Dark Tempest, Annette Marie – Book Review

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32605659Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the insidious betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged Emi with an urgent mission: to find and free the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

At her side is Shiro, the mysterious fox spirit. When she first saved his life, she could never have imagined that behind his cunning and confidence, he was lost—his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His veiled history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can’t remember how or why.

As their search leads them into the murky depths of the spirit realm, the shadows of Shiro’s past begin to emerge. With each brief awakening of his true self, she loses a little more of him. The fate of the heavens and earth rest in her mortal hands, and she must find the missing gods before time runs out for her world—and for Shiro.

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*ARC received in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Okay, so this book. Just, this book. *sighs* I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. GAHHHH! IT IS AMAZING. I LOVE IT. GO READ IT RIGHT NOW!

Yes, it is that good. Dark Tempest picks up where Red Winter left off and is just as amazing a story as the first one in the trilogy. I loved the characters, the plot, the structure, all of it. So much. Yes, the first half of the book is slow. I had a similar issue with Red Winter, but once the book picks up, it really picks up, you know? So much action, drama, mystery and romance. You can’t help but love it!

I love how Emi comes into her own in this story. Yes, she was a good protag in book one and she had a great character arc then, but in this one, she really grows. So much. She’s just amazing. She’s smart and kind and just so good. I also love how she’s not badass and ready to fight anything and everything thrown her way. There are so many people who are much more powerful than she is and that is totally okay with her. I like that about her a lot. It makes her so much more relatable than one badass heroine who can take on everything. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE SUCH HEROINES. THEY’RE AMAZING. But, I loved how Emi wasn’t like that. It made her a better character.

And then, there’s Shiro. My babyboy. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! So many heart eyes for that perfect, amazing, amazing, amazing boy. I love him so much. I love him, I love him, I love him. So very much. He’s snarky and smarmy and flirty. So very flirty. But, he’s shown being vulnerable and lost and panicked too. This story had more of Shiro than the first one. We learn a lot about his past and who he was and why he is the way he is. His past beings out so many of his vulnerabilities and he feels like he’s not good enough many a time, but it doesn’t take away from his personality and he is his usual charming self. I love that. His personality is so varied and he doesn’t adhere to one emotion all the time. That is amazing!

All in all, such an amazing read with so many elements and such great writing! A definite must read! I’m looking forward to starting book three after reading this!

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Goodreads | Amazon

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8546572Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Red Winter, Annette Marie – Book Review

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31829155In a few short months, Emi’s mortal life will end when she becomes the human host of an immortal goddess. 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 spirit of the earth and 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.

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*Review copy received in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Red Winter is the story of Emi, who has been chosen to be the vessel for a goddess. She seems eager to embrace her fate, is looking forward to it even. But, an important truth about the union of the goddess’ spirit and her body has been hidden from her. When she learns what it is, she isn’t eager to embrace her fate anymore. Instead, she wants out, but she can’t because being a vessel is all she knows, is all she’s been prepared for, her entire life. And, with forces trying to kill her, it’s a race against death.

I like Emi’s character. She’s the portrait of a lady, always doing what is expected of her, never deviating. She has accepted her fate and doesn’t question it or what she has to give up because of her fate. But, as the date for her sacrifice nears, she starts questioning whether she is actually ready to give it all up and her doubt is fueled by Katsuo, the sohei who is assigned to protect her from harm. What I didn’t like was that her character didn’t have much of a development arc. She was always compassionate, always curious, right from the beginning to the end. And she didn’t really change her beliefs from the beginning of the story to the end of it. But, there’s two more books to come, so I’m holding out hope for her.

Then, there is Shiro, the kitsune who owes Emi a life debt. He’s mysterious and dangerous and has an agenda of his own. He tries to protect Emi when he can, but his selfish motives are clear throughout the book. I like that about him. He never pretends to be someone who he isn’t. He’s established as an untrustworthy character and he doesn’t shy away from it, in fact, he embraces it wholeheartedly. That’s amazing.

Then, there’s Katsuo. He’s Emi’s bodyguard but they have a sort of complicated history. It is alluded that he may have feelings for her and Emi sure had them in the past. So, their relationship is complicated to say the least. But, Katsuo cares about Emi a great deal. And he’s kind and compassionate and caring. He’s always helping Emi whenever she needs it without question. I really like his character.

All in all, this is a nice kickstart to the trilogy. The starting 100 pages were a little slow but then it picked up and became this intriguing mess of want and need and bargains for what you want. Everything comes with a price and I like how entangled all these bargains are because everyone wants something from someone else.

So, yes I would definitely recommend this to you if you’re into mythology and retelling and fantasy.

1459165616958

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1460788046527

Goodreads | Amazon

1459165672531

8546572Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter