Tag Archives: Gods

Red Winter by Annette Marie

Overview
Red Winter (Red Winter Trilogy, #1) by Annette Marie

Title: Red Winter
Author: Annette Marie
Series: Red Winter Trilogy #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Gods, Japanese mythology, Mythology
Dates read: 30th November – 22nd December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: She was alone in the forest.

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Synopsis

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.

Thoughts

I bought this novel a while ago because I needed a story that featured a mythology that I’m not so knowledgeable about. It had no idea what to expect and had no idea whether it would be any good. And, boy, am I glad that I bought this novel! It was amazing, unforgettable and left me with a huge grin on my face. One that I probably won’t be getting rid of anytime soon if I’m being honest. Even as I write this review a while after I turned that final page, I still smile every time I think of this novel.

When I read the blurb for this story, I was expecting a medieval, historical style story. One in which the shrines and cultural practices of the past shine through. However, it is a contemporary story based in our world today. It was incredibly different and fun to have a strong belief in gods and goddesses against computers and cell phones. Shrines and archery against other forms of weaponry and buses. It was a gorgeous, wonderful tale that hit me from all different angles. Completely unexpectedly.

There are hints of the beginning of a love triangle in this story. Shiro and Katsuo both represent different aspects of Emi’s life. And although it’s kind of clear that she’ll eventually end up with Shiro, but there is that great tie to Katsuo as well. I love that they reveal more and more facets to Emi’s personality and life that were completely unexpected.

This is one of those stories that unexpectedly impacted me emotionally. In a big way. Emi’s journey and struggles are intense and make you want to give her the worlds biggest hug. It’s kind of tragic. I’m hoping that as the series unfolds there is less tragedy, and a way out of the predicament that she finds herself in. I hope against hope. Otherwise it will just break my heart if it ends more as expected…

<- More Annette MarieDark Tempest ->

Image source: Goodreads

Coyote, Spider, Bat by Steven Saus

Overview
Image result for westward weird book cover

Title: Coyote, Spider, Bat
Author: Steven Saus
In: Westward Weird (Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Gods, Mythology, Vampires, Weird western
Dates read: 20th October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Daw Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: That’s what got these men all ready to jump into the arms of your girls.

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Synopsis

Coyote returns home to find her husband killed. Spider leaves home to save his lover. Then they confront Bat.

Thoughts

I really enjoyed the mix of mythologies in this short story. There is a nice balance between Native American and European mythology, whilst also showing the process of settling and colonisation in early America. It’s a really intriguing and well balanced story and one that I would read many more times.

I seriously love the fact that the Gods in this story are stronger than the vampires. But, there is still that horrible sense of colonisation and the beginning of the end. Or at least, a point of change after the grand battle in this short story. It’s a great way to deal with multiple themes. And I think that if I reread this, possibly with a little more knowledge of American history (of which I have none), I’d probably pick up on other great ideas and themes.

Not only is this a great short story. It’s also a great revenge story. One that I look forward to reading again and again in the future.

<- Surveyor of MarsMaybe Another Time ->

Image source: Amazon

A Wish from a Bone by Gemma Files

Overview
Image result for the monstrous ellen datlow book cover

Title: A Wish from a Bone
Author: Gemma Files
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Gods
Dates read: 8th March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: Reluctantly: “The last couple times I did this, there was a physical copy of the Liber Carne in play, so getting rid of that helped – but there’s no copy here, which makes us the Liber Carne, the human pages being Inscribed.”

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Synopsis

They just wanted to discover something new and exciting. And catch it all on film of course. And they did… sort of. Just not the kind of excitement they really wanted.

Thoughts

This short story seriously reminds me of another story that I’ve read. Something about the nine pre-gods of ancient times. But I can’t quite pinpoint which story it was… I did love that feeling of aching familiarity that I felt though. It was kind of fun, definitely intriguing. And something that I will continue to think about, long after I’ve turned the final page of this story.

It did take me a little while to get into this story. Hence the lower rating… if it takes me a little bit to get into a short story, then I don’t tend to love it as much. There just isn’t enough time otherwise. But it was still enjoyable. I especially liked the slightly jumpy way in which the story leapt forward in snatches.

