Tuesday, June 04, 2013
REVIEW: The Night Itself by Zoe Marriott
The Night Itself is the first book in a planned trilogy and I love how the rest of the series is so nicely set up in this first book from the characters, the demons, the history of the katana and especially the foxes.
The action kicks off with Mio, a 15 year old living in London, off to a costume party with her best friend and Mio decides that what she really needs to complete her outfit is this old Japanese sword that has been in her family for generations. Taking the katana out of its hiding place in the loft has managed to tear a hole between Mio's world and the underworld unleashing demons onto the streets of London. With the help of her best friend, Jack, a fox spirit, and an immortal Japanese warrior who has been trapped within the katana, Mio must face down the demons and learn to control the power of her family's katana.
I love the action in this book. There are demons aplenty here and some really creepy cats and danger that Mio and her band of strange allies must face. It was all pretty exciting to witness. And I really love that all of this is set in modern-day London. It all feels a little more real to me when its a demon wreaking havoc on someplace that I recognise rather than an unknown fantasy world. So I think this switch to an urban fantasy setting really works for me. The inclusion of the fox spirits was genius. I loved everything about the foxes, from the heirarchy of power, to the numerous tails and portals and everything...
I also love the bits of information that we get about Japanese culture in this book, from the manga/anime references to learning kendo to the katana and the history and origins of this underworld filled with vicious demons. Japan is one of those places that I love reading about, so The Night Itself really made me happy!
And then there are the characters. The friendship between Mio and Jack was wonderful. I loved the promise that is made between Mio and Jack and how much that promise weighs on Mio's conscience throughout the book. And while I'm not usually the biggest fan of instalove I thought that it really worked in this book. At times I was thinking that I really wanted to see more of a build-up in this relationship between Mio and Shinobu it was also just really easy to believe in it and want wholeheartedly for them to be together as a couple. I really loved the strength of feeling and loyalty from Shinobu especially.
I am so looking forward to reading more in this series! I just want more of everything. More foxes and demons and kick-ass teenage girls and swoony romance and Japanese culture and friendship. It's exciting stuff!