Mundie Moms

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book Review: The Night Itself by Zoe Marriott

Written by: Zoe Marriott (blog | twitter | goodreads)
Series: The Name of the Blade #1
Publisher: Walker Books / Candlewick Press (U.S. release date: Autumn 2014)
Release Date: July 4, 2013
Source: Purchased

Buy: | amazon | Book Depository

The Night Itself (The Name of the Blade, #1)

Rating: 5 out of 5 brilliant stars!!! 

Synopsis: A breathtaking new urban fantasy trilogy from the critically acclaimed, award winning author of The Swan Kingdom and Shadows on the Moon.

When fifteen year old Mio Yamato furtively sneaks the katana - an ancestral Japanese sword - out of its hiding place in her parent's attic to help liven up her Christmas party costume, she has no idea of the darkness she is about to unleash on modern day London, or the family secrets that she is going to uncover.

The paralysing paranoia that descends on her before she gets to her friend's party is her first clue. The vivid and terrifying visions that nearly get her killed are a pretty good warning too.

The giant nine-tailed cat demon that comes after the sword and tries to rip her throat out? Overkill. Seconds away from becoming kitty-food, Mio is saved by Shinobu, a mysterious warrior boy. But it's already too late. Mio has ruptured the veil between the mortal realm and the Underworld, and now the gods and monsters of ancient Japan stalk the streets of London, searching for her and the sword.

With the help of her best friend Jack, a fox spirit named Hikaru - and the devoted protection of the betwitchingly familiar Shinobu - Mio attempts to discover the true nature of the sword and its connection to the Yamato family. Because if she doesn't learn how to control the katana's incredible powers, she's in danger of being overwhelmed by them. And if she can't keep the sword safe from the terrible creatures who want it for their own, she'll lose not only her own life... but the love of a lifetime

Okay, after that synopsis do you really need my review? Here's what I wrote on goodreads immediately after I finished reading The Night Itself:
Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! I need more than 5-stars! Also U.S. publishers someone please, please pick this series up now!

What a brilliantly told urban fantasy story. I'm fully immersed in Zoe's Japanese-myth inspired world. I kinda don't want to leave it for another story.

Full review to come, but you guys, you need to meet Mio. She's one heck of a heroine. LOVE her, her uncertainty in critical times and her choice of Hello Kitty undergarments (HA! That image still makes me giggle!).

And Shinobu, my beloved Hot Boy with Sword character type. But in Zoe's hands, he has a lovely back-story and oh boy, is he ever swoony.

Oh wait, I need to mention Jack and Hikaru for making me laugh and gasp at their antics and well timed loyalties.


All I really need to add to this is while I was reading it (and I do mean the entire time), I kept thinking about the very first time I read City of Bones and how hard I fell in love with Cassie's characters. I haven't experienced that feeling (fully) until I picked up The Night Itself.  And now you're going to wonder, but what about the romance? Because Cassie always has that, right? Well, all I will tell you is that Zoe wrote in this moment, this little, innocent, sweet moment where my heart just went BOOM. Complete and utter BOOM. And I know you Mundie Moms know that level of BOOM.

So, if you love YA urban fantasy stories like I know you do, don't hesitate to pick up The Night Itself. You may have to chase it down a little and I've included the purchase links. But the chase is worth it.  It's a must-read for all Mundie Moms. And yes you guessed it, I may be re-reading said BOOM moment, right now.

And I have an update from Zoe that Candlewick Press has picked up the U.S. publishing rights and will release the book in the Fall of 2014 under the name of The Name of the Blade. Congratulations Zoe!