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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
  • 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.

48 of 50 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

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    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!!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Great Story!!

I loved this book!! I read it on kindle first and decided I wanted the audiobooks so that I could enjoy the story again while going about my life. Unfortunately I didn’t really care for the narrator. Her voices were not bad, but I feel like she was overly dramatic. Occasionally it would take me out of the story because of how over done it was. She wasn’t unbearable though, so I still think the audiobook is well worth one of my monthly credits.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Love the Japanese mythology

Reads between my favourite animes Inuyasha and Kamisama Kiss. Love the magic system. Definitely listening to this again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Like Anime in Book Form

I REALLY enjoyed this book. the author's voice us amazing. I've always been a fan of anime and manga and Korean Dramadies and this holds so much of that in book form.

I could see the story blossoming in beautiful light. chills!!

The story itself is a beautiful adventure of a priestess learning the world is more then what she thought and nothing is black and white.

I have a serious crush on the hero. been a long time since one made my blood heat.

and the narrator's voice was great. can't wait to tuck in to the next one!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Red Winter has an intriguing, vicarious story, likeable characters, and excellent narration. The author occasionally repeats a word too often, but it's hardly that important.
I highly recommend it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

this could be a K-drama

The mix of culture and time, to me was hard to follow at times. over all it was OK, but I do not think I will read more in this story line.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it.

Loved it. Picked up as the bargain of the day, I listened and ended up having to own the series. Very good and unique story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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