Book Review: Kitsune

Title: Kitsune, A Little Mermaid Retelling

Author: Nicolette Andrews

Genre: Romance | Fantasy | YA

Series: Tales of Akatsuki

Publisher: self-published

Publication Date: 14 August 2015

Ebook: 274 pages

Source: Given by author (thanks, Nicolette!)

Synopsis:  Rin is a Kitsune, or at least she was until a witch’s spell turned her human. To regain her powers, Rin must make the lord’s son fall in love with her before the next full moon. She thought it would be easy, her kind have been seducing humans for centuries. But Hikaru is different. He’s handsome, intelligent, and kind –the opposite of everything she’s assumed about humans. The plan is to seduce him and get back her powers, there’s no room for love.

Hikaru never believed in the Yokai. In fact, he thought it foolish to believe in monsters. A lifetime of skepticism has guarded him from truths too painful to accept. And Rin’s mysterious arrival in his life challenges all his long held beliefs. She has bewitched him. Though he is drawn to her, he has to keep his distance. His father’s treaty depends on his marriage to another and even an innocence dalliance could ruin everything.

While they try to deny their attraction, they are drawn together as if by fate’s design. Falling in love is dangerous. Not only are they from different worlds, but their time together can only end in heartache. To break the spell Rin must betray Hikaru or be turned into a fox. But if they’re willing to risk it all, they may find a love to last lifetimes.

Rating:  ✯✯✯✯½

Review

There are lots of YA books out there right now that feature a fairy tale retelling with a kick-ass heroine. Many are well written (example: Cinder by Marissa Meyer), but there are also many which are horribly written. To me, Kitsune is one of the very good AWESOME ones.

While there were some mistakes and tropes (*glares at the love triangle*) in Kitsune that I couldn’t ignore, this book has so many elements I love. Forbidden romance. An anti-hero, kick-ass, non-white (I’m not being racist!) main character with a super complicated past. A villain who is simultaneously wicked and awesome. Unexpected twists at every corner.

There is only one word to describe Rin, one of the MC in this book: AWESOME. It’s refreshing to FINALLY see that the main character isn’t a white person (again, I’m not being racist!). Rin kick butts, but not all the time. She wasn’t the cliche mean girl who always goes around taking names and/or kicking butts. While she’s not particularly friendly and gives off this “deceptive and evil” vibe, she is smart and is willing to sacrifice herself for those she loves and cares deeply. However, I couldn’t exactly connect to Rin. For some reasons.

Hikaru, Rin’s lover, was almost the exact opposite of her. He’s insecure, has a temper and self-doubt. I kind of like him at the beginning, but as the story progresses, I like Hikaru less and less. He was torn between his love for Rin and his duty to his kingdom, so I perfectly understood why he was so insecure and jumpy. But, I just… couldn’t stand Hikaru for being like that. It irritates me.

I was quite disappointed with the co-main character, Hikaru’s brother, Hotaru I’d expected something different from the typical Jealous-Younger-Brother. Disappointingly, Hotaru was another cliche character. Though he has depth, I didn’t relate to him. Maybe it was because of the fact that he was a cliche character?

The old woman who appeared around chapters 3 to 5, is… drum rolls please… the witch, A.K.A, the villain. This lady is wickedly awesome! She keeps to her promises. If she says she will kill someone, she will do it. In an awesome way (Apologies, but I can’t seem to stop using the word ‘awesome’!).

One thing that I really like about Kitsune is that the secondary characters weren’t ignored, unlike the secondary characters in other stories. The secondary characters had depth, though not as much as the main characters. But that’s understandable because they were… secondary (or minor) characters.

Let’s talk about the romance. There’s a love triangle, and I absolutely HATE love triangles, especially badly written ones.

So in turn, I didn’t exactly like the love triangle in Kitsune. I wouldn’t say the love triangle in this story was horrible, but it wasn’t exactly the best either. The forbidden love between Rin and Hikaru, wasn’t something I’ve never seen before, but the author executed it so well, I actually love it.

The plot was great; the writing was equally good. I love how Nicolette writes her stories. The narrative wasn’t confusing at all, and it kept me turning the pages! (I mean, scrolling through the pages on my phone).

Of course, there were cliches. The love triangle was one of them. Something else I didn’t like about Kitsune: the ending. It felt a little rushed, like the writer couldn’t wait to end the story. Also, it seemed to me that the story was more centered around the main characters (especially Rin and Hikaru’s romance), leaving little space for world building. While that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, I felt that it would be better if we readers were given more insight into the world that the characters live in.

Apart from those few points which sort of ruined my reading experience, I like this book and I will definitely re-read it!

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