Robin McKinley’s new book, Shadows, came out last Thursday. I’d been drooling over the ads for ages, so naturally I just had to go run some errands that day and (surprise!) ended up at the bookstore. I could hardly wait to get home and begin reading. I stayed up late and finished the book in one huge swallow, and then began rereading to enjoy the feast again. Wow! Shadows is about a girl (Maggie) who lives in a world where magic is illegal. Tears in the fabric of their universe are handled by scientists and the military, who use science to mend and repair. The magic genes of her grandmother’s generation were deliberately eradicated, and today there is no magic. But then her widowed mother remarries, and Maggie begins to see strange, constantly moving shadows that follow her new step-father around — long, sinuous shadows with too many legs and jagged edges. She discovers that magic just may have survived after all, and if their world is not going to be swallowed by chaos, she may have to learn how to use it. I loved the use of Japanese and all the invented words in the story. The dogs were warm, furry, and lovable. I really want a Mongo of my own, or perhaps even a Hix. Majid — I probably couldn’t handle. The origami was amazing, and inspired me to learn to make more shapes than just a frog. Maggie was my kind of hero with her courage, kindness to her friends, and love of animals. Thanks, Robin, for a wonderful story.