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Red Winter

Red Winter, Book 1
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (415 ratings)
Regular price: $27.99
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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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

49 of 52 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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

27 of 32 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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!!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

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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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Totally worth it!

I loved this story! I wasnt sure if I would like it but decided to give it a try anyways. Worth it! I'm going to start the 2nd book in the series right away.

When I first started listening I thought the narrator's breathy voice and gasps for the main character was a bit much, but it ended up working really well for the character. The voice she does for Shiro is fantastic!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thrilling and Enchanting

The story was thrilling from the first line onwards. I could never get enough! Now I wish to own a physical copy as well. Sort of wish this was a comic/manga/graphic novel or anime. I never struggled to stay involved in the story. At times I forgot I had a real life with a job and bills. Ha. Well done, Annette. Your storytelling is truly amazing!

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Love

I just love this book. The story line, the pace, and especially the performance was phenomenal. This is one of my favorite authors and to hear this story play out was a great listening experience.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

love it

i gotta say it, i was imagining the characters of kamisama kiss as Amy and the rest i love love love this book

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  • 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