Most of all I liked the ending of this story. There was something about that statement that we are never truly alone that was far more creepy than comforting. Which, really, is exactly how it should be.

<- The Beginning of the Year Without a SummerThe Last, Clean, Bright Summer ->

Image source: Amazon

Red Phoenix by Kylie Chan

Overview
Image result for book cover red phoenix

Title: Red Phoenix
Author: Kylie Chan
Series: Dark Heavens Trilogy #2, Dark Heavens #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Chinese mythology, Demons, Gods
Dates read: 3rd – 9th December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Voyager
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: We moved the Wudang Academy from the Mountain to here in Hong Kong.

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Synopsis

IMMORTALS, MARTIAL ARTS, GODS AND DEMONS

The intrigue deepens as the demon threat closes around mortals and gods alike…

When Emma Donahoe took the position of nanny to John Chen’s daughter Simone, she never expected to be caring for the child of a Chinese god, and she didn’t expect that demons would want him dead. Nor has moving from nanny to partner in his heavenly realm made Emma’s life any easier.

Now a powerful race of demons has been created to hunt her and her family from Hong Kong to Europe. And she and Simone have become targets – pawns to be used in a deadly celestial power play.

Thoughts

It’s been a long time since I read this. And now I’m remembering why Dark Heavens is one of my all time favourite series. I think that come the new year (since my TBR starts again at the turn of the year) this will be the first series I sink my teeth into. There is just an amazing style, writing and storyline to this story. It is intense, fast-paced and filled with a great sense of humour. Which, since Chan is an Australian author, it’s the kind of humour that I love and recognise.

I picked this up in the week that I was not only feeling a little sad, but I was also feeling really, really sick. Normally I read a booka  day, plus get all of my work and housework sorted. Yet, I’ve barely been able to pick up a book. So sinking myself into the world of Emma, John, Simone and their incredibly off-centre family was the perfect anecdote for my horrible week. There’s nothing like a well-loved story to help pick you up.

I knew it from White Tiger, but Red Phoenix highlights how truly insane Emma is. I’m all for doing anything in the name of love… but what she does and gives up in the name of her love… I actually can’t fathom that. Which of course, makes this a brilliant book because it takes me to places that I would never willingly go myself (even though it’s actually not possible… but you get my drift). I also love that she is so loyal. Everything she does is in honour of the people she treasures. That part I can actually completely understand.

This is the book in which Michael first joins the family. He’s such a great addition to the storyline, and, if memory serves me (it’s been a long time since I’ve read the books), he becomes a really powerful character within the storyline. The web of family, relations and loyalties is getting more and more complex, and this is exactly why I love this series so much. The connections between the modern world and the mythical. And the relationships between father and son, father and daughter, so on and so forth.

 <- White Tiger ReviewBlue Dragon Review ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

The Sage of Theare by Diana Wynne Jones

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: The Sage of Theare
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Gods, Mythology
Dates read: 26th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 1982
5th sentence, 74th page: As soon as he pushed the door open, thick smoke rolled in, filled with harsh crackling.

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Synopsis

The Gods are ruled by order and they like it this way. So when the Sage of Dissolution is born they begin to fear that it will be the end of the world as they know it.

Thoughts

Order is not something that comes easily to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly organised and have a system for things. But my life in and of itself is not actually organised. And I don’t tend to follow conventions about 90% of the time. So I kind of liked a dark fantasy tale that dealt with the intersection of order and chaos. How they are both important to the existence of life as we know it.

The gods in this story are kind of a sick-in-the-butt characters. They have rules and restrictions for literally everything, and there is no way in which to deviate from this set path and plan. It means that no one can be questioned and nothing can change. Which in and of itself isn’t horrifying, until you realise that it means the world becomes stagnant and… well, boring.

I like that the mechanism for change in this tale is the child of a god. And in trying to avoid a prophecy, they, well don’t necessarily make it happen. But they bring to light their stupidity and inability to understand the world around them.

<- The Witch’s BicycleTimekeeper ->

Image source: Hachette Australia