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A Thousand Steps into Night

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From New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, Traci Chee, comes a Japanese-influenced fantasy brimming with demons, adventure, and plans gone awry. In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter. But when Miuko is cursed a From New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, Traci Chee, comes a Japanese-influenced fantasy brimming with demons, adventure, and plans gone awry. In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter. But when Miuko is cursed and begins to transform into a demon with a deadly touch, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life. Aided by a thieving magpie spirit and continuously thwarted by a demon prince, Miuko must outfox tricksters, escape demon hunters, and negotiate with feral gods if she wants to make it home again. But with her transformation comes power and freedom she never even dreamed of, and she’ll have to decide if saving her soul is worth trying to cram herself back into an ordinary life that no longer fits her… and perhaps never did.


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From New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, Traci Chee, comes a Japanese-influenced fantasy brimming with demons, adventure, and plans gone awry. In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter. But when Miuko is cursed a From New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, Traci Chee, comes a Japanese-influenced fantasy brimming with demons, adventure, and plans gone awry. In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter. But when Miuko is cursed and begins to transform into a demon with a deadly touch, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life. Aided by a thieving magpie spirit and continuously thwarted by a demon prince, Miuko must outfox tricksters, escape demon hunters, and negotiate with feral gods if she wants to make it home again. But with her transformation comes power and freedom she never even dreamed of, and she’ll have to decide if saving her soul is worth trying to cram herself back into an ordinary life that no longer fits her… and perhaps never did.

30 review for A Thousand Steps into Night

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    i rarely ask for ARCs by authors ive never read before because i dont want to take the risk of not liking it. but once i saw the synopsis for this, i knew i had to read it. and TC has now become a must-read author for me! i loved the how this story has a very fairytale-esque vibe. the east asian fantasy stories ive read have always had more of a folktale feel to them, but this feels very whimsical and magical like fairytales do. its a story that features an epic journey with a lot of different si i rarely ask for ARCs by authors ive never read before because i dont want to take the risk of not liking it. but once i saw the synopsis for this, i knew i had to read it. and TC has now become a must-read author for me! i loved the how this story has a very fairytale-esque vibe. the east asian fantasy stories ive read have always had more of a folktale feel to them, but this feels very whimsical and magical like fairytales do. its a story that features an epic journey with a lot of different side quests, various gods and spirits, and some pretty great characters (geiki the magpie spirit steals whatever scene he is in - i love him!). and although i thought the ending was a bit rushed, i liked the writing overall and thought the story was wrapped up nicely. what i also really enjoyed was that my copy had annotated footnotes to provide definitions, pronunciations, and some commentary for all the japanese terms and translations. i cant tell how much more convenient it is to look at the bottom of the page rather than flip to a glossary in the back. i really hope this is a feature that is included in the final publication. so what a great introduction to TCs storytelling. cant wait to read more of her books and see what she comes up with next! thank you clarion books for the ARC! ↠ 4 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    Ghibli fantasy lovers, listen up. I cried when I finished reading this. Not because it was sad, but because I was so awestruck and overwhelmed by how bloody good this book was. A Thousand Steps into Night is absolutely phenomenal. A Thousand Steps into Night is a dark feminist Japanese-inspired fantasy adventure. It follows Miuko, an ordinary girl living in a no-where village, who becomes cursed by a demon and is forced on a journey to undo the curse. Phenomenal worldbuilding and amazing storytel Ghibli fantasy lovers, listen up. I cried when I finished reading this. Not because it was sad, but because I was so awestruck and overwhelmed by how bloody good this book was. A Thousand Steps into Night is absolutely phenomenal. A Thousand Steps into Night is a dark feminist Japanese-inspired fantasy adventure. It follows Miuko, an ordinary girl living in a no-where village, who becomes cursed by a demon and is forced on a journey to undo the curse. Phenomenal worldbuilding and amazing storytelling. The story has footnotes, an awesome storytelling choice that provides pronunciation, definitions, context and history that deepens the worldbuilding. The cast of characters are also wonderful. Miuko is a fantastic protagonist, flawed, complex, and a joy to follow on her journey, and the different people that she meets in her journey (especially Geiki, a magpie spirit) were interesting in their own right. The story delves into sexism and patriarchal oppression. In the world of Awara, girls are expected to be quiet, demure, obedient, defined by their relation with a man, whether it be family or a husband. Quiet, understated rage simmers across the story, anger at the subjugation, oppression and powerlessness of girls in such a world. So when Miuko's curse lends her demonic power and strength, she will have to choose: relinquish her humanity and possess the power of a demon, or save her humanity and relinquish herself to a life of powerlessness? There is an awesome shift midway that completely surprised me and I enjoyed. The second half of the story is just as fantastic as the first, delving deeper into this question of power. Perhaps what matter isn't just who has power, but also what we do with the power that we possess. I loved this so much. A story that will stay with me and one that I'll think about forever. I was provided an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    a Japanese-inspired YA fantasy brimming with demons, romance, and plans gone awry YES PLS MY INNER-INUYASHA FAN IS SCREAMING

