Title: Red Winter | Author: Annette Marie | Published: 2016 by Dark Owl Fantasy Inc. | Pages: 346 | Format: eBook and Audiobook
Torn between duty and fighting for what she believes in, Emi must choose before the Winter Solstice. That’s if she lives that long.
10 years ago, Emi Yukimura was chosen, by the Goddess Amaterasu, to be her Kamigakari. A human host which is needed for Heavenly Gods and Goddesses to descend to the Earthly realm. For the last decade, Emi has prepared her mind, body and soul to become the perfect Kamigakari.
However, everything changes when she saves the life of a fox shapeshifter. She learns the truth about the treachery of the gods and the truth of her ugly fate. Now Emi must choose whether to bow to duty or fight for her life.
“Actions change our course, influence our futures, but intentions define us, empower us. Without intent, we are nothing.”
Rating: 4.5 Stars
‘Under-hyped with Amazing Story-telling and an Overall Beautiful Book’
First of all, look at this book. I mean… just look at it. It’s absolutely beautiful! When I picked up this book, I did so purely based on the aesthetics. But I mean who can blame me? I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has picked up a book solely based in the aesthetic of the cover. #vainreader
With that being said, I was so so excited to read this book. Getting back into reading again has allowed me to finally see different characters from different ethnicity and It’s nice to finally have some racial representation.
When I started to read this book… I could not put it down. The way Annette Marie had portrayed Japanese mythology was so beautiful that I was so surprised that this book wasn’t more hyped up in the book community.
The first thing I’d like to say about this book was that the world building was phenomenal! Usually this level of detail is often reserved for adult fantasy books. So I was delightfully surprised how much depth and detail this book had. You could tell that Annette Marie really dove deep into both Japanese lore and culture when writing this book.
From the Mythological gods to the description of Japanese shrines, Annette Marie was able to captivate you by sucking you into the world that the she had created.
Another thing I loved about this book was the characters themselves. Every character in this book was very well throughout. The character development for our main protagonist, Emi, was done extremely well by Ms Annette Marie. You can really see the transition in her characterisation from this meek and obedient person who always follows the rules and her duty to someone who realises that she needs to fight for what she believes in and follow her heart. I absolutely loved reading her emotional and physical journey.
Although, she is a bit boy crazy sometimes which does irritate me, but considering she hasn’t had any human interaction for about 10 years. Especially a guy, I can understand.
However, my favourite character of all in this book would have to be our lead love interest, Shiro. Never thought I’d think an anthropomorphic fox would be charming. But here I am, saying he is quite charming and HOT!! *fanning myself and pretty much blushing every time he turned on those charms*. There isn’t much known to his character yet, as there is a lot of mystery surrounding him but your girl is DYING to find out!
The writing style that Ms Marie has in this book is simply divine. The descriptions were beautifully written and she has a way of not giving the reader too much information. Meaning, you as a reader, are not given an information dump, like most fantasy books are guilty of. Everything is clearly and beautifully revealed to you.
There were flawless transitions from one scene to another and even from one peek to another. It had that right amount of excitement and drama as well as more mellow and more descriptive based parts where it dove deeper into the world building.
I don’t really have many complaints when it comes to this book. I think the only issue that I had with it was that it was quite slow and confusing in the beginning. You as a reader are kind of thrown into a setting where certain events had already happened and the reader had not been clued into it yet. However, as the story slowly progresses the readers slowly understands each twist and turns that have been carefully placed by the author.
Overall, I think this book is a solid read and I can’t rave about it enough. Paired with beautiful descriptions and Ms Marie’s unique take on Japanese Mythology, it’s definitely a book that I’d highly highly recommend for fantasy lovers.