Maggie’s a senior in high school, and her mother has remarried. Val is from the old world (Europe), which still has magic, but they would have never let him into the new world if he had any magic. Except that Maggie always sees shadows around him – shadows that seem to be alive. Needless to say, she’s having trouble warming to her new stepfather.
When things finally come to a head, Maggie finds out that Val thought his magic had been taken away from him, which is the only reason that he agreed to move to the new world. But it may well be a very good thing that his magic is still there, and that Maggie clearly has magic of her own, because while the government thought they’d gotten rid of magic, magic clearly has other ideas, and things are coming to a head.
This is solid McKinley – back on form (I was rather disappointed in the last book she set in a more modern milieu) . It definitely tends more YA in substance (much less adult themes than Sunshine). I had held off on buying this one because Dragon Haven had made me wary, but I think she’s back on my buy immediately list after this book.