I had not read any of McKinley's books prior to picking up Shadows
, but I heard great things about her writing so I was genuinely looking forward to this book. Unfortunately I was left unimpressed and bored.
I do not know whether all of McKinley's books feature a MC with a stream of consciousness (aka rambling) method of conveying information, but this one sure did. The character of Maggie rambles endlessly and moves from one topic to another while potentially amassing confusion in the reader. The lack of typical punctuation, the run-on sentences and the MC interrupting HERSELF was tedious. It was like reading instead of actually hearing a hyper person, I found it quite annoying. In addition to these issues, Maggie would also be in the middle of one scene and go off rambling about something else that occurred sometimes years prior and then suddenly come back to the time at hand. Maggie is actually a likable character, especially with her love for animals and her genuine goodness, but holy crap I could not take the hyper rambling!
The worldbuilding is nearly non-existent and leaves you contending with understanding the world and pulling vital information from Maggie the rambler. The lingo McKinley chose to create combined with the world's gadgets/beings/whathaveyous makes you not quite know what is what. Also, the overuse of Japanese words was unnecessary and added nothing to the story. Of course the random new slang she created added nothing either aside from eye-rolling from this reader.
We were also graced with instalove and an incredibly good looking love interest (apparently). This combined with the other factors caused me not finish the book entirely, it was just not worth the effort unfortunately.