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee is a young adult fantasy novel. The story in A Thousand Steps into Night is one that is heavily influenced by Japanese culture and is a standalone fantasy read. Miuko is a just an ordinary girl, the daughter of an innkeeper, in the realm of Awara where all types of other creatures exist. Miuko never expected to one day find herself cursed but she did and now she has to find a way to reverse the curse before she ends up turning into a demon sending Miuko o A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee is a young adult fantasy novel. The story in A Thousand Steps into Night is one that is heavily influenced by Japanese culture and is a standalone fantasy read. Miuko is a just an ordinary girl, the daughter of an innkeeper, in the realm of Awara where all types of other creatures exist. Miuko never expected to one day find herself cursed but she did and now she has to find a way to reverse the curse before she ends up turning into a demon sending Miuko out to places a normal human girl would never dare travel. A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee for me was a solid young adult fantasy read but not one I was overly excited about when finishing. For me the story flowed at a decent pace but not overly fast either and there were a few instances when reading I thought things felt a tad repetitive. The world building was solid though and the adventure interesting and I do find myself on the lower side of ratings so if this sounds good to others I’d suggest trying it out. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marquise

    What a charming fairy tale-like book this was! With a plucky heroine that is neither your stereotypical beauty nor an overpowered badass, it's enchanting and has a feel of reading a traditional fairy tale rather than a YA fantasy. It's the tale of Otori Miuko, an ordinary girl in every sense of the word from looks to social status to intellect, and yet for all her ordinariness, she's also endearingly resourceful and enterprising. Relatable, too. She's clumsy, shy, socially awkward, but caring and What a charming fairy tale-like book this was! With a plucky heroine that is neither your stereotypical beauty nor an overpowered badass, it's enchanting and has a feel of reading a traditional fairy tale rather than a YA fantasy. It's the tale of Otori Miuko, an ordinary girl in every sense of the word from looks to social status to intellect, and yet for all her ordinariness, she's also endearingly resourceful and enterprising. Relatable, too. She's clumsy, shy, socially awkward, but caring and lovable, and so strong-willed she won't let a trifle like a curse slowly turning her into a demon destroy her tranquil life. It's this relatability and commonness that makes her so appealing, and the book's strength. Besides the worldbuilding, that is. Awara, the world the story is set in, is very obviously based on Japan as it's easy to guess just from the names of people and places. But I'd say it's not exclusively Japan because I could detect a small sprinkling of Chinese folklore thrown in, somewhat harder to detect but that is there and adds a bit more subtle layer of colour. It's not merely a Fantasy Japan with names modified either, because you can feel the creatures and the people live and breathe in this world, so not a cardboard film set as many fantastical worlds are, a feel of authenticity that's much appreciated. And the rapport and chemistry between the main character and the sidekick is palpable. There's no romance, but you won't miss it as you follow Miuko and Geiki around on the quest to find a cure for her curse and to save Awara from a malign force. Miuko might take time to sneak her way into your heart, but Geiki will do that right away, chatty and funny as he is, although he may also sound a bit too childish at times. I personally would've preferred someone more mature as Miuko's counterpart, though I also liked that she's the sole hero of the book and has her own quest that she completes on her own by merit without needing someone else to move her forward. Sometimes, you do need a lone heroine instead of a pair or a fellowship to spice up the questing trope, and besides it fits perfectly with the fairy tale-esque style the book is written in. The start is slow, so it is going to take a while to get into the story. But once it picks up a speedy pace, it'll be one adventure after another until the end, so have patience at the start. It took time for the plot to grab me, too, and it paid off. I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Ngan

    Everything you look for in a fairytale: whimsy, adventure, and a touch of darkness. Chee brings the Japanese-inspired realm of Awara into vivid life, and I was caught up in this story from the very beginning, rooting for Miuko every step of the way.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shannara

