Your audiobook is waiting…

Red Winter

Red Winter, Book 1
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Series: Red Winter, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (456 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end, and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess - and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move, and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can't match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command - whether she wants him or not. On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate - but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope...and hope is all she has left.

©2016 Annette Marie (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    219
  • 4 Stars
    141
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    18

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    236
  • 4 Stars
    102
  • 3 Stars
    45
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    202
  • 4 Stars
    116
  • 3 Stars
    66
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    14
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very fun

Emi is a kamigakari for Amaterasu. This basically means that she has dedicated her life to be a vessel for a this god-like being to be able to descend and have a presence on the Earth.

The first few hours were less exciting as we hear about how she has been keeping herself pure by hiding away in various shrines, praying, not eating anything exciting, not doing anything risky, not having friends or going near boys, etc.

She has been happy keeping herself pure all of her life, but at some point near the solstice ceremony when the kami will descend into her body, she finds out some information and changes her mind. This is where the story picks up. She starts doing more dangerous things, meeting interesting characters, learning information, and having adventures. She build allies and enemies, has to fight for her life, and has to make tough decisions.

I really enjoyed the book. I loved the characters that were introduced and their magical powers. There are two love interests, but no relationship yet. The main character is relatable (other than her initial purity), and is not making stupid decisions left and right like I have found in a lot of other books. While she’s just 18, I didn’t find her to be too immature either. (I am in my late thirties.)

We are introduced to various gods, beings, and realms from Japanese myth/religion. This was new and interesting to me. It was a little hard to follow all of the names for them because they sound similar, but I followed enough to know most of what was going on. I liked that it was different than typical angels, demons, shape shifters, etc in a lot of books. We didn’t start out knowing the relationship or allies between these beings, but learn things as we go, and it’s not always what was expected.

I really loved the author’s previous series, so I’m not surprised that I enjoyed this book too. Her books are strong in character development, world building, friendships and romance, and enough action to keep things going. The ending left off when I really wanted to keep hearing the story, but at least it wasn’t really a cliff hanger. Now I will wait for the next!

The narrator was good. I've heard her in other books, so wasn't concerned. My only complaint is that some of her male voices in this one sounded a bit like Grover from Sesame Street.

51 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • E
  • CYPRESS, TX, US
  • 03-12-18

If you watch a lot of anime you will enjoy this book

The book reminds me of red data girl an anime. There isn’t a lot of sexual tension and I feel like she tries to put it in there anyways. The story is good but the writing has a lot of rhetorical question to keep the story moving forward which makes it sound childish/simple. The reader wasn’t and didn’t have a terrible voice but I am just partial to men with deep voices. Over all not bad but not the best

28 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

You might enjoy this book if you're preteen girl.

I had to give up on this book as the hero froze in the face of oncoming death because she was overcome with powerful emotion because she saw a young man's bare chest.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A strong, exotic, thrilling tale!!

I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture and mythology. With all the Kami, yokai, ayakashi, and even the oni. It may or may not be due to my childhood obsessions with Inuyasha and Naruto. This book hit the spot with everything! The culture, the mythologies, and just a splash of angst romance.
The character development was wonderful and well panned out. Emi grew up so much within such a short time. My heart broke along with hers. Even Shiro had some development, although finish I got to see that yummy fox more, but this book is about Emi.
This book awakened the things I loved about the anime Inuyasha, and did I spot some references here and there? Ears? And ahem, the Inugami?
This book was glorious! And before I gush spoilers I am off!!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • Bronx, NY, United States
  • 03-18-19

Garbage

After 2 hours of an overly dramatic, shrill narrator (even in parts of story where it makes no sense for that kind of reaction) and a story that is boring with no sign of getting interesting, I had to stop listening. Maybe if the narrator wasn't so awful I would try and power through hoping it will get interesting but the narrator's bad narration is grating and I couldn't stand to listen to it anymore. The story was so REDUNDANT - over and over and over again it was reiterated about what the main character's role is in life and a missed romantic attachment. Not sure why the author decided to beat the reader over the head with the same facts for so long.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story, Weak Protagonist

The story progresses naturally and quickly (from the characters' perspective) and makes good use of Japanese culture and mythology, especially to provide interesting yet believable characters. It is enjoyable throughout, and ends satisfactorily both in terms of events and in terms of character growth, though there is still plenty of material left for the rest of the series on both of those fronts. The protagonist does try to discover the world around her and improve herself at least a little, which I appreciate, though I still found her too passive or helpless at many points during the book. The protagonist spends a significant amount of time throughout the book thinking to herself (more than I personally would prefer), but not enough to dominate the book. Sometimes this self-reflection added to the story and showed character growth, but too often it was just repetitive or didn't matter at all, occasionally even evoking disdain for her as she made obvious mistakes. In summary, this was a pretty good story, but told in a way that I personally did not enjoy as much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Plays like a standard anime love story

Pretty flat characters. Nothing really surprised me or peaked my interest. The antagonists weren’t threatening or terrifying. The stereotypical smirking and fawning grew tiresome very fast. The story overall felt like an anime love story with nothing original or exciting to keep me interested.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn't make it past the first 1/4 of the book

I thought I was reading a book about gods and spirits and magic. Instead I got hours of teenage angst as she pines over the super cute boy she likes and chats with other teenage girls about their crushes. I tried going back to this book several times but finally just gave up on it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing - and not my normal setting

All I can say is wow. I started the series about a week ago and I just finished. And I'm going to need another week to recover

I don't know a lot about Japanese culture nor its history or gods or spirits, so usually stay away from this type of book. I only decided to read it because I love Annette Marie's books, and was waiting for some other books to be released, so decided to give Red Winter a try. I've had this book in my library for a month or so, not wanting to be disappointed or confused - but I am now kicking myself in the ass of waiting so long!

This series is amazing. It was a bit difficult with some of the "gods" names as they sound so similar, and like I said above, I don't know a lot about Japanese culture, but Annette describes everything in such great detail that it's easy to be immersed in this story.

I strongly recommend this book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Simplistic, plain, and abnoxious

The protagonist is extremely linear in her thoughts and desires and is not a deep character whatsoever. The story has no intriguing plot twists and is also linear. Yes, I listened to the whole story, but it was because of the good reviews for this and I am STILL so puzzled as to why anyone would write a good review for this. Many times I had thought that this must be the first book the author has ever written and with how competitive publishing must be I am shocked this was published. The narration was not good, the female voices breathy and the male voices so gruff she is almost growling. Also, someone compared this to Anime, but Anime is generally extremely well-thought out, has complex characters, and thinks outside of the box. This story was so far inside the box that it was almost nonexistent.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • lovebooks
  • 04-27-19

Captivating

I love all of Annette Marie's books but this one is special. I've never read anything like this before and it captivated me from the start. Had the biggest book hangover after this trilogy and is always something I go back to and listen to over and over.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amy
  • 01-09-17

very disapointing! I pre ordered this book too

What could Annette Marie have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

i absolutly adored her other books ! so when this was as bad as it was I was shocked and disapointed. I will be returning this ,

0 of 1 people found this review helpful