First of all, Julie Kagawa is amazing! I’m still in the process of reading her Iron Fey series, but I came across Shadow of the Fox and had to read it. I’m used to her writing about fae, not yokai in feudal Japan but she did both wonderfully.
This book combines so many of my favorite things. One, Julie Kagawa. Two, Japanese mythology/folklore. I’m not used to seeing that in YA books and I loved seeing it here. Three, it takes place in a feudal Japan type of setting. The inner nerd in me got really excited for the samurai and political conflicts and all of that kind of stuff. Fourth, a bunch of weirdos going on a quest. While all the characters have different motives for going on this journey, they form a little ragtag group of weirdos who I found rather amusing.
I’ll admit, sometimes Yumeko was a rather cringey protagonist. By that I mean, naive girl who keeps getting in danger and keeps getting saved by the handsome swordsman. Other than that, I enjoyed her curious and mischievous nature as well as her determination to see her task through to the end.
I gave this book a 4 mostly because I liked the idea of it and the author’s writing. As far as the plot, I would not give it as high of a rating. The beginning and end were the main points that actually dealt with plot; the middle was kind of a just “group of weirdos on an adventure.” I do enjoy that, but it went on for a very very veryyyyyy long time. Also, I am not a fan of multiple POVs without character labels! I had no idea who was speaking at the beginning of a few chapters.
Ultimately, this book was interesting and enjoyable, but it definitely was tedious at times. I’m hoping that the sequel redeems this book!