Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1)
One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1) Details

TitleShadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherHarlequin Teen
ISBN-139781488097225
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1) Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    The monks at the temple would often train or meditate bare-chested, so I was used to seeing male upper bodies, but they'd all been so familiar I'd never given any of them a second thought. Kage Tatsumi was a different story. I feel sad writing this review. I absolutely loved Kagawa's The Immortal Rules trilogy and also enjoyed her The Iron King series, but after Talon and Shadow of The Fox, I think I have to admit that we're growing apart.I'm not sure if Kagawa's style changed or if I did, but The monks at the temple would often train or meditate bare-chested, so I was used to seeing male upper bodies, but they'd all been so familiar I'd never given any of them a second thought. Kage Tatsumi was a different story. I feel sad writing this review. I absolutely loved Kagawa's The Immortal Rules trilogy and also enjoyed her The Iron King series, but after Talon and Shadow of The Fox, I think I have to admit that we're growing apart.I'm not sure if Kagawa's style changed or if I did, but I do know that this book is a long, boring journey, fuelled by a weak plot that doesn't mask the fact everything is about the inevitable developing romance between Yumeko and Tatsumi. Though the setting and supernatural creatures are atypical of YA, the story and characters are formulaic. We move between the two perspectives of Yumeko and Tatsumi. The beginning sees the destruction of the temple where half-kitsune Yumeko has lived her whole life. The dying request of the monk who raised her is that she deliver part of an important scroll to another temple, which also holds a part of the scroll. Meanwhile, shadow clan samurai Kage Tatsumi receives a mission to retrieve the scroll himself. He and Yumeko make a pact-- he will offer her protection in exchange for her leading him to the other temple. This all happens in the first few chapters and it will be almost 300 pages before the book gets back to the main plot of finding the scroll. In between, the two characters travel to the temple, having what feel like various mini adventures along the way. The characters from Japanese mythology are fascinating, but the story meanders, name-dropping creature after creature - such as oni or gaki - in order to prolong the weak plot.And though the romance is left pretty tame in this book, the journey feels like nothing but a set-up for love angst. Because, of course, Tatsumi is injured and must remove his shirt so Yumeko can admire his muscles. I feel like I've read versions of the two of them hundreds of times: aloof warrior dude and a beautiful naive girl who requires protecting-- what could possibly happen? Protecting the girl was becoming more and more difficult; not that I cared what she did, but she was beautiful and naive and, by his own admission, the ronin had no honor left to his name. The ending does pick up and an explosion of action awaits (with some surprises added too), but I still felt like I read maybe 100 pages of plot progression and 300 pages of filler. And it seems like the big bad at the end leaves the main characters alive for no other reason than to necessitate a sequel.I was so excited for this book, especially after enjoying the author's short story in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, but it was a really disappointing start to the series. I will check out reviews of the sequel before continuing. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    (My amazing friend Courtney, at Curly Book Owl, gave this to me as a birthday gift!) 💖 “…The tiniest pebble, when dropped into a pond, will leave ripples that will grow and spread in ways we cannot comprehend.” Shadow of the Fox is a bright, shining light in 2018 fantasy! Friends, I loved this from the very first chapter, and was more captivated than I have been reading any other book this year. Like, go into any bookstore, read the first chapters of this book, and I dare you not to want to i (My amazing friend Courtney, at Curly Book Owl, gave this to me as a birthday gift!) 💖 “…The tiniest pebble, when dropped into a pond, will leave ripples that will grow and spread in ways we cannot comprehend.” Shadow of the Fox is a bright, shining light in 2018 fantasy! Friends, I loved this from the very first chapter, and was more captivated than I have been reading any other book this year. Like, go into any bookstore, read the first chapters of this book, and I dare you not to want to immediately buy it. Goosebumps. Tears. Perfection. Those are the three words that come to mind, and I just continued to fall even more in love with this story as it progressed. This is an ownvoices Japanese inspired fantasy about three people who come from very different backgrounds, but their stories get interwoven regardless of what they wanted. And they are forced to work together, while a demon army is set to destroy everything.➽ Suki - Her chapters are sprinkled throughout the book, even though I completely believe she is going to play a much bigger role in the upcoming books. Her father is a flute maker who sent her away to become a royal maid so that she could live a good life. Sadly, she now works for one of the cruelest women in all of literature. “It was raining the day Suki came to the Palace of the Sun, and it was raining the night that she died.” ➽ Yumeko - Half kitsune who is very good at illusions! She has lived her entire life with monks in the Silent Winds temple. But her home soon comes under attack by demons, and she is the only hope to save the world, by safely bringing part of an ancient scroll to another hidden temple. “In this vision, I have seen blood and flames and death, demons shrieking and rivers of bones, and the world grows dark with fear. But a single fox stands above it all, untouched, a great dragon cast in her shadow. Her name is Yumeko, child of dreams, for she is our hope against the coming darkness.” ➽ Kage - Samurai of the Shadow Clan, and one of the deadliest warriors and demon slayers ever, even though he is very young. He wields a blade, Hakaimono, that gives him even more power but is constantly testing his willpower. He has been sent on a mission to retrieve that ancient scroll, but instead finds Yumeko and promises to get her to the hidden temple. Little does he know, this little kitsune is holding what he’s after the entire time. “I am a weapon in the hands of the Kage. My life exists only to be the bearer of Kamigoroshi and to obey the orders of the Shadow Clan.” And when the scroll is combined together to be whole again, a dragon will rise and the person that summons it will be have any wish they desire granted, as long as their heart and soul are pure and good. If not, well, things are going to get real messy. But needless to say, many people are after these pieces of the scroll so that they can combine them to have their wish granted. And remember, a demon army is trying to end the world, so some people really need their wishes to come true. You know, for the sake of humanity. One of my favorite things in all of literature is reading about a group of people traveling from place to place, performing smaller quests, while trying to get to their final destination. And friends, that is what Shadow of the Fox is. I fell in love with every new town and every new adventure that Yumeko and Kage experienced together. I loved seeing so much Japanese folklore and mythology celebrated and woven into each town and adventure, too! Seriously, Julie Kagawa blessed us so much with this book! And I loved the few friends and companions that Kage and Yumeko unexpectedly met along the way. At the heart of this book, is always friendship. And how kindness and unconditional love are two of the most powerful forces in any world. Yumeko and Kage's dynamic is one so beautiful that I don’t even have words for it. And this is the start of an extremely slow burn romance, but I’m so here for it, you all! They completely stole my heart and captivated me for all 400 pages of this story. This book also holds a very heavy message about how we always have a choice to do right. No matter what we’ve done in our past, and no matter the sins of our family, we have our own choice to do good or to start doing good. And how sometimes a little kindness can completely change everything. And how it’s never too late to right your wrongs, apologize, and forgive. Hate is a very heavy thing to carry, but so is revenge. “It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don't do a great job of it.” Overall, Julie Kagawa gave me the (ownvoices) Japanese fantasy I’ve been searching my entire life for. I fell so deeply in love with this story, with Julie’s beautiful prose, with these characters, and with all the important messages that were so seamlessly woven in. This will for sure be on my best of 2018 list come December, and the next book for sure is now one of my most anticipated releases for 2019. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Content and trigger warnings for graphic violence, graphic murder, graphic death, loss of a loved one, physical abuse, threat of rape, talk of suicide, war themes, and a scene that might be hard for people with arachnophobia (I am sorry, Julie)! Buddy read with May at Forever and Everly & Jen at Pinot and Pages! ❤
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  • jessica
    January 1, 1970
    fantasy is a genre that i have really gotten into over the past year or so and i have come to realise that i enjoy it so much more when the story is rooted in cultural folklore. and japanese tales and traditions are among some of my favourite!but honestly, everything about this is so just so fascinating. i dont think the story would be half as interesting if it wasnt for the writing - its magical in its own right. and there is a really smart array of characters, each one so unique and different fantasy is a genre that i have really gotten into over the past year or so and i have come to realise that i enjoy it so much more when the story is rooted in cultural folklore. and japanese tales and traditions are among some of my favourite!but honestly, everything about this is so just so fascinating. i dont think the story would be half as interesting if it wasnt for the writing - its magical in its own right. and there is a really smart array of characters, each one so unique and different and adds something of value to the story in their own way. and the world building is simply stunning. i just got so caught up in the sight and sounds of the different cities and villages, which is amazing considering its all just words on paper. but that makes me really appreciate how visual the storytelling in this is. its been awhile since i have come across a book that has created such vivid imagery in my head. it honestly felt like i was reading an anime and even gave some 'avatar: the last airbender' vibes in a couple of places (brooding tatsumi is basically zuko and no one can convince me otherwise). it definitely added that extra element of fun to my reading experience and i love that. this is such a promising beginning to what i can only imagine will be a terrific series! i cant wait for sequel! ↠ 4.5 stars
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR!!! This book stole my heart. My whole freaking heart!I went into this knowing one thing: Japanese-inspired fantasy. Nothing else.I was hooked from the very first chapter. The tone of the writing, the lush world...Anime brought to the page in the best way imaginable. In the land of Iwagoto, the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, has the power to bring forth the Kami Dragon. The dragon is capable of granting the summoner a single wish. If they are pure of heart, theoretically FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR!!! This book stole my heart. My whole freaking heart!I went into this knowing one thing: Japanese-inspired fantasy. Nothing else.I was hooked from the very first chapter. The tone of the writing, the lush world...Anime brought to the page in the best way imaginable. In the land of Iwagoto, the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, has the power to bring forth the Kami Dragon. The dragon is capable of granting the summoner a single wish. If they are pure of heart, theoretically, all goes well, if they are not, all hell breaks loose. This has happened before and in order to protect the land, the scroll was divided and the separate parts hidden away to prevent such disastrous consequences from happening again. People are always in search of the parts, however, as combining them whole could grant the summoner unrivaled power.Yumeko, has been raised in the Silent Winds Temple where one piece of the scroll has been hidden. When the Temple is attacked by demons, Yumeko is forced to flee, with the scroll. She promises the monks she will transport it to another hidden temple where she will receive further directions.Trained her whole life to hide her Yokai nature, Yumeko, half kitsune/half human is a master of illusion and mischief. She is also the most sweet and sticky baby cinnamon roll I have ever read in my whole life and I just love her to the moon.On the run, Yumeko meets up with Kage Tatsumi, a samurai of the mysterious Shadow Clan. Tatsumi has been sent out in search of the scroll. He finds Yumeko close by the now destroyed temple and promises to get her to her destination safely. Of course, he has no idea, she carries on her what he seeks.They meet up with another character along the way, Okami, a ronin, basically a traveling samurai without a master. He begins to travel with them and quickly became my favorite character. A source of almost constant humor, I just cannot imagine this story without him.One of my most loved tropes in literature is a quest. I heart a quest all day long. A ragtag group of characters trying to get from Point A to Point B, overcoming obstacles along the way, nothing keeps me turning pages faster.This was a great set-up for a fantastic quest. The stakes, the secrets, the magic, the world, I fell head-over-heels for it all. And don't even get me started on the hella SLOW-BURNING romance!I am actually happy I didn't read this right when it released because I would have been in agony waiting for the next book. Now I only have to wait two months...Wait a minute, two months!!?!!?That still feels like an extraordinarily long time.Maybe I will have time to read this one again...
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    October Owlcrate! Click the link below the picture to see the goods =) LINK TO THE GOODSI loved this world and the characters!! That ending though!!! Need the next book! Happy Reading! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    This book has restored my faith in fantasy. You see whenever people asked me what my favorite genre was I always said fantasy. But slowly, after reading a ton of other genres, I realized how challenging it is to read fantasy. On top of character arcs and plot types, you have to shove through the world building. All in all, reading fantasy books are no easy task.With this knowledge, I took it upon myself to get the audiobook. And I am so glad I did because 1) The audiobook was amazing as it was c This book has restored my faith in fantasy. You see whenever people asked me what my favorite genre was I always said fantasy. But slowly, after reading a ton of other genres, I realized how challenging it is to read fantasy. On top of character arcs and plot types, you have to shove through the world building. All in all, reading fantasy books are no easy task.With this knowledge, I took it upon myself to get the audiobook. And I am so glad I did because 1) The audiobook was amazing as it was cast with three narrators and they all did an amazing job and 2) I probably never would have gotten through this book without it. The Characters:YumekoShe is a kitsune which means that she is half magical fox and half human. I think she was my favorite character because I could relate to her so much. She was rather awkward and uncultured because she never leaves her home... Just like me.Kage TatsumiI thought I hated Tatsumi (I'm referring to his last name because that how he is reffered to in the book.) but then I realized that I didn't hate him. I hated the people who raised him. I can't go into much because I don't want to give anything away but he was basically a male rapunzel. He was taught that he was a weapon and nothing else. He is basically a slave. And it broke my heart. Though it breaks my heart even more to know that stuff like that still happens.The Plot:I considered copy and pasting the synopsis but no! I am turning over a knew leaf. Basically, Yumeko lives at a palace with a bunch of monks and they get attacked by demons who are trying to steal the scroll. Now, Yumeko has to find other monks to protect the scroll.As I mentioned, it's a tad bit well... as my grandmother would say "Slow as molasses in January. Not to say it isn't good (the plot. Not molasses. Molasses is NASTY) it's just slow so I recomend the audiobook. My one complaint is that all the name sound relatively the same to my really dumb ears soo. I kept getting super confused. Oh, and that cliffhanger. JUST EVIL!Bottom Line:4.5 Stars: Fantasy novel of legendsAge Recommendation: 13+ (Creepy themes, and creatures)| Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest | Buy this Book
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  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    There was so much to love about this book. The vast detailed world building, the Japanese legends and lore, the moral dilemmas that were faced...it was so fully fleshed out and enjoyable. The characters were what truly sold me though. I loved each of them so much for so many different reasons. I can’t wait to read the next book because I need to know what happens to them!
