Emi 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.
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Title: Dark Tempest
Series: Red Winter #2
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy
Source: Friend [Amazon Loan]
This is seriously one of my favorite reads of 2019. Marie has a way of giving off the delicious feels I only get when I watch anime, so it’s like having chocolate and peanut butter for dessert. Emi’s not someone hard to like, and she isn’t easy to hate. She’s inexperienced due to a life of being sheltered, but I feel like a lot of her mistakes and curiosities are what make her stronger. It isn’t her connection to Amaterasu, but her ability to solidify her wants and yearnings. It’s been a journey so far in seeking out the other Kunitsukami, but I particularly loved this one more than the first installment simply because it’s just Emi, Yumei, and Shiro.
It’s no mystery that Shiro is seriously hot. His face is pretty, sure, but his charisma is something else. The way he carries himself, the danger that lurks behind those eyes when his former self comes to the surface. It’s way hot. And it gets even hotter when he calms her down or reminds her that she’s not alone, and I practically die every time he’s there reassuring Emi that she will always have him as her protector. JUST MAKE OUT ALREADY!
I enjoy Yumei’s presence because he’s like the level-headed leader that keeps everyone alive. He’s also very serious and frighteningly more dangerous than Shiro, so I get off every time he suffers from Emi’s questions or worries. I mean, wouldn’t you enjoy seeing someone who usually keeps to himself bare a questionable audience? Just watching him deal with Shiro’s sassiness is enough. Adding sweet, kinda-human Emi just makes it amazing. I loved watching the two of them show Emi the yokai world. It was magical, and when you’re a hopeless romantic, you can’t help but imagine them softening toward her.
If there’s one thing to be praised, it’s the pacing. You cannot imagine the amount of annoyance I get when a good story is ruined by the pacing. Marie managed to make it good. You get enough of a nice, maybe-sexy leisure walk, and then something happens and BOOM! you’re reminded that some ass needs to be hauled and it’s like a nice kind of poke, you know? Like… nothing lingers. The plot progresses, and then you get the next course meal just waiting to be devoured. It’s seriously good.
A must read with this trilogy and author. If you like anime/manga, what the hell are you waiting for? If you like the genres or just thought the synopsis sounded cool, I definitely recommend you check this out. It’s a nice flow, it’s a great story, and it’s beautiful writing with a simplicity that allows you to take in the words like air.