Book Review: Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani

In December, the team at Harper Collins sent me a few books to read and review during the Winter. I rubbed my hands in glee when I received Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani. I looked forward to reading this fantasy novel so much that I chose it to be my first read for 2020.

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publication Date: 28 January 2020


Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.

But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.

Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.

With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil.

My thoughts:

I loved this book! It was beautifully written and embraced Japanese mythology and manga traditions. The delightful use of metaphors and similes drew me into the story, and the engaging characters kept me there. I enjoyed reading Kira’s story and watching her growth throughout the novel.

Seven Deadly Shadows is a story that narrates the change Kira goes through in order to achieve her goals. She slowly comes into her own with the support from unexpected sources. Her growth is shown symbolically in the novel – as is the moment in which she realises her strength. Kira is a character that I supported fully while I read the story; she is a character I loved and could not get enough of.

It took me a while to get used to the Japanese names and references in the novel but this in no way hampered my enjoyment of the story. The glossary at the back of the novel was an easy reference that helped me to quickly understand unknown terms. In no time, I was able to read the story without flipping to the back of the book.

Seven Deadly Shadows reminded me of Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa and if you loved that story, you will love this one. It is written in the same style and has the same mythological references. This Fantasy read is also a diverse read as it explores a culture that is not a typical Western culture. If you have not read this genre before, Alameda & Maetini’s story is a good place to start.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 stars with no reservation.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This novel was the 1st novel in my book pledge for 2020)

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