The FFBC Seven Deadly Shadows Blog Tour Stop

The FFBC Seven Deadly Shadows Blog Tour Stop

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.

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

Seven Deadly Shadows

Authors: Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani 
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 384
Format: eARC
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Cover Artist: -
My Rating: ★★★

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.

Seven Deadly ShadowsSeven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m so excited to be a part of the SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club, from January 28th – February 3rd, 2020!

I received an ARC of this book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.


All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

Seven Deadly Shadows is absolutely brimming with Japanese lore. Being mostly unfamiliar with everything represented in this story, I believe I learned a great deal about some prominent figures in Japanese lore and mythology, which was fantastic. I think this book would make a fantastic graphic novel, as the variety of creatures would probably be better envisioned with illustrations.

Like her grandfather, Kira can see monsters. All around her, they abide. Born into a family connected to the Shinto shrine—a shrine of the dead—Kira has been training to become a priestess. Her parents had long ago abandoned her, so learning in the shadow of her grandfather has been a privilege.

Someday, Grandfather will teach me the ancient art of onmyodo, which will give me power over yokai demons and onryo ghosts who threaten our way of life. For a girl who has spent her days in the unwanted company of nightmares and monsters, my greatest wish is to be able to banish them at will.

For her entire life, Kira has been able to see the yokai that live among them, disguised as humans. Yokai are supernatural beings that are monsters, spirits, and demons. Until now, these creatures have been relatively harmless. Then, one night, her family’s shrine is attacked. Her grandfather is killed and Kira must find out why this has happened.

With the help of the shrine’s protector, a kitsune named Shiro, Kira discovers that the dreaded Shuten-doji (a mythical oni and demon leader) was behind the attack. Apparently, her family’s shrine is the resting place for Kusanagi, a powerful artifact. The feared demon lord needs it in order to bring darkness upon the entire world.

We need seven for a cabal. Only seven can slay the demon.

The demon lord’s power is unparalleled. Kira finds seven shinigami to help her bring down Shuten-doji and his minions down. Shinigami are “gods of death”, “death bringers” or “death spirits” They entice humans toward death in certain aspects of Japanese religion and culture. These beings, not unlike the Grim Reaper, are the only hope to fight the demon lord’s forces. Fickle creatures that they are, Kira discovers that shinigami answer to no one but themselves.

With the world’s fate in the balance, they must band together if they are going to defeat one who is considered to be one of the three great evils of Japan.

I really appreciated the variety of Japanese mythology and lore represented in Seven Deadly Shadows. My main problem with this book, was that because there was so much information that was introduced at such a fast pace, it was a difficult to keep it all straight. I am not familiar with this mythology, and had to do quite a lot of research to figure out who these characters were, what they were, and how they impact the story and have been represented throughout history.

The main proof of my disconnection to this story was Kira. Parts of her story were comparable, but majority of her path through this story was completely foreign. I feel like I didn’t get a good sense of who she was. Parts, with her difficulty between her peers and parents were relatable. But having little connection to her, and not enough descriptions of the surroundings, this story just fell flat for me. I think this book would be a fantastic graphic novel, however.

I think this was a decent read. It is full of lore, which I love, but didn’t contain enough attributes that were recognizable, and therefore familiar, in my opinion. I still enjoyed the overall composition of the story, and that it felt along the lines of original lore.

Vulgarity: Minimal.
Sexual content: Minimal.
Violence: Moderate.

My Rating: ★★★

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Courtney Alameda

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.

Vaylnne 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.

Want to win a copy for yourself?

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)


Giveaway runs from January 28th – February 11th, 2020.

Enter by clicking on the Rafflecopter link below the picture!

I am the author behind Foals, Fiction & Filigree. An all-encompassing blog about horses, books, and my art.

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