This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using that link, a small commission is made from the sale. There are no additional costs to you. Thank you for your support!Red Winter by Annette Marie
Red Winter #1
Published by Dark Owl Fantasy Inc. on October 21, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Source: Prime/Kindle Unlimited
Emi has spent her entire life hiding from the creatures that hunt her. The savage earth spirits are determined to kill her before she can become the living host of a goddess, so she stays hidden—until the day she saves the life of one of her hunters.
Shiro isn't the harmless fox spirit she thought he was. He's mysterious, cunning, unpredictable...and now hers to command. He's sworn to pay his debt to her, but he doesn't know who she is. If he finds out, he'll kill her.
But she can't send him away—not yet. Her future isn't what she thought. The lies surrounding her fate have begun to unravel, and she needs answers before time runs out—answers that lie in the spirit realm. Shiro can take her there...if she dares to trust him.
And only then will she find out how deep the gods' treachery runs.
Red Winter includes 10 full-page illustrations by award-winning artist Brittany Jackson.
Bookwyrms, I felt like I was heading toward a reading slump when I started Red Winter by Annette Marie because I wasn’t feeling the book at all.
But alas, that is not the case, and Red Winter fell shorter than me attempting to get boxes at work without a step ladder. And you know you’re not in a reading slump when another book has given you a mindfuck for 12+ hours (I’m looking at you, This Mortal Coil).
We’re dragging with the action.
I tried my hardest to get through Red Winter. I swear I tried. But after nearly a month of consistently putting the book down and choosing 5+ other books, you know the book is not going to be finished. Thinking about it now while writing the review, Red Winter felt slow-paced. The amount of world-building, despite being intriguing, began to feel overpowering. There didn’t seem to be enough action to balance out the world-building, and while some don’t mind this at all, it’s not my type.
Much pity to Emi… but I’m sorry I don’t care.
There’s a lot of instances in the 36% of the book that I got through where we read the same thing in one variance or another. Chosen as a young girl to be the kamigakari, Emi is preparing herself for the descent and hosting of the goddess Amaterasu. Her life is essentially taken away from her as she is placed under many restrictions and shuffled from shrine to shrine to keep her safe. Red Winter is set two months before the descent when Emi is taken to another shrine.
We know early on that:
- Being a host to the kamigakari is an honor.
- No one likes the host because of much envy.
- It’s an honor to have the host at the shrine.
- Bodyguards all the time.
- Can’t do this and can’t do that.
- Kamigakari first, person second aka not exactly a person at all.
Which honestly sucks… except at a certain point with the slowness of the book, I didn’t care. I got very tired and there are other books that beckon and call for my eyeballs to peruse over.
Red Winter has gorgeous illustrations.
One of the best things I love about this novel is the gorgeous illustrations found in the novel. It’s the one thing I’m disappointed about because I would have loved to see how the illustrations correlate to the rest of the story. Unfortunately, that won’t happen. 😭
Maybe I’ll try the audio version?
I’m happy to say Hoopla and my local library has the audio version of Red Winter available which makes me thrilled. Sometimes the audio is a better version and I’m so hoping this will be the case with Red Winter when I get around to listening to it.