    This book was absolutely a crazy, wonderful, and magical adventure!!! Miuko is an interesting main character and I adored her clumsiness, definitely not at all because I’m clumsy… 😝 The story takes off pretty quickly after you start reading and doesn’t stop from that point on. It’s super quick and things are constantly popping. This poor girl just can’t catch a break for the life of her!! But along the way, she does make some friends and I absolutely love each one of them!! By the end, I just wa This book was absolutely a crazy, wonderful, and magical adventure!!! Miuko is an interesting main character and I adored her clumsiness, definitely not at all because I’m clumsy… 😝 The story takes off pretty quickly after you start reading and doesn’t stop from that point on. It’s super quick and things are constantly popping. This poor girl just can’t catch a break for the life of her!! But along the way, she does make some friends and I absolutely love each one of them!! By the end, I just wanted her journey to start all over again because I’m sure I’ve missed stuffed since there was so much going on the whole time!!! The setting is seriously pure magic, encountering spirits left and right and then the gods start showing up too. Basically it’s Spirited Away on steroids… I would honestly just die if this became a movie. Mainly because it deserves to be honored in that way, especially by someone as talented as Hayao Miyazaki. So can that just happen please?!?!?! The villain of our story is just so different from most of the villains I encounter in books and movies. He’s not afraid to do what he threatens, and without our main bad guy monologues. It’s almost refreshing. 🤦🏻‍♀️ And he’s not even our only villain!!! There are several that we encounter throughout the book. And I loved that dynamic. Super fun challenges for Miuko to face. So basically this is my favorite book so far this year and I feel like it’s going to be difficult to too. Of course, it’s still early in the year, but still. Big shoes to fill here, big shoes!!! I recommend this to those who love YA adventures and fantasies, fantastic bad guys, and lots of Japanese lore!! Thanks so much to NetGalley, Clarion Books, and Traci Chee for the opportunity to read this for my honest and unbiased opinion!!!! Wow!!! Just, wow!!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    ♠ TABI⁷ ♠

    ayoo we like that cover

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A Thousand Steps into Night introduces you to an ordinary girl name Miuko. Even though she is seen as ordinary, she is anything but. Now I really liked getting to know her because she seemed somewhat relatable. She's clumsy, shy, and completely awkward during certain situations. Which, yes, I feel like covid, and the pandemic, made everyone a little bit awkward socially. Or maybe that's just me? Besides that, she's also uni I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A Thousand Steps into Night introduces you to an ordinary girl name Miuko. Even though she is seen as ordinary, she is anything but. Now I really liked getting to know her because she seemed somewhat relatable. She's clumsy, shy, and completely awkward during certain situations. Which, yes, I feel like covid, and the pandemic, made everyone a little bit awkward socially. Or maybe that's just me? Besides that, she's also unique due to her curse. So, yeah, I don't know about you... but I don't know many people turning into a demon lately. Other than that, I liked the fairy-tale/folklore vibe that this whole book was giving. Each page was just so easy to devour. Especially when it came down to the chemistry between Miuko and Geiki. In the end, I'm so happy that I got the chance to jump into this magical adventure. It was the perfect book to jump into on a lazy Saturday morning. I will definitely be diving into another one of Traci's books soon.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    I do, in fact, need more Japanese-inspired fantasy thank you.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    3.5 stars, but I currently feel like I can round it up due to my level of enjoyment! The fairytale like quality of this story coupled with a main character who is easy to root for and like (especially for being her stubborn, loud self) heavily contributed to my enjoyment. I could totally see this being made into an anime - it would be quite fun to watch!

  12. 5 out of 5

    gauri

    this book gives what it promises! adventures, supernatural creatures, demons, talking animal companions and a worldbuilding heavily influenced by japanese folklore. i loved miuko's character and how she made her place in a patriarchal society, how she remained the loud and cheery girl while also saving her friends and country. the pacing was another thing that impressed me, fast enough to keep me intrigued in miuko's journey. while the book was enjoyable for most part, the ending was definitely this book gives what it promises! adventures, supernatural creatures, demons, talking animal companions and a worldbuilding heavily influenced by japanese folklore. i loved miuko's character and how she made her place in a patriarchal society, how she remained the loud and cheery girl while also saving her friends and country. the pacing was another thing that impressed me, fast enough to keep me intrigued in miuko's journey. while the book was enjoyable for most part, the ending was definitely rushed. the whole concept of a character trying to make miuko embrace her demon self was underwhelming and these two drawbacks combined didn't leave me satisfied with how the story ends. but otherwise, i do recomment a thousand steps into the night if you're looking for a short, fun read! it has great character growth, humourous conversations, spirts, demons and great folklore. thank you clarion books and netgalley for the arc!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bon