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  • Camile Souza (This Chamber of Books)
    January 1, 1970
    "Once every thousand years… a wish will be granted and a new age will dawn." 4.5 stars*I received this arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion* Shadow of the Fox is an #ownvoices YA fantasy that was inspired by Japanese mythology, and essentially revolves around the search for The Scroll of a Thousand Prayers which has the power to call upon the great Kami Dragon who will grant its summoner a wish. A lot of folks are after this thing, and they’ll do anything to get it.This i "Once every thousand years… a wish will be granted and a new age will dawn." 4.5 stars*I received this arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion* Shadow of the Fox is an #ownvoices YA fantasy that was inspired by Japanese mythology, and essentially revolves around the search for The Scroll of a Thousand Prayers which has the power to call upon the great Kami Dragon who will grant its summoner a wish. A lot of folks are after this thing, and they’ll do anything to get it.This is my second Julie Kagawa book. I reread The Iron King this year and even reviewed it here a couple months ago, so it was inevitable to draw a comparison between these two books to see how the author’s style and skill have progressed. I’ve said it in my other review that her book gave me a feeling of going through phases of a video game, and I felt the same way with this newest release. One event follows the next like mini contained arcs of story that go towards a bigger one. I feel like this could throw some people off and make the pacing seem a bit chunky or episodic at times, but personally that wasn’t something that bothered me because, like in a video game, I always knew something with high stakes would be coming up next.Both books made me feel like they were much more about the journey and how it changed the characters, than actually getting to the end goal.Shadow of the Fox is a multi-perspective book, and because of that it took me a few chapters to get going, since I had to meet the main characters first, but once I did I was into it. The first 3 chapters are from different povs, but for the majority of the story we follow only two, which are told in first person. I know a lot of people are not fans of multi-perspective, but I feel like for this story that was the right way to go. Since characters have different goals concerning the scroll and come from such opposite backgrounds, this helped paint a bigger picture for the situation and made the stakes go higher. We even get glimpses at what the bad guys are doing, and I think that was for the book’s benefit. There’s also the plus that you get to know the characters better, and the world view and impressions on newcomers was not limited to only one perspective.I came to really like these people and appreciate the development of their risky relationships, because thank goodness the author took its time to build them properly. That was a complaint I had about The Iron King, the need for more character moments, but I’m happy to say that Julie gave much more attention to that aspect this time around. I loved the main characters, and the fact that there’s no love triangle to be seen in this book. "It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don’t do a great job of it." Yumeko is a kitsune – half-girl, half-demon fox – who was raised in a temple by monks. She could be naive at times, but she was also clever and a badass in her own way. She’s not a fighter, but she’s also not the kind of girl who sits around and hopes people will solve things for her. If she sees a tough situation that needs fixing, she will try to do something about it. Even if it’s a small thing, she always makes an effort to help out in any way she can, and I absolutely love that. Yumeko makes a few mistakes, but she mostly gets it right, and for all her effort she’s earned my respect.Tatsumi is a shinobi (literally ninja in japanese) of the Shadow Clan, but he lets most people think he’s just a samurai warrior – which makes sense, if you’re a ninja people shouldn’t know that about you. He’s quiet and kind of broody, but he’s hella good with a sword and actually quite interesting as an individual (that’s funny since individuality is highly discouraged by his masters, to say the least). As the demonslayer of the Kage family and bearer of the cursed sword, Kamigoroshi – whose demon that is sealed in it frequently tries to take over his mind if he loses control of his emotions -, is no wonder that this dude keeps it to himself. Due to his super strict and brainwashy upbringing, it’s very interesting to see him being forced to interact with other people and work with them in order to complete his mission. I particularly loved the fact that Tatsumi had a big reputation and he lived up to it. If he thought you were a threat or if he was ordered by his clan to kill you, I really felt he could, and that he would do it, even if he didn’t want to.About the world, I think it was atmospheric and interesting. The country of Iwagoto really felt like a fantasy Japan from the samurai period. There was a lot of japanese words interwoven in the narrative, and because of that I feel like the author tried her best to 'show' things for the most part, but there was a lot for people to understand, so she also used a certain amount of 'tell' to quickly explain things. Nothing that really bothered me, though. I do recognize that the frequent use of japanese could get confusing for people who, unlike me, aren’t really familiar with the language, but honestly, I don’t think that goes as far as hurting the comprehention of the story. If you’re a fantasy reader, you should already be used to getting acquainted with a bunch of new words anyway, but perhaps there’s a glossary in the finalized edition.If there’s not, just know that essentially family names come before first names like in Kage Tatsumi, and not "Tatsumi Kage", also that honorific suffixes are often used after people’s names when adressing them (so you’ll see a lot of –san, –chan, and –sama here), gomen (nasai) means sorry, ohayou (gozaimasu) is good morning, baka is idiot, kami means god, arigatou (gozaimasu) is thank you, mahou is magic, mahou-tsukai is mage, and you should be mostly good to go.About the plot , this is a journey, so don’t expect everything to be resolved here. This is part one of a triology, after all. The general idea is simple, get from point A to point B, then get to point C, but with a lot of deviation and trouble along the way. Here we only go as far as point B, though.I’m very excited for the sequel, Soul of the Sword, and I can’t wait to get a finished copy of Shadow of the Fox as soon as possible. This book became a new favorite of mine, which was kind of unexpected to be honest. It’s great being surprised sometimes. Oh also I love watching anime, and this book had elements that reminded me of a few ones like Yona of the Dawn (Akatsuki no Yona), Hiiro no Kakera, and even Dragon Ball (hello collecting artifacts to summon a dragon who can grant you a wish), which I really appreciated.Blog Review | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    This is going to be so so good. I am calling it.
  • Kristin Hackett (SuperSpaceChick)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to everyone who told me I would love this book- you couldn't have been more right! Shadow of the Fox is a pleasure to read- I would go so far as to say that it's one of the top books I've read this year. I saw everything playing out so clearly in my mind in anime form and I just couldn't possibly love it more than I did. The story is well crafted, the characters are new favorites of mine, the fantastical setting is a dream and I'm most certainly dying for book two. I am definit Thank you so much to everyone who told me I would love this book- you couldn't have been more right! Shadow of the Fox is a pleasure to read- I would go so far as to say that it's one of the top books I've read this year. I saw everything playing out so clearly in my mind in anime form and I just couldn't possibly love it more than I did. The story is well crafted, the characters are new favorites of mine, the fantastical setting is a dream and I'm most certainly dying for book two. I am definitely going to be re-reading this one, and very soon! I still can't get over how obsessed I am with it. READ THIS BOOK IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY. This is honestly everything I ever wanted in a story!
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  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book PrescriptionActual Rating 3.5/3.75 stars“ I was simply a weapon. A weapon did not question the intent of those who wielded it. ”🌟 Reading Shadow of the fox was like watching an anime movie/ series and I always liked those.🌟 I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this or not but I really wanted to read something by the author and I am glad I did request it! The opening line was great and I knew it would be good at that moment.🌟 I love a This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book PrescriptionActual Rating 3.5/3.75 stars“ I was simply a weapon. A weapon did not question the intent of those who wielded it. ”🌟 Reading Shadow of the fox was like watching an anime movie/ series and I always liked those.🌟 I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this or not but I really wanted to read something by the author and I am glad I did request it! The opening line was great and I knew it would be good at that moment.🌟 I love anything and everything Japanese and there are not many books with Japanese settings that are written in English. I was immediately in love with the world and the mythology and I wanted more.🌟 Sadly my enjoyment of the book decreased a bit, it started really good but then there were clichés and tropes and I felt like I have read (watched) this before. I can’t say that it was predictable given that most of the story was not for moving the original and main plot. It was like a large adventure with mini obstacles that our “heroes” face along the way. Once again, something that reminds me of anime. And in terms of anime, I can say that this was a great show but with many fillers that all we all know how to feel about.🌟 I like that it started with two main characters with changing POVs and other side characters were added to the crew as we move on. It was better than starting with a whole team of characters. The characters were unique and I could tell whose POV was I reading as they had distinct voices! The only problem that I had was the trope of the tough, muscular cold guy falling into the clumsy, cute and kind girl and that happened fast!!🌟 Despite that, I think it was cool, fresh and it was not short of action which left me curious and attached to the book.🌟 Summary: A typical YA book with an Atypical Japanese settings, it had a good cast of characters that you are sure to love. And despite the tropes it had, it was very enjoyable and I don’t regret reading it.🌟 Prescription: For fans of Anime and Japanese culture!
