03 April, 2017

{ARC Review} Immortal Fire by Annette Marie

Immortal Fire by Annette Marie
Red Winter Trilogy, book 3
Publishes April 11, 2017 by Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
e-ARC provided by author
Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokai standing as humanity's only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality.

Despite the looming threat, Emi can't escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.

As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.

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My Review

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ 

I've been holding off on this review for nearly a week now. It's not that I didn't like the book--I did, more than anything--it's just that... Reviewing it, or even trying, meant that it's actually over, as opposed to reading that final page. I don't know, maybe I'm being sentimental. But I just really love these characters. I know their story had to finish at some point. But it makes me incredibly sad that it finally is.

I don't want to give anything away about this book, but if you've read Red Winter and Dark Tempest, know that the events in this book happen nearly right after the events that concluded Dark Tempest, give or take a few days. And Annette Marie doesn't give them a break. I mean, yeah their time is running out and they've just had this huuuuge fight, but nope. 

Things happen. And they're not very good things, as per usual.

I loved how high stakes-y this novel was. As a finale, there's a lot hanging in the balance and Marie definitely doesn't disappoint, not in the mention of character arcs, romantic arcs, or the overall plot. She never let things slow down and I never anticipated just exactly what would come next, which is most likely one of the main reasons I love her books so much! The writing, the action, the tension--it's hard not to keep reading and reading and reading, and the next thing you know, it's almost 2 AM. Or more.

From the get go, I was sucked back into Emi's world, her concerns. She's really changed from the girl introduced in Red Winter and I've really come to admire who she is now! She's definitely come a long way and watching her experience these fights and feelings and everything in between was wonderful; Marie really did a great job with Emi.

Before I get to the other things, I just want to mention how I love Yumei. He just makes me so emotional and I loved that he was a bit more present in this book! I mean, he was present in all three books, being part of the main group and all, but I feel that this final one brought him about in a new light various times and I loved it so much! 

And then there's Shiro. He's changed a lot from the initial flirty fox Emi first encounters in Red Winter. A lot of things have happened to him, both during the series and waaaaay before. His memory is returning bit by bit and it's understandably scary for Emi--him retrieving his memories means losing him as Shiro and sort of having someone else new where he was, kind of. I sympathised with Shiro so much throughout this novel! Both as him going through these circumstances and with his situation with Emi. They definitely didn't have it easy but I liked the way Marie wrote out their story.

So that being said about him, let's just say I felt a lot of emotions about their romance. I absolutely loved it. I thought Marie did a great job balancing both the action and the romance in this book, seeing as Emi's feelings did play a huge part of it. This can be tricky sometimes because it usually leads the plot being overtaken by the romance, but it didn't feel like that here. Several things happen here and all of them made me positively swoon.

The ending made me cry. I'm not even ashamed. I loved it and it, in return, decided to hurt, but that's fine, everything's fine, even though it's not

Okay, but seriously. The ending was great. I don't think anyone can expect it because it totally blew me away. I meant it when I said I cried--I was a mess. I completely get why Marie did what she did and it was a very satisfying ending, one that was appropriate given the circumstances of the characters. And anyway, if you don't cry at least once, is it really a finale?

Overall, 5 stars. It deserves all of them and then some. It was a perfect ending and definitely worth the wait. This series will definitely remain a favourite of mine and I can't wait to see what else Annette Marie has in store! 

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