    DNF 65%. I really don't know what it was with this book, because the ingredients and world for a story I'd love are there. But it's a story-driven plot and I couldn't care less for the characters, or the narrator on audio. I kept pausing this and it was pulling teeth to get back to it. Shame. Passing this along to the line of holders at the library. DNF 65%. I really don't know what it was with this book, because the ingredients and world for a story I'd love are there. But it's a story-driven plot and I couldn't care less for the characters, or the narrator on audio. I kept pausing this and it was pulling teeth to get back to it. Shame. Passing this along to the line of holders at the library.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sahitya

    I have never read any Traci Chee book before but I do own one of them and they’ve been on my radar for a long time. So, when I got the opportunity to read this arc which had such a fun premise, I couldn’t resist. I’m always up for books with fairytale feels and folklore inspirations and this book, with a blend of both, was super entertaining and fun. The world building is very immersive and we feel transported to Awara, meeting all the supernatural creatures. There were footnotes with explanatio I have never read any Traci Chee book before but I do own one of them and they’ve been on my radar for a long time. So, when I got the opportunity to read this arc which had such a fun premise, I couldn’t resist. I’m always up for books with fairytale feels and folklore inspirations and this book, with a blend of both, was super entertaining and fun. The world building is very immersive and we feel transported to Awara, meeting all the supernatural creatures. There were footnotes with explanations for terms, meanings and any underlying stories associated, along with pronunciations and I thought it was a perfect way to get to know the history of this world better. The writing is wonderful and fast paced and the adventure is very engaging, making me wonder every chapter where it was going next. And the fairytale feel was so strong that I knew ultimately, good would prevail. The main theme of the book is also something I really enjoy when explored in SFF. Awara is a very patriarchal and misogynistic society with very a confined and restricted role for women and anyone crossing them is made to suffer. The author explores the confines and possibilities that gaining power can provide to a woman from such an environment. I thought the discussion about what is more important - never being powerless again or retaining one’s humanity even if it means going back to a powerless existence - was very thoughtful and fascinating. And the story also proved that just having power doesn’t mean anything, it’s what is done with the power that gives meaning to it. Muiko is an ordinary girl living in a forgotten village but she has always felt that she doesn’t fit the box that she is expected to limit herself to. When she is cursed and chased away from her village, but the curse also keeps giving her more power, she faces the dilemma of what she wants to be - a malevolent demon who is shunned by everyone and is destined to kill, or a human woman with all the restrictions that come with her regressive society. The rest of the story is about what this young, kind but loud woman wants to choose for herself but frankly, it’s never in doubt what she will do to protect the people she cares about and maybe even the country which doesn’t actually accept her the way she is. In her adventures, she is aptly supported by her new found friend Geiki, who is a magpie spirit and can’t resist stealing whatever shiny thing he comes across. But he is absolute hoot whenever he is on page and probably the main source of entertainment throughout. We also encounter many other different kinds of spirits, humans, demigods and gods who all end up helping Muiko in their own ways and it all made for such a thoroughly captivating journey. Overall, this was the perfect kind of fairytale-esque Japanese folklore inspired story I could have asked for which is full of thrilling adventures, an enchanting world and a cast of characters who are very easy to love. I’m so glad I finally got to experience Traci’s writing and can’t wait to checkout their backlist.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    “I think you have folded yourself into the shape that others expect of you; but that shape does not suit you, has never suited you, and all your young life, you have been dying to be free of it." TW: abandonment, animal death, assault (forced kiss), confinement, domestic abuse, kidnapping, misogyny, murder, sexism, violence. My feelings on this are pretty middle of the line. I liked it, but I also felt like it was taking me three million years to read. However, according to Libby, my total readin “I think you have folded yourself into the shape that others expect of you; but that shape does not suit you, has never suited you, and all your young life, you have been dying to be free of it." TW: abandonment, animal death, assault (forced kiss), confinement, domestic abuse, kidnapping, misogyny, murder, sexism, violence. My feelings on this are pretty middle of the line. I liked it, but I also felt like it was taking me three million years to read. However, according to Libby, my total reading time was less than 3 hours... so... yeah. I feel like that's a pretty good indicator of how I felt about this book. It was a fun adventure story with a message rooted in feminism as well as not shrinking yourself for others and I loved how that was done. There's also quite a bit of comedic relief throughout this book as well, which alternated between being entertaining and feeling pretty forced. As for the plot itself, so much happens and yet it can feel pretty slow-paced at times. We go so many places and meet so many characters, which definitely could have had something to do with this feeling like it was taking forever lol. Miuko was a funny, relatable character. I just found myself rolling my eyes at quite a few of her decisions which, arguably, could be an aspect that makes her more relatable. (Geiki was the real star of the story though. I love him.) I also loved the inclusion of Japanese mythology! I'm a sucker for mythology, anyway, so I'm always a sucker for stories that make an effort to include it. I'd totally recommend this to someone looking for a fun, coming-of-age type adventure with demons and absolutely no romance. It was fun, I liked it; and now I'm ready to go read something else lol.