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  • Natalie Monroe
    January 1, 1970
    “He might be young, with the face of an angel, but there was no mistaking the truth in his eyes. He was a killer.” Guess what happens next. Go on, guess!Yes, my dear stranger on the Internet. They fall in love. It's a hardly a spoiler. You know it's going to happen the instant Yumeko notices Tatsumui's chiselled abs. Honestly, Kagawa's work of late is extremely predictable and derivative. Which makes me equally disappointed and annoyed because I love, love, love her Iron Fey series. I want Puck “He might be young, with the face of an angel, but there was no mistaking the truth in his eyes. He was a killer.” Guess what happens next. Go on, guess!Yes, my dear stranger on the Internet. They fall in love. It's a hardly a spoiler. You know it's going to happen the instant Yumeko notices Tatsumui's chiselled abs. Honestly, Kagawa's work of late is extremely predictable and derivative. Which makes me equally disappointed and annoyed because I love, love, love her Iron Fey series. I want Puck to show up at my window, make flowers bloom from my bedpost, and carry me off to a quiet meadow somewhere. Blood of Eden, though rather unmemorable, was a good read and most importantly, different from her previous novels. The Talon Saga is where is all starts to go downhill and Shadow of the Fox, unfortunately, is a sad continuation. It also reaffirms my belief that most authors who hit it big during the Paranormal Romance craze are slowly becoming obsolete. We're seeing it with Lauren Kate, Alexandra Adornetto, Becca Fitzpatrick... The ones who continue to thrive, like Kiersten White, do so because they're willing to evolve with the times. No longer is YA willing to put up with rapey love interests and Mean Girls. It's become bolder, more diverse, more mature, more willing to push the envelope.Shadow of the Fox is basically a mashup of familiar Kagawa tropes. Tatsumui is broody and emotionally closed off, so essentially a clone of the soldier guy whose name I can't remember from Talon and to a lesser extent, Ash from the Iron Fey. Yumeko is Meghan and Talon's heroine mushed together. Kind-hearted, sweet, naive with a mild independent streak. The ronin Okame is a sarcastic rogue and a comic relief caricature along the lines of Puck, the vampire guy from Blood of Eden, and the snarky dragon from Talon. And then there's a fourth miscellaneous character whose personality varies, but is always male.Seriously, what is with the lack of important female characters? There's the heroine, but that's it. Kagawa always insists on surrounding her with prominent male characters. And the villain is usually female. Make of that what you will.Did I like anything? The Japanese mythology elements are interesting. Though it did get increasingly annoying when words like "hai" or "ano" are casually slipped in. Yes, yes, authenticity, but it's cheapened by so many anime fanfiction that do the same.If you're going to read a Kagawa book, go for The Iron King. At least there's Puck and killer world-building in it.ARC provided by Edelweiss
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    DNF’d at page 102: - I hate that this book is told in two POVs, that aren’t labeled, both in first person. The narrative voices aren’t very different either. - There’s a lot of tell instead of show. - A lot of the setup already doesn’t make sense. - I wasn’t overly invested in this book to begin with and assumed it would be a 3 star read or less, but hoped to be surprised. I can already tell where this book is going to go, so I have no motivation to continue. I thought the world may be enough to DNF’d at page 102: - I hate that this book is told in two POVs, that aren’t labeled, both in first person. The narrative voices aren’t very different either. - There’s a lot of tell instead of show. - A lot of the setup already doesn’t make sense. - I wasn’t overly invested in this book to begin with and assumed it would be a 3 star read or less, but hoped to be surprised. I can already tell where this book is going to go, so I have no motivation to continue. I thought the world may be enough to motivate me, but sadly it was not.
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  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    January 1, 1970
    "One step at a time, little fox. The spider does not spin its web in a heartbeat, nor does the albatross fly across oceans with a few flaps of its wings. Many would consider what they do impossible, and yet, they still complete their tasks without fail, because they simply...start."This book would make an INCREDIBLE anime or animated series along the lines of Avatar The Last Airbender or something, because it seriously played out like a tv show in my head! It was so awesome! I loved all of the c "One step at a time, little fox. The spider does not spin its web in a heartbeat, nor does the albatross fly across oceans with a few flaps of its wings. Many would consider what they do impossible, and yet, they still complete their tasks without fail, because they simply...start."This book would make an INCREDIBLE anime or animated series along the lines of Avatar The Last Airbender or something, because it seriously played out like a tv show in my head! It was so awesome! I loved all of the characters and how, one by one, we were introduced to amazing additions to this badass group trying to slay demons and save the world! I did find it a little slow at times with all of the travelling to different towns and stuff, but other than that I really enjoyed it!This book is in stores now and I highly recommend you check it out, it was super fun! Thank you so much to Harlequin Teen for sending me a review copy!
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  • Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
    January 1, 1970
    Not particularly fantastic, but I do get the appeal!🐺 The MCs felt a bit flat and/or were kind of typical🐺 The world-building and magic systems rocked.🐺 The plot felt a bit too much at times?? Like action without substance??🐺 THE CLIFFHANGER WHAT THE FUCK
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  • Kelly Brigid
    January 1, 1970
    “It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don't do a great job of it.” Shadow of the Fox is the perfect fantasy novel that my little Asian heart has been craving! It reminded me of Avatar: the Last Airbender and Beyond the Boundary - two of my favorite cartoons/animes in existence! The flow of this story felt like a living, breathing anime, and I couldn't have been happier! Of course I devoured it in a few days! An absolutely wonderful Japanese inspired fantasy with “It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don't do a great job of it.” Shadow of the Fox is the perfect fantasy novel that my little Asian heart has been craving! It reminded me of Avatar: the Last Airbender and Beyond the Boundary - two of my favorite cartoons/animes in existence! The flow of this story felt like a living, breathing anime, and I couldn't have been happier! Of course I devoured it in a few days! An absolutely wonderful Japanese inspired fantasy with magic, adventure, friendship, and love! I adore novels that set their characters on quests, where they are forced to overcome smaller obstacles before reaching their final destination. The tone that Kagawa constructs is simultaneously light hearted and urgent, luring the reader into Yumeko's journey, itching to see what unfolds.Half Kitsune (Fox) nature is depicted beautifully. Yumeko is the sweetest, most innocent and kind little bean of them all. Having grown up in an environment where her Kitsune half is constantly being reprimanded, Yumeko is unsure about who she wishes to identify more as - human or kistune. These two sides of the same coin flip interchangeably, and I love how it's displayed on the surface. She doesn't wish to harm anyone, but her illusive essence could have more repercussions than she ever realized. Kage Tatsumi, on the other hand, is a mysterious member of the Shadow Clan, and the bearer of a cursed sword, in which a demon resides. I truly enjoyed reading through his perspective, and witnessing the emotional journey he reluctantly finds himself embarking on. Despite how he falls under the dark, brooding, male stereotype, I loved him, and am intrigued to see how he shifts the story in the following installments. Japan inspired fantasy? I'm sold! The world Julie Kagawa weaves is absolutely stunning. I'm a fairly large fan of anime and Japanese culture, and this gorgeous setting met my every expectation. What I love about the story and atmosphere, is how it felt as if