Publishing Date: October 8 2012
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Page count: 312 (paperback)
Tavian just wanted to go on a holiday to Japan with his shapeshifter girlfriend Gwen. He had no idea his shapeshifting past would catch up to him upon return to his homeland: his kitsune (fox) mother is looking for him, he is haunted by a faceless ghost, and seemingly around every corner a bunch of gangster shapeshifting dogs are on his heels. Oh, and did I mention that if Tavian doesn’t discover his true name soon, his own shapeshifting power will kill him?
Foxfire was a brilliant book – the third in its series, but I took a risk by not reading the first two. About halfway through reading Foxfire I decided I wanted to read Gwen’s story, because she is a badass. Tavian’s story is a Japanese urban fantasy and as such, the required Japanese words are thrown around a lot – luckily my Kindle dictionary could translate a few of the words that I occasionally forgot. The cool thing about this book is that Karen Kincy has clearly done some research into how the Japanese speak, and how a Japanese-American with little knowledge of his former language would speak as well. I personally felt that too many English words were replaced by the Japanese when an English word was perfectly acceptable, but that’s just a matter of taste. I found the use of the word ‘kitsune’ (which is ‘fox’ in Japanese) to be particularly awesome –a kitsune in Japan is a woman who can turn into a fox. Tavian also provided a lot of translation on the page as well, which was a nice touch.
Tavian was a lovely character to read about and follow his adventures. I am not afraid to admit that I do not often read books from a male perspective, but Tavian was refreshingly honest, mature, sweet, and kind. He had a curiosity to him that I really liked. I didn’t however really get the seriousness of his situation, and I didn’t feel that he was taking his impending death seriously enough. There was a deadline to the story that ended before he was due to fly back to America with Gwen, but I didn’t feel a particular sense of urgency. I also fell in love with his girlfriend, Gwen, the heroine of Book 1. She can shapeshift into any form, whereas Tavian can only turn into a fox. Gwen was feisty, brave, beautiful, and slightly reckless: all the qualities of my favourite girls. I also got the picture that her bravery and recklessness could lead her into a lot of trouble.
Overall I enjoyed reading Foxfire: perhaps it wasn’t my favourite kind of tea, but I still enjoyed the cuppa. The most important thing about reading Book 3 in the series is that it has made me want to read Book 1, and I guess that’s what reading is all about, right?
An advance reader copy was kindly provided by the publisher.