  16. 4 out of 5

    sunny

    ARC kindly provided by NetGalley and the publishers! Thank you so much for the opportunity to read such a wonderful story! I'm a little at a loss for words, having just finished this minutes ago and opening this up to write while it's still fresh. I don't know what I expected when I asked for this book when I requested— some fun little fantasy, and it IS but it's so much more— but I'm kind of left stunned right now. A Thousand Steps Into Night is, at its core, a story about misogyny. That's someth ARC kindly provided by NetGalley and the publishers! Thank you so much for the opportunity to read such a wonderful story! I'm a little at a loss for words, having just finished this minutes ago and opening this up to write while it's still fresh. I don't know what I expected when I asked for this book when I requested— some fun little fantasy, and it IS but it's so much more— but I'm kind of left stunned right now. A Thousand Steps Into Night is, at its core, a story about misogyny. That's something I did not expect, or at least not to the extent that it is. And it's handled tactfully and realistically, a frank but hopeful deconstruction of how misogyny affects women. In particular, it touches on aspects of misogyny present in Asian culture because of the setting. Misogyny is presented to us in every layer of the story, not just in the way men treat women but in how women struggle with what's expected of them, how they're supposed to act, even though many know it's not fair. I'd even wager that misogyny at its core is the true villain of this story, even how it presents in the Big Bad. Miuko is a character I didn't expect to cherish as much as I did, but she's one of the most genuinely endearing and likable protagonists I've gotten to read about in a very long time. She struggles with her place in the world— or the place she's been told she belongs in by society— and her transformation into a demon is a very literal image of that. She's kind, and earnest, and so, so very lost. And I love her. All of the characters are charming, from the magpie spirit who becomes her dearest companion to the eccentric forest spirit she meets, and every character beyond that. There's something of a fairytale vibe to this book, or a folk story. In many ways, it almost reminds me of the strange but charming vibe of Over The Garden Wall, despite them being completely different stories with different aesthetics and everything. Or Ghibli films, that whimsical strangeness that feels comforting. It's just... I don't know. It's just charming. It's also gently, earnestly inclusive of LGBT characters. It has a host of nonbinary and trans characters, actively carving out a place for them in the world. It feels worth mentioning that through the last fifty pages of this book, I was on the verge of tears for no good reason. I wasn't sad, just... overwhelmed in the best possible way. I'd grown so very attached to these characters, and they were all so earnest, I wasn't ready to let them go. So... yeah. I like this book a normal amount, haha! On a serious note, I don't know if this will be a standalone or if the author will ever write sequels or books in the same world, but I will read them. I'll cherish the time I spent with this book for a long time, I think.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chloe F

    First of all thank you to Netgalley for letting me read and review an ARC of this book! I honestly don’t want to say too much so i’ll just say that I really enjoyed this book. The first chapter pulled me in and I actually finished this in one day. If you like the anime Inuyasha you definitely will like this. I seen someone else also talk about it being similar to Inuyasha and overall I loved the the concept of this book. The main character Miuko was such a good lead and I also really liked the f First of all thank you to Netgalley for letting me read and review an ARC of this book! I honestly don’t want to say too much so i’ll just say that I really enjoyed this book. The first chapter pulled me in and I actually finished this in one day. If you like the anime Inuyasha you definitely will like this. I seen someone else also talk about it being similar to Inuyasha and overall I loved the the concept of this book. The main character Miuko was such a good lead and I also really liked the fantasy elements in this novel. In all this was a 5/5 and I recommend to everyone for when it comes out on March 1!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bang Bang Books

