Review: Okami

  • Title:
    • Okami: A Little Red Riding Hood Retelling
  • Author:
    • Nicolette Andrews
  • Release:
    • January 26, 2022
  • Format:
    • Audiobook
  • Narrator:
    • Joanna Roddy
  • Series:
    • Tales of Akatsuki, Book 3

I went into this book thinking it was a Little Mermaid retelling. Kinda shows how much of a grasp I have on reality, now that I think about it. I previously reviewed Yuki: A Snow White Retelling, I didn’t know I had all 3 books. While I spent the first few hours of this story lost and confused, I still feel I have a decent grasp of what was going on.

That’s not saying much though. I was still lost. There were a bunch of Japanese names and words being brought up, much like in Yuki. I’ve heard the names before (okami, oni, etc.) but I have no idea what they mean. I’ve also never had more than a passing familiarity with the Red Riding Hood story in any format. All this to say; I went into this with little to no context.

We’ve all seen the story about a pair who are reluctantly traveling together and slowly starting to have feelings for each other. It’s well done and even if you want to call it unoriginal, it’s a retelling. So it’s not like the book is pretending to be original.

The failing here is the pacing. All of the romance scenes are really sped up. They really didn’t do the whole “I can’t stand you and I can’t wait to not have to travel with you anymore!” thing. There were some sweet bonding scenes and scenes where they shared a moment and grew as characters. There was always so much more of import going on story-wise, the romance really took a back seat. The protagonists had chemistry but not the time to properly develop it in a way that didn’t feel rushed.

There was a super obvious scene. The moment I describe it, if you’ve read any romance before, you’ll know what I mean. The scene where one character finds out the other was lying about or hiding something, then gets pissed at them for a few chapters before forgiving them. That scene played out as expected, but it really felt wasted as it was over with so quickly, it really didn’t feel like it needed to happen.

The audