Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani

Seven Deadly Shadows
by Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 28th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

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 loved Seven Deadly Shadows. It’s everything I could want in a standalone. Fast paced, action filled and of course Japanese culture.

I love Japanese mythology and this story combines some of my favorite components. Shrines and Kitsune demons. The story read like a manga/anime, even with them sometimes joking about it. The authors did a great job of really bringing it to life and when I read the authors note about how they traveled around Japan. You can really tell that from the story.

I loved Kira. She is a tough cookie and I love her dedication to her shrine and family legacy. Also how her relationship with her grandfather keeps her going when things are rough. She also does not give up, no matter how bad a situation looks.

I loved the story. I’m always a fan of a quest that brings an unlikely group of characters together. Plus it was very fast paced and I could not put it down. Something was always happening and never lingering too long one event or another. Even though there is romance, it didn’t take over the story. It stayed in the background for the most part and I really liked that this was Kira’s journey.

It was a great ending for a standalone. Leaving the possibility that there could be more books but there doesn’t need to be. There are some things that I want to know so if they are decided to do a companion novel I would love to see that. Maybe Kira’s little sister?

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 (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.

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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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