Featured Review: Seven Deadly Shadows (Courtney Alameda)
About This Book:
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.
*Review Contrbuted By Kim Baccellia Staff Reviewer*
What worked: This is a fast-paced engaging paranormal that has a twist on the Seven Samurari with a teen girl as a reluctant heroine. Scattered throughout are Japanese mythological demons and gods. Since I'm not familiar with Japanese mythology, I was happy there was a glossary at the end.
The action is riveting from when Kira goes from being a shy Japanese schoolgirl to one that steps up to the challenge of stopping a demon. Kira shows her love of being a shrine priestess even though her own mother turned away from that calling. There's also scenes of bullying, where Kira is tormented for being an outcast at her prestigious Japanese school.
The references of kitsunes in Seven Deadly Shadows remind me of Kira Yukimura in Teen Wolf who was a Thunder kitsune-a fox yokai shapeshifter. Only in this novel, Kira is a priestess of a Shinto shrine, but does have a task of saving the world.
There's also a hint of romance between her and kitsune Shiro, who she's not sure of at first. From Shiro she learns more about her responsibilities and yes, even whether or not to trust a supernatural being. Shiro is cute, charming and it's hard not to like him.
There are many mythological creatures in this story-shinigami-Japanese version of grim reapers who reap the souls of the living. Yokai-supernatural monsters, ghosts, spirits, and demons.Jorogumo-a half-woman, half spider yokai. And of course, my favorite, nekomata-a cat yokai.
There's also hints of Sailor Moon references and lush descriptions of Kyoto and Toyoko shrines. I did Google the places to help me visualize where Kira goes to on her quest to stop a demon.
Engaging fantasy with a twist on the Seven Samurai and filled with many Japanese supernatural beings.
Japanese mythology throughout