they were plucked straight out of an anime. It's a remarkably complex world, bubbling over with Japanese folklore and mythology, and I never once doubted its authenticity. The writing is charming, and not overdone, surprisingly. I also appreciate how distinct Yumeko and Tatsumi's points-of-views are. It's a shame when two main characters' perspectives are so similar that you can't tell them apart, but thankfully, this issue never arises.Wonderful themes of we are who we choose to be. A recurring theme throughout this novel, is how we're free to forge our own paths ahead, and deviate from the expectations and limitations others bestow on us. Yumeko is frightened to reveal her Kitsune half, and keeps this side of herself hidden for the most part. As the story progresses, it's wonderful to see how she grows as a character and begins to feel more comfortable as both human and Kitsune, in spite of the mockery and scorn others direct at her. Rather than be bound by her deceptive nature, she embraces it, and utilizes it to protect others. To prevent the demon sword from possessing him, Tatsumi has detained his emotions since he was a child. So, it arrives as quite a shock, when he begins to exhibit feelings for Yumeko. I love this internal struggle of his between succumbing to or denying his developing feelings. It's beautiful to see how he, along with Yumeko, steadily realize the truth of human nature, and decide to create their own destinies. If I love this story so much, why didn't I rate it five stars, you may be wondering? For the entirety of the story, Yumeko travels with Tatsumi, who is a lethal Shinobi. I find it awfully hard to believe that he never noticed the fact that our dear little fox possessed the scroll. Not only are they in close proximity of one another quite often, but Tatsumi cleans her wounds, and pulls her away from danger on numerous occasions. Why hadn't Yumeko simply attempted to place an illusion on the scroll? Nonetheless, I still cherish Shadow of the Fox with all my heart, and can't wait to see what happens to my precious babies in the sequel.I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin
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  • Vibur
    January 1, 1970
    I won't lie—a part of me did love Shadow of the Fox. I loved the world that Kagawa created, from its fierce samurai and enigmatic shinobi, to its playful kitsune and ferocious oni. There were rustic teahouses and moss-furred shrines, whispering bamboo forests and verdant rice paddies.I have mixed feelings about the plot. Because the thing is, there was more padding stuffed into it than a feather pillow. But hey, I was kept entertained, at least!And I admit Shadow of the Fox serves up a much-too- I won't lie—a part of me did love Shadow of the Fox. I loved the world that Kagawa created, from its fierce samurai and enigmatic shinobi, to its playful kitsune and ferocious oni. There were rustic teahouses and moss-furred shrines, whispering bamboo forests and verdant rice paddies.I have mixed feelings about the plot. Because the thing is, there was more padding stuffed into it than a feather pillow. But hey, I was kept entertained, at least!And I admit Shadow of the Fox serves up a much-too-bountiful buffet of tropes—but guess what? I. Ate. Them. Up. To me, tropes are the literary equivalent of comfort food—and I hope I never get sick of them. After all, tropes are tropes for a reason: because people like them most of the time. And the good thing is that Kagawa does, in fact, pull them off. Shadow of the Fox was undeniably cliché, but it was not flawed because of it. Because the real flaw was the writing itself. I adore anime, but the random interjections of "ano", "hai", "baka", "sugoi" and countless others in the dialogue left me feeling like a tetsubo was hitting me on the head because nani did I read? Sure, authenticity and whatnot, but the execution was just plain awkward. And all those filter words cropping up in the text like weeds! Strangling the life out of the writing! … I spotted a single crow perched on a lantern string over the street. I wondered if our mysterious observer and the attack on Yumeko were related, and if they were, I wondered when and where the person behind them would try again. Gosh, this is textbook-lifeless. My point is, the prose was blander than plain rice (ignoring the fact that I actually like rice), which was such a shame, because the descriptions were—or could have been—so beautiful. In the end, I could not connect with the writing at all. 2.5/5
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  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    sometimes I think I’m getting faster at reading and then I realize that I’ve been trying to read this book for a month and only gotten 23% through
  • shady boots | #WatchPOSE
    January 1, 1970
    PLEASE don't disappoint me again like you did with Talon, Julie. My heart won't be able to handle it.
  • Lena
    January 1, 1970
    “The spider does not spin its web in a heartbeat, nor does the albatross fly across oceans with a few flaps of its wings. Many would consider what they do impossible, and yet, they still complete their tasks without fail, because they simply...start.” My little anime heart can die in peace now.This book has E V E R Y T H I N G I look for in Fantasy: Fast pacing, sympathetic, relatable characters, badassery, action, royalty and a natural flow to the storytelling. No kidding, the storytelling “The spider does not spin its web in a heartbeat, nor does the albatross fly across oceans with a few flaps of its wings. Many would consider what they do impossible, and yet, they still complete their tasks without fail, because they simply...start.” My little anime heart can die in peace now.This book has E V E R Y T H I N G I look for in Fantasy: Fast pacing, sympathetic, relatable characters, badassery, action, royalty and a natural flow to the storytelling. No kidding, the storytelling here is superb. Usually when an author writes a first book in a new series, there's always the issue of it being pretty slow-paced and boring in the beginning that seems to be putting off plenty of readers. Most of those books will become better over time, but a lot still get ditched on the way. I never had said issue with this book. From the beginning I was absolutely engrossed in both the plot and its characters and found myself turning the pages faster and faster because I wanted to know more. I'd suggest going into this with little to no knowledge about the plot. It has samurai in it, what more could you want!!??That being said, I get why lots of people wouldn't give this book a full five stars. This book should be turned into an anime or anime movie. Everything, from the dialogues to the sword fighting to ancient gods and demons, it screamed "Anime" to me. Being a big anime lover myself, I was absolutely delighted upon realizing what a rare gem this story actually is. I get why some people would be put off by certain aspects of the story though, especially since the pacing and story are clearly reminiscent of anime I am watching/ have watched in the past. But despite all that, the book still manages to stay original entertaining, with its great cast being the thing that stands above all else.The main character is very naive.Some might see this as a big weakness of the book, but it opens the door for so many possibilities in future installments.The main character Yumeko is by no means innocent or helpless. She's simply a naive, young girl who grew up being protected by monks, not knowing a thing about the world outside of the familiar surroundings of her temple. There's gonna be some major character development happening with her in the next book and I can't wait to find out how that will come about!But even people that don't watch anime will enjoy this book, I'm sure! It's unique in its own way in terms of how the plot slowly unfolds. I've underlined slowly because even though a lot is happening, the actual plot takes its time to progress and it's great because the book doesn't just offer facts on a silver platter and you often find yourself in conflict between the POV's of the two main characters. Speaking of facts, the book does have its tricky parts because 1), Japanese culture has LOTS of mythology and therefore we get lots of different kinds of gods and dark creatures in this book, each with a more or less "complicated" name. (it gets easier the more you get into the story) And 2) the author sneaks in Japanese words and terms which I personally loved :D That cliffhanger though...*eternal freak out* I may add more to this review tomorrow, but for now I'm too tired to keep typing...Peace out, folks!