    I love Traci Chee's writing but this was just not my jam. This is plot driven and I HATE plot driven books but even I can get over it. However, I couldn't get over it in this book; it was a whole lotta stuff coming' at me and I couldn't get into it. If you haven't read The Reader, check that out; it's so much better. Check out my Youtube review here https://youtu.be/SilZkh2iRr8 I love Traci Chee's writing but this was just not my jam. This is plot driven and I HATE plot driven books but even I can get over it. However, I couldn't get over it in this book; it was a whole lotta stuff coming' at me and I couldn't get into it. If you haven't read The Reader, check that out; it's so much better. Check out my Youtube review here https://youtu.be/SilZkh2iRr8

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    BRILLIANT. INCREDIBLE. DELIGHTFUL. I cannot WAIT for everyone to read this.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    Thank you to NetGalley and Clarion Teen for providing this book as a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. *4.5 stars rounded up For a book about a girl turning into a malevolence demon, this book is surprisingly fun. This is the story of Miuko, a girl cursed to become a demon unless her human soul can prevail and she can kill the demon prince following her before she fully turns. This book is really told in the style of a fairy tale, which I really love. It reads normally, but the plot Thank you to NetGalley and Clarion Teen for providing this book as a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. *4.5 stars rounded up For a book about a girl turning into a malevolence demon, this book is surprisingly fun. This is the story of Miuko, a girl cursed to become a demon unless her human soul can prevail and she can kill the demon prince following her before she fully turns. This book is really told in the style of a fairy tale, which I really love. It reads normally, but the plot structure is like you’re reading a myth, which is so fun. There are also so many interesting characters to observe, between humans Miuko scares or spirits she enlists. My favorites were Senara and Geiki (obviously) but everyone in this story is someone worth reading about. Geiki's natural charisma really humanizes Miuko even more than before in making her more lighthearted during a hard situation. The world itself is done so well. I did think it was tiresome to have such a detailed world that you needed FOOTNOTES to say what everything was, and I still do, but it thins out after a while to be more manageable. I thought that while the footnotes were cumbersome, it was overall very readable since most things were recurring and not entirely new. Given that Miuko herself doesn’t know everything about the hierarchy of spirits or how on earth she can undo her curse, it’s easy to learn with her. In terms of the plot, I did think there were a few too many twists and turns. It wasn't too many for the book itself, just a lot to keep up with. There was a segment of the book that was entirely unexpected and while it did make everything make sense a bit more, it also delayed the climax of the novel by a lot. This was really the only thing that bothered me though, and as I just said, it was extremely plot-relevant. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this to fans of dark fantasy with detailed worldbuilding. Although I personally would’ve gotten fed up with the sexism and exclusion and just became a demon, I enjoyed reading about Miuko’s journey and every part of the book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    belle ☆ミ (thisbellereadstoo)

    this was an adventure. miuko was an ordinary girl until the day she was cursed. to reverse the curse, miuko ventures into the unknown. a lone girl, riding a horse, and wearing guy clothes as a demon. for propriety, girls are never supposed to be alone. they are expected to be demure, accompanied by a male outdoors, and not yearn for more. but for miuko, she always wanted more. miuko was slowly turning into a demon, her humanity fading away with time. when a demon prince is determined to burn dow this was an adventure. miuko was an ordinary girl until the day she was cursed. to reverse the curse, miuko ventures into the unknown. a lone girl, riding a horse, and wearing guy clothes as a demon. for propriety, girls are never supposed to be alone. they are expected to be demure, accompanied by a male outdoors, and not yearn for more. but for miuko, she always wanted more. miuko was slowly turning into a demon, her humanity fading away with time. when a demon prince is determined to burn down her world, miuko needs to stop him. as she travels through the realm of awara, she made friends with the most surprising of characters. they are humans, spirits, gods. miuko as a demon lady was to be hated on sight but some people were just more understanding than others. i loved the japanese-inspired elements in a thousand steps into night. the author just created many layers of magic and mythical beings within a standalone. miuko was a great main character to read about, her friends are amazing too, especially geiki. overall, highly recommend if you want a book influenced by japanese folklore surrounding demons, humans, and self-discovery.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marte

    DNF @ 43% I usually don't wait this long before DNF'ing a book, but I I've enjoyed everything else Traci Chee has written and was hoping this would eventually hook me. Sadly, it never did. Maybe I'm getting too picky with YA fantasy, but I just don't care enough about the world, plot nor characters to push through. Gorgeous cover tho! DNF @ 43% I usually don't wait this long before DNF'ing a book, but I I've enjoyed everything else Traci Chee has written and was hoping this would eventually hook me. Sadly, it never did. Maybe I'm getting too picky with YA fantasy, but I just don't care enough about the world, plot nor characters to push through. Gorgeous cover tho!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lucy!

    Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! Well, this was lovely! The characterization was great, the story was fun, but the worldbuilding was by far the best thing about this book: It was chock full of spirits, traditions, and ideas that were beautifully rendered. The whole thing had an air of folklore about it, and I enjoyed the footnotes present at the end of every chapter. Small points deducted because the pacing felt erratic at times, but it was super fun and enjoyab Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! Well, this was lovely! The characterization was great, the story was fun, but the worldbuilding was by far the best thing about this book: It was chock full of spirits, traditions, and ideas that were beautifully rendered. The whole thing had an air of folklore about it, and I enjoyed the footnotes present at the end of every chapter. Small points deducted because the pacing felt erratic at times, but it was super fun and enjoyable!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Coco Smit

    Light read about a dark fairytale where demons aren't all bad and trickster can be helpful and spirits find their free will. But maybe charming strangers are hiding evil deeds... If you love Spirited Away you will most likely love this book too. Such a sweet story about finding yourself and becoming more than what you thought you could ever become. And always with the help of others. Studio Ghibli worthy! Light read about a dark fairytale where demons aren't all bad and trickster can be helpful and spirits find their free will. But maybe charming strangers are hiding evil deeds... If you love Spirited Away you will most likely love this book too. Such a sweet story about finding yourself and becoming more than what you thought you could ever become. And always with the help of others. Studio Ghibli worthy!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan

    I've read, and loved, Traci Chee's previous book, The Reader, though I still need to continue the series, so I was extremely excited when my request for an advanced copy of this book was approved. The synopsis seemed like exactly my sort of thing, and I couldn't wait to dive in! I adored this book, and it kept growing on me more and more as I went on, and as the story shifted forms. Each time the story shifted, I found something new to love, and I loved how it was ever-changing, keeping me on my I've read, and loved, Traci Chee's previous book, The Reader, though I still need to continue the series, so I was extremely excited when my request for an advanced copy of this book was approved. The synopsis seemed like exactly my sort of thing, and I couldn't wait to dive in! I adored this book, and it kept growing on me more and more as I went on, and as the story shifted forms. Each time the story shifted, I found something new to love, and I loved how it was ever-changing, keeping me on my toes and constantly guessing what could possibly come next. This carried an aura of fairy tales whilst still feeling a step apart from other fairy tale style stories or retellings I've read before. I also really enjoyed how many creatures and monsters and spirits were involved in every page of this book, and I thought the footnotes giving some of them quick explanations were a nice touch. It allowed curious readers to learn more about the creatures on page without bogging down the writing and storytelling with possibly repetitive introductions to creature after creature. I honestly really loved how small a role humans seemed to play in the story overall, and that so many of the characters seemed imbued with magic somehow, either through being a spirit themselves or having some connection to them. It made the story feel richer overall, and I loved meeting them all, whether they were names I had encountered in other stories before or not. Miuko's journey was also an intriguing one, and I found it so hard to decide what to wish for for her, in terms of an ending. Did I want her to free herself of the curse, a dream she so determinedly clung to? Or did I want her to embrace this new side of herself, even if it came at the cost of her humanity? The answer to this was ever-shifting, as Miuko's journey proceeded and more information came forth, about both options. Miuko herself wavered on this specific decision many times as well, and I found this internal journey a perfect complement to the external one she was taking alongside it. The villain also played an intriguing role, even if, as time went on, he became a clearer and clearer villain. I enjoyed the fuzziness around his morality at first, (view spoiler)[and part of me still wishes the book had perhaps followed the route of them joining up, not to necessarily burn the world down and remake it, but rather for both of them to find their wishes in each other. I wished for this less and less as the story went on of course, and it became clearer that the villain was not redeemable, but I definitely could have seen this side of the story as well, from some parts at the beginning. (hide spoiler)] Overall, I absolutely loved this book, and cannot wait to pick up a copy for myself when it releases. If you love magical spirits, strong-willed heroines, and tricky side characters that aren't quite human, this is a perfect read to start off 2022 with!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    3⭐ - It was good The story itself was good and I love the Japan aspect in it. But it felt too rushed at points, and the pacing was off.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)

