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Customer Review

Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on January 3, 2022
I really loved this book. It was such a fresh take on YA historical fantasy. It follows Ren, a half Japanese Shinigami, half British Reaper girl, who collects souls and delivers to them to the god of death. Being half Japanese, she is never truly accepted in Britain and decides she's had enough after an intense altercation with the other Reapers. She travels to Japan along with her brother where she is tasked by Japan's goddess of death to kill three demon-like creatures in order to be accepted as a true Shinigami. They also meet Hiro. An outsider himself and hoping to gain favour with the goddess, he acts as their guide and Ren's love interest.

In terms of plot, you've got your classical monster hunting quest, but the focus on Japanese mythology really breathed fresh life into this trope. Since Ren herself is somewhat of an outsider, the myths are introduced in a way that's very accessible to a reader with little to no knowledge of Japan. I also never realized how cool and creepy Japanese myths are.

I loved reading about Ren. She's an angry, selfish, morally grey heroine which was so refreshing to read. It seems like every YA heroine is self sacrificing and always does the right thing, which gets boring and I don't find it very relatable. Ren really wasn't afraid to take what she wanted and I was here for it. I connected so much with her whole "I'm a bad person and I don't care" attitude.

A large focus in the book was Ren's half British, half Japanese heritage, how she is not really accepted in either society, and her search for belonging. While I couldn't directly relate to her situation, it was really interesting to read about and caused me to do a lot of introspection around my own heritage.

Also the ending to this book was wild. So much went down in the last 5% of the book. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book because I have no idea where the story is going to go or what an ideal ending would be. Definitely recommend!
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