Seven Deadly Shadows
Authors: Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani
Publication Date: January 28th, 2020
Synopsis: 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.
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book. Sure, I had read the synopsis and it sounded really good, but by the time I actually started reading it, I had read about a dozen other books and I guess it slipped my mind a bit as to what this one was about.
I’m kind of glad that I went into reading this one semi-blind to it because it was such a great, fast-paced read and I didn’t know what to expect. It was, in fact, kind of fun.
I read Shutter by Courtney Alameda and I absolutely loved it – that was quite some time ago, but still – it was such a good book. I hadn’t read anything by Valynne E. Maetani before, but I had a feeling this book was going to be a masterpiece with them both writing it.
I was right – this was fantastic!
This was such a great fantasy and paranormal blend that had so much in terms of culture that I honestly was blown away by how beautiful the book was overall. There is also so much going on, and the plot is so well written and perfectly paced that my interest stuck with this book throughout the entire thing. I was never bored or confused, and I never got the urge to skim through it or anything – it was just such a captivating read.
The characters were probably my favorite part of the story. They were just written so incredibly well that they practically popped off the page with life. I loved how much effort was put into writing them and shaping them into who they were – you can tell that the authors really worked hard to create these characters.
If you like fantasy and paranormal reads, you honestly shouldn’t miss this one. Aside from the beautiful cover (which is one of the prettiest I’ve seen in a while), it is such an adventure that I couldn’t put down. I read this book in less than two days because I enjoyed it so much!
Note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
A veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney Alameda now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels for young people. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker award and hailed as a “standout in the genre” by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novel, PITCH DARK (Spring 2017), is a genre-blending science fiction/horror novel in the vein of Ridley Scott’s 1979 film ALIEN.
Courtney holds a B.A. in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She is represented by the talented John M. Cusick of Folio Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with her husband, a legion of books, and a tiny five pound cat with a giant personality.
VALYNNE E. MAETANI
Valynne E. Maetani (pronounced Vuh-lin Mah-eh-tah-nee) grew up in Utah and obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In a former life, she was a project manager and developed educational software for children with learning disabilities. Currently, she is a full-time writer. She is a member of the We Need Diverse Books team and is dedicated to promoting diversity in children’s literature because every child should grow up believing his or her story deserves to be told. Her debut novel, Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the New Visions Award 2013, a Junior Library Guild 2015 selection, and Best Fiction Book in Salt Lake City Weekly’s Best of Utah Arts Award for 2015. She lives in Salt Lake City.
Grand Prize: Win a signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS, a signed copy of Courtney Alameda’s SHUTTER, and a signed copy of Valynne Maetani’s INK AND ASHES; anime portraits of Kira and Shiro; a stuffed fox omamori charm from the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Japan; an origami fox hand-folded by Valynne Maetani; a yokai mini sticker sheet; and an assortment of Japanese Kit Kats (not pictured) [INT]
Second Prize: Win (1) of (2) A signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS with anime portraits of Kira and Shiro (INT)
Starts: 28th January 2020
Ends: 11th February 2020
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