frantically folds pages from her algebra tome, which seems to have developed a life of its own. Casimir calls her a
, but she has no idea what happened or how to do it again. This event becomes the catalyst for the revelation of all kinds of secrets and unlikely alliances are needed to survive the dangers ahead.
hen it's over, it's a new world for all concerned. Don't miss this one -
is an engrossing, magical read and I really hope that it's launching a new series as I want more of Maggie and her perilous world!
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