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  • may ❀
    January 1, 1970
    ayyyyy, this is my 150th book of the year, completing my reading challenge feel honoured @ bookmy feelings on this book really fluctuated throughout the course of reading it. at first, i found the main character, yumeko, to be very trusting and juvenile. it irked me that she literally played into the hands of her enemy while knowing like sis???but i have to admit, she did grow on me. as the chapters progressed and we got to see the characters more, i found myself growing a little soft for her an ayyyyy, this is my 150th book of the year, completing my reading challenge feel honoured @ bookmy feelings on this book really fluctuated throughout the course of reading it. at first, i found the main character, yumeko, to be very trusting and juvenile. it irked me that she literally played into the hands of her enemy while knowing like sis???but i have to admit, she did grow on me. as the chapters progressed and we got to see the characters more, i found myself growing a little soft for her and her silly antics. tatsumi was probably my favourite character, yes, he's a little heavy on dishing out the 'hot-brooding-warrior' vibe but how am I SUPPOSED TO RESIST A CUTE ENEMIES-TO-LOVERS(?) ARCalso his character was the most level headed, he like,,,,,thought about his actions before doing them bc #logici REALLY disliked okame initially. i found him obnoxious and irritating and yeah you guessed it, eventually he also grew on me (still a work in progress, but at least i dont detest him) the plot was alright. i wasn't too hooked on it. there was a lot of japanese mythology sprung on the reader and as someone who knows next to nothing about mythology (literally every type of mythology) it took a little time to get used toi do appreciate the author freely using japanese text and culture, i think its so awesome to see such casual, unapologetic integration of different cultures and norms and language 👌the slow beginning did lead to a really action-packed ending. i am so glad i pushed through, bc i was thoroughly captivated by the last few chapters and 😭😭😭😭😭😭anyways, definitely a series im going to be continuing, interested to see how it plays outbuddy read with the sweetest, kat
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  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Harlequin Teen for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. “You are a weapon; attachments will only slow you down and make you question your objective. Remember, your loyalty is to the Kage, nothing else.” My first ever read by Julie Kagawa, and let me tell you that I was not disappointed. I was so intrigued when I read the synopsis, and as I predicted I truly loved this book! The setting, characters and story line reminded me so much of an anime. The book has Thank you Harlequin Teen for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. “You are a weapon; attachments will only slow you down and make you question your objective. Remember, your loyalty is to the Kage, nothing else.” My first ever read by Julie Kagawa, and let me tell you that I was not disappointed. I was so intrigued when I read the synopsis, and as I predicted I truly loved this book! The setting, characters and story line reminded me so much of an anime. The book has many references to Japanese mythology, including: Kitsune, Oni, Yoki and much more. There were also some Japanese words here and there, and being familiar with what they meant really made the read 100% more enjoyable.The story is told from alternate points of view. The first being from the point of view of Yumeko, a half-human half-kitsune girl. The other being Tatsumi a Shadow Clan Samurai. Yumeko is a bit of a naive character. Since she was raised in a temple and has no knowledge of the outside world. I didn’t feel set back by this since her naive moments were often funny. While Yumeko is sweet and open (aside from the secrets that she must keep) Tatsumi is dark and mysterious. I quite liked his character. He grappled with his emotions a bit in this book. Always trying to shove down his emotions in order to stay on track. I really wished we had gotten to know more of his backstory, but I assume we’ll be getting that in the next book. Loved Okame! always making jokes even in times of danger. I liked all the characters in a different way because I felt like they all added a little something special.I found the pacing a little slow at first. A hundred pages into the book is when I felt like the story picked up. It didn’t bother me though. More action scenes and a few things to deal with on the way. The story line seemed promising, and I’m really intrigued to find out what happens in the next book!Overall, I have a feeling this wont be my last read by the brilliant Julie Kagawa!|| Blog || Instagram ||
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  • ambsreads
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to Harlequin Teen for sending me a physical copy of Shadow of the Fox. Another thank you goes to NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy as well. All thoughts are my own and receiving copies of the book did not impact this.FIND MY REVIEW FOR SHADOW OF FOX ON MY BLOGShadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa was a difficult book to get through. Fantasy novels for me are a little heavier for me to power through. I struggle to get through them but I knew I had to push through this o Thank you so much to Harlequin Teen for sending me a physical copy of Shadow of the Fox. Another thank you goes to NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy as well. All thoughts are my own and receiving copies of the book did not impact this.FIND MY REVIEW FOR SHADOW OF FOX ON MY BLOGShadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa was a difficult book to get through. Fantasy novels for me are a little heavier for me to power through. I struggle to get through them but I knew I had to push through this one and I am so glad I did. Julie Kagawa crafted an incredible Japanese fantasy that is a beautifully intricate world. The characters are seamless and the way they flow with the world around them is just positively beautiful.I think the best part about Shadow of the Fox is that it is an own voices Japanese fantasy. I could really feel the author’s knowledge of the stories throughout the story. The stories of these people who would otherwise never come together exploring new towns and getting to know each other, and have a shit tonne of turmoil.The story ultimates from three perspectives: Yumeko, a half-kitsune who has lived in a temple her entire life but is now forced to protect a super precious scroll and travel to new lands. Kage, a samurai with a sword that is possessed by a demon that eats at him each time he uses it. Suki, the person who possibly the most tragic backstory in all of fiction – can’t say too much here due to spoilers. Yumeko and Kage are unlikely acquaintances who pick up a few other friends along the way. They experience countless other demons and danger that is enough to send goosebumps down your spine in fear. I really don’t want to say too much. I feel like this is one of those stories where you need to be unaware in order to enjoy it as much as possible. Hence why I want to keep this review as short as possible.At times I found the pacing of this a little haphazard, some parts dragged and others flew by but I typically find that in books where a journey takes place. I feel that this was would be absolutely enchanting on audiobook. It also would have been incredibly interesting to hear the pronunciation of the Japanese words. I studied Japanese for a few years in high school so some words were familiar, but I still think hearing the words would be amazing.Overall, I am really excited to see where this series goes. It is clear that Julie Kagawa has created an absolutely intricate world with awe-inspiring characters. It is something I feel blessed to have read earlier.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. YA has grown so much since I was a ‘young adult’ myself. It’s now fast paced, ambitious and not afraid of telling hard hitting stories in a number of unique and exciting ways. Because of this I’ve become incredibly tough on the YA I read and in a saturated market I want to be blown away. Shadow of the Fox promises so much. Asian culture and mythology, fantasy and a strong female lead. But unfortunately it didn’t really deliver on i I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. YA has grown so much since I was a ‘young adult’ myself. It’s now fast paced, ambitious and not afraid of telling hard hitting stories in a number of unique and exciting ways. Because of this I’ve become incredibly tough on the YA I read and in a saturated market I want to be blown away. Shadow of the Fox promises so much. Asian culture and mythology, fantasy and a strong female lead. But unfortunately it didn’t really deliver on its expectations. The writing is good, and the world is described well. I loved the insight into Japanese folklore (which is so unique in itself) and the subtle way it’s woven into the story to enhance the fantasy aspect. The beginning of the novel is also fast paced and exciting as we see Yumeko embark on her adventure to reunite a section of scroll from her destroyed temple with another. Meeting up with Tatsumi, a samurai sent from his clan to reclaim the same scroll, there’s a certain level of underlying tension that promises so much in terms of relationship development without detracting from the story.However, it was from this point on that I felt the plot didn’t really go anywhere. Nothing happens other than a number of distractions from their original plan, meeting various demons and characters from folklore along the way. The characters also seem to go from promising sexual tension to teenage angst very quickly, without much emotional depth or development to make it appealing to me. There’s just a lot of internal monologues about how beautiful they are while trying to maintain an air of aloofness. In all honesty, I’ve read it all before. As individuals, Yumeko is naive, sweet and cloistered from the world. She’s a great character to introduce new mythology from, as we see the world through her eyes in all its ‘newness’. She’s likeable, but I didn’t see enough depth to her to carry what is quite a weak plot. There’s also nothing really different or unique about her. Tatsumi is slight more interesting as the struggling samurai caught between his duties towards his clan and his growing affection for Yumeko, but again I just felt like I’d read about these characters before. Wonderful premise, with a rich in-depth look at Japanese mythology, but the weak plot and characters let it down.