    Thanks to Clarion Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this to review! I feel like I've been reading a lot of Asian-inspired fantasy books lately, and I am here for it. Plus, teens seem to love this kind of story, so I can't wait for the library to get this one! First, if Japanese-inspired mytholoyg is your thing, you'll love this book. Chee infused this book with many different elements of Japanese mythology, and it feels incredibly authentic. The story-telling style of the writing also Thanks to Clarion Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this to review! I feel like I've been reading a lot of Asian-inspired fantasy books lately, and I am here for it. Plus, teens seem to love this kind of story, so I can't wait for the library to get this one! First, if Japanese-inspired mytholoyg is your thing, you'll love this book. Chee infused this book with many different elements of Japanese mythology, and it feels incredibly authentic. The story-telling style of the writing also lends itself to the mythology aspects of the book. From the beginning, this fantasy almost feels like something you'd read in a mythology class. Throughout, Chee included footnotes to help provide context, which I actually really enjoyed as well. In addition to the great mythology, A Thousand Steps Into Night also has an excellent cast of characters. Miuko is a fully realized character, with flaws and a sense of purpose thorughout. It's through her character that we see the patriarchal oppression. Her journey is one of realization, one of knowledge. Miuko doesn't want to reliquinsh the power she's gained, and for good reason. Overall, her character arc felt realistic and authentic. However, Geiki, the magpie spirit who becomes sort of a guide, is one of my favorites. He's easily distracted and makes for some fun asides throughout some of the darker aspects of the story. Seriously, you might want to read this just for him! All in all, this was a great mythological adventure from start to finish. Definitely check it out when it comes out next week!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Taschima

    THAT COVERRR 😍 THAT COVERRR 😍

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lilibet Bombshell

    I was really looking forward to this title, it being one of a handful of fantasy novels being released this spring centered on folk tales and/or mythology from the Far East. And I really could’ve loved it… if it weren’t for the narrative POV and expensive use of footnotes. The narrative POV was unusual for a fantasy novel, and while some people seem to have enjoyed it despite that point, I simply couldn’t get used to it and it destroyed a great deal of the enjoyment I’d otherwise get from the no I was really looking forward to this title, it being one of a handful of fantasy novels being released this spring centered on folk tales and/or mythology from the Far East. And I really could’ve loved it… if it weren’t for the narrative POV and expensive use of footnotes. The narrative POV was unusual for a fantasy novel, and while some people seem to have enjoyed it despite that point, I simply couldn’t get used to it and it destroyed a great deal of the enjoyment I’d otherwise get from the novel. It was distracting to the extreme and made the book harder for me to read. I have an opinion on footnotes in fiction: they shouldn’t be there. If they have to be there, they should be minimal. This book, though? There are so many footnotes, and they completely slow the pace of the story every time I had to stop and read them. I don’t like the flow of my reading to be interrupted constantly. If I want to read footnotes I’ll turn to one of my many nonfiction books. That makes two huge strikes against the general vibe and enjoyment of the book, and since they were both so omnipresent in the novel I couldn’t vibe with the book, get into the flow of the story, or enjoy the narrative. It’s a shame, really, because otherwise I think I could’ve really enjoyed it. Thanks to Clarion and NetGalley for early access to this title in exchange for a fair and honest review. As per my personal policy, this review will not be posted to social media due to the 3 Star rating.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shelby Crenshaw

    LEJDOWBDOWBDIWB. I loved this book so much. I don’t know how to out it into words. It was super funny, and while it had the humor it also dealt with some pretty serious issues. This author is just, chefs kiss. The writing in this book is beautiful, I really loved the style in which she wrote. There are so many beautiful quotes throughout this book, as well. I believe this book is also based off of Japanese culture, and I just that the way the author really wove that in there was very clever. als LEJDOWBDOWBDIWB. I loved this book so much. I don’t know how to out it into words. It was super funny, and while it had the humor it also dealt with some pretty serious issues. This author is just, chefs kiss. The writing in this book is beautiful, I really loved the style in which she wrote. There are so many beautiful quotes throughout this book, as well. I believe this book is also based off of Japanese culture, and I just that the way the author really wove that in there was very clever. also there’s translations throughout the book and i LOVED that. PLS READ THIS BOOK.

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