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  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    a heroes journey (legit mt fave trope) featuring a girl who's half kitsune and half human?? good shit thats some Good Shit right there
  • mo
    January 1, 1970
    Shadow of the Fox has me at a loss for how to review it.It’s received so much praise already - often from other reviewers who I really respect and whose book opinions or recommendations I usually agree with or find helpful - yet despite that, it largely fell flat for me. The prose and the dialogue, in particular, were the reading equivalent of listening to nails on a chalkboard.What went wrong? Am I just an alien from another planet, operating on an entirely different wavelength from both Julie Shadow of the Fox has me at a loss for how to review it.It’s received so much praise already - often from other reviewers who I really respect and whose book opinions or recommendations I usually agree with or find helpful - yet despite that, it largely fell flat for me. The prose and the dialogue, in particular, were the reading equivalent of listening to nails on a chalkboard.What went wrong? Am I just an alien from another planet, operating on an entirely different wavelength from both Julie Kagawa and all the reviewers who loved Shadow of the Fox? Am I just a ship passing in the night, completely missing this hype...ship? Am I disappointed by this book because I had unrealistic or misguided expectations for it? Can I even hope to pick apart my complicated feelings of disappointment and ambivalence about this book?Additionally, one question which I feel is important for me, as a white person, to ask myself is this: if I dislike an ownvoices work of literature, is it my own internal biases, learned patterns of racism, and/or a lack of similar lived experiences or background knowledge which lead me to dislike the book? Am I harming initiatives to increase diversity in literature by not liking this book? I searched around for some ownvoices reviews of this novel and couldn’t find any at the time of writing, so let me know if there are reviews I should link here, or if you’re an ownvoices reader yourself.I’ll put my best effort toward examining all of this honestly, for whatever that’s worth. I’ll start things off positively by listing some things I liked.->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->The good• The fact that while a budding romance is obvious between the two central characters, Yumeko and Tatsumi, it does not take center stage. This is far more an adventure story than a pure romance fantasy (though there’s nothing wrong with those), and it would have felt out of place for their relationship to entirely subsume everything else. This romance seems like it’ll shape up to be a nice slow-burn. (I love a good slow-burn.)• The squad that seems to be gathering around Yumeko. It actually reminds me a lot of how the main group in Inuyasha came together, and from my own point of view, it seems like that was the authorial intention. I liked seeing all the squad’s personalities play off each other.• The settings were vividly portrayed. The pastoral nature imagery, in particular, was well-done and written with a nice balance between simplicity and flowery descriptions.• The incorporation of many unique and memorable creatures from Japanese mythology; it has some truly grotesque and fantastical demons, ghosts, and so on which I recommend reading about if you’re unfamiliar with them.• The opening lines and scenes. It was truly a great book- and series-opener, and instantly drew me into the setting (though I was initially confused to be reading about a human girl, Suki, rather than a monk-raised kitsune named Yumeko).I was interested enough in the plot at the end to not completely write off reading future books at the series, despite all the stuff I perceived as flaws in this one.Now it's time for me to discuss what didn't work for me, at least not completely.->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->The characters• Yumeko: I liked her well enough and enjoyed her unflappable optimism. Sometimes it can be a breath of fresh air to read from the point of view of a genuinely sweet, funny, and hopeful protagonist. I did feel she was a bit one-note but I would bet money on her having a nice character arc over the course of the series as a whole. She had some moments where she missed the obvious to the degree that it was almost painful, but I also have a soft spot for the naive-cloistered-protagonist setup, so it didn’t ultimately bother me too much.• Tatsumi, by contrast, actively frustrated me. I had a lot of sympathy for him - I don’t completely lack a heart - but I also never felt fully invested in his character. He also, for being an incredible sneaky shinobi, is maybe the most oblivious character in the book. I was waiting for him to have a moment in which he discovers a thing, and it felt like he never bothered to really check on that (spoilery) thing or investigate it because it was more narratively convenient for him to not do so.• Suki, poor Suki. The plot of the novel definitely did her dirty, because she really did feel entirely like the mere ghost of a character. It was probably intentional, and I’m also probably being nit-picky, but I was hoping for more from her.• The rest of the squad: I felt like there wasn’t quite enough time to really get to know everyone else, especially Daisuke and Reiko. They seemed engaging in the way recognizable anime archetypes can be used to build interesting but familiar first impressions of a character roster. (I don't count that as a bad thing - there are tropes in literally any work of fiction - I just hope they get developed more fully in the future.)->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->The dialogue & narrationNow to address what bothered me the most about this novel: its writing style, especially for dialogue and action narration.Reading this book was like experiencing the “JUST ACCORDING TO KEIKAKU [translator’s note: KEIKAKU means PLAN]” meme over and over and over again, until it felt like a comically-oversized mallet was hitting me over the head. Randomly inserting a “nani” in place of “what,” “hai” instead of “yes,” or “ano” instead of “um” made the dialogue so awkward to read.Like, c’mon. There were instances of phrasing like “a kama sickle.” Kama means sickle, so...a sickle sickle? And at one point, a character literally yells out that others are “bakas.” Why. Oh my god. I genuinely hope the final published version has some of these edited out. Maybe this was simply the type of writing I don’t enjoy. Am I just too picky??? I don’t know, y’all. I do think English-speaking otaku will be totally fine with the dialogue or even prefer it like this, though.Even with me being annoyed by the writing, I would much prefer a Japanese or Japanese-American person writing a fantasy inspired by Japan and writing it this way than a white author going buck wild with ~~inspiration~~ from Japanese culture/mythology and doing a shitty, offensively-appropriated job of it. That’s already been done way too fucking much.->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->The plotThis book reminded me of shounen anime and manga like Inuyasha in good and bad ways. The good - that it was filled with action scenes and snappy character dynamics. The bad - the feeling that much of the plot was filler.There’s absolutely nothing wrong with extra scenes for character development here and there, but this novel truly felt episodic in a way I don’t think I’ve ever experienced in a novel before. It read like a compilation volume of a manga with separate, individually-published stories contained within it. Not a bad thing, necessarily, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->ConclusionI think if readers go into Shadow of the Fox expecting an anime-style adventure geared toward tweens and younger teens with elements of Japanese mythology, they will likely have a good time. In thinking about this book for several days after finishing it and in the process of writing this review, I mostly just feel like this was a case of misguided expectations on my part. I blame myself for not enjoying it more. As I put it in one of my goodreads updates for this book, I haven’t felt so bad for not loving a book in a while - I really thought this would be a new favorite for me.Despite my own misgivings, I definitely think that this will be a fun and engaging read for many, and I encourage you to check it out if its premise or synopsis interests you. I think this will be an excellent read for a large number of people, and it might be extra exciting for young Japanese-American teens in particular. Also, it’s got a gorgeous cover, and I have high hopes that the series will improve with future installments of it.So, yeah. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Mo Overthinks Things, and thanks as well for reading all the way to the end if you made it here.->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->Thanks to Edelweiss and Harlequin Teen for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from a pre-release copy and may be subject to change in the final published version.What did you think about this book, if you’ve read it?blog | instagram | twitter | bloglovin
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  • L.C. Perry
    January 1, 1970
    JAPANESE MYTHOLOGY????*fangirls*And not only that but this blurb sounds awesome! Gimme!
  • Patricia Bejarano
    January 1, 1970
    Este libro ha sido MARAVILLOSO y me quedo corta con esa palabra. No hay duda que la ambientación el la Japón feudal es increíble y que la autora se ha documentado a fondo para poder escribir esta historia y que el worldbuilding sea absolutamente perfecto. Eso consiguió que me sintiera dentro de esta historia con los personajes y que en los momentos de menos acción cuando me narraban algo sobre este mundo, quedada prendada de la narrativa. En esta historia, los fantasmas, los demonios, los monstr Este libro ha sido MARAVILLOSO y me quedo corta con esa palabra. No hay duda que la ambientación el la Japón feudal es increíble y que la autora se ha documentado a fondo para poder escribir esta historia y que el worldbuilding sea absolutamente perfecto. Eso consiguió que me sintiera dentro de esta historia con los personajes y que en los momentos de menos acción cuando me narraban algo sobre este mundo, quedada prendada de la narrativa. En esta historia, los fantasmas, los demonios, los monstruos y muchos otros seres como dioses están presentes, por lo que os podéis imaginar la cantidad de fantasía que llena las páginas de este libro. Mezclando estas criaturas fantásticas de la mitología japonesa con samuráis, tramas palaciegas y un gran viaje lleno de obstáculos, este libro es todo lo que estáis buscando leer si os apetece una buena lectura de fantasía. Tenemos a dos protagonistas principales. Yumeko es mitad humana, mitad Kitsune. Este fue el motivo principal que me hizo querer leer el libro. Los Kitsunes siempre me han molado mucho desde que vi Teen Wolf, y aunque no tiene nada que ver con este libro, me hacía muchísima ilusión leer algo donde la protagonista fuera una Kitsune y ME HA APASIONADO. Yumeko es un personaje muy tierno, divertido, valiente y llena de vitalidad. Su perseverancia y su lucha constante, con ese toque mágico por ser una kitsune ha hecho que sea un personaje que desde el minuto uno me conquistara. Luego tenemos a Tatsumi, un samurái del Clan de la Sombra. Obligado a no sentir nada y seguir las órdenes de su Clan, Tatsumi es un personaje muy misterioso y oscuro. Porta también una espada poseída por un demonio, el cual intenta poseer a Tatsumi en cada momento de debilidad y él debe evitarlo a toda costas. Debo decir que mi amor por Tatsumi fue creciendo poco a poco. Es un personaje muy diferente. Yumeko vive en un templo, que es arrasado por un Oni y ella, siendo la única superviviente, tiene que llevar parte de un pergamino a otro lugar seguro para evitar que invoquen al gran dios Dragón y destruyan el mundo tal cual le conocen. La misión de Tatsumi también es encontrar ese pergamino para su Clan. Pero las misiones de ambos personajes se cruzan y empezarán a recorrer un largo y tedioso camino, llenos de peligros que solo juntos podrán combatir. A lo largo de la historia también se va añadiendo a la aventura algún que otro personaje como Okame, un ronin al que cogí mucho cariño. Este personaje le da un toque de humor muy bueno a la historia, ya que está llena de momentos de acción en todos los capítulos y él, hasta en los momentos de mayor tensión, te hacía sonreír. Me ha parecido una maravilla, no le encuentro ningún fallo a la historia. Al principio es lenta, sí. Pero pensad que la autora os tiene que meter en el este mundo y que lo conozcáis para poder leerlo. Y es la primera parte de una trilogía, por lo tanto, hay cosas que tienen que estar en esta historia y no en las siguientes.Estoy traumatizada con el final, necesito respuestas YA. Tardé mucho en asimilar el final tan épico y a la vez tan impactante que ha tenido esta historia. Sin duda, si los siguientes libros siguen siendo así de increíbles, va a ser una de mis trilogías favoritas.
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  • Ashlee » Library In The Country
    January 1, 1970
    Review copy generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewShadow of the Fox was a fun ride through a lush Japanese inspired landscape and not at all what I was expecting! I loved so much of this story and found it completely entrancing. If you're looking for a thoroughly developed fantasy world, enchanting mythology and lore, morally grey characters, and a centuries old mystery to unravel ... THIS is the book for you.Yumi is part human, part kitsune (fox) in Review copy generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewShadow of the Fox was a fun ride through a lush Japanese inspired landscape and not at all what I was expecting! I loved so much of this story and found it completely entrancing. If you're looking for a thoroughly developed fantasy world, enchanting mythology and lore, morally grey characters, and a centuries old mystery to unravel ... THIS is the book for you.Yumi is part human, part kitsune (fox) in a world that both revers and fears her kind. Raised amongst monks, she has little experience with the outside world but dreams of experiencing everything. After a massacre upends her whole world, Yumi is thrust into the world she has so dearly mused over.Tatsumi is a samurai and demonslayer, tasked with retrieving an ancient artifact for his clan. Raised to be cold and unquestioning of his orders, Tatsumi is the perfect warrior, provided he keeps control over his darkness. Fate brings Yumi and Tatsumi together and with similar goals in mind, they choose to travel together. However, neither has been honest with the other and its only a matter of time before their ruses begin to unravel.From the very first chapter of this story I was absolutely captivated by the world Kagawa has created! So much happens right from the start, I was totally invested in Suki's story (and feeling SO upset for her!) and was absolutely shocked when the first chapter took the turn it did! Way to reel your readers in! If you can read it and NOT want to devour the rest of the book, you must be in the worst of all book slumps.I LOVED Yumi's true nature and every subtle nod at her wiliness and tricks throughout the story. Her naivety about the outside world and desire to help everyone is so sweet! That said, her curiosity and disregard for danger was a little taxing at times. Tatsumi is by-far the most complex and fascinating character in this story. He's my favorite (are we surprised? we are not.) and the moral dilemmas he faces through this story played a huge role on the plot and his character development. Tatsumi harbors some very Shadowsinger-esque abilities and I was like: YAAASSSS. I thoroughly enjoyed how he came to grow fond of Yumi, began to question his own life's path and tried perilously to keep hold of his humanity. This book also has a great group of supporting characters - such as Suki, Daisuke and Okami! Every character has an important role to play in this story and not one felt like they didn't belong. My heart STILL hurts over Suki's situation. I was totally NOT explecting Daisuke to return to the story the way he did and came to adore his chivalry and "deal" with Tatsumi. Okami's humor and aloofness was exactly what this story needed and he came at the perfect time. I cannot get over how rag-tag, yet PERFECT Yumi and Tatsumi's fellowship becomes. Also, the smattering of romance in this never felt forced or unnatural. This is slow burn and NOT insta-love. There was a natural progression of the primary relationship: from allies, to feeling fond of each other to feeling more. If you are looking for a book with a LOT of romance, this is not the book for you. BUT - if you are looking for a book in which the romance plays a large role on the progression of the story, here you have it!The only things I really didn't like about this was Yumi's character at times and the sometimes confusing name dropping of Japanese mythology and lore. Don't get me wrong - I LOVED the mythology in this, but there is a LOT of it and I constantly found myself Googling things so I could gain a better understanding of what I was reading about. You will encounter a bunch of Japanese creatures - especially those of the supernatural realm - and it can be a lot to keep up with at first! Overall, this was a really fantastic novel! Despite having her Iron Fey series on my bookshelves, this was the first time I had read something by Julie Kagawa and she lived up to my expectations! I'll certainly be reading more by her and will ABSOLUTELY be investing my time into this series as it progresses! I NEED to see where it goes after that ending! (OH MY GAWD)
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    A thousand years before, a wish was granted and the land of Iwagoto suffered. Now is the time for a new age, a new wish and a new world, but that wish will only be granted to the holder of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. One half-kitsune raised by monks will be tasked with a part of that precious scroll and a quest to find the rest. The fate of her world will rest on her shoulders, but she will not journey alone as an unlikely group of allies join with her, unaware she hides a piece of the pri A thousand years before, a wish was granted and the land of Iwagoto suffered. Now is the time for a new age, a new wish and a new world, but that wish will only be granted to the holder of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. One half-kitsune raised by monks will be tasked with a part of that precious scroll and a quest to find the rest. The fate of her world will rest on her shoulders, but she will not journey alone as an unlikely group of allies join with her, unaware she hides a piece of the prize.SHADOW OF THE FOX by Julie Kagawa is a beautiful tale of magical beings, mystical places and a journey that will test the mettle of all who take it. Mystery abounds, suspense hangs heavy and demonic danger will nip at their heels as good races against evil for the future of the world.Julie Kagawa has used fabulous descriptions to draw readers in while deftly twisting her tale just enough that the “light at the end of the tunnel” is just out of reach, keeping readers guessing at what will happen next. An amazing journey, a captivating read and incredibly likable characters makes this tale a strong foundation for what promises to be an entrancing series!I received a complimentary ARC edition from Harlequin Teen!Series: Shadow of the Fox - Book 1Publication Date: October 2, 2018Publisher: Harlequin TeenGenre: YA FantasyPrint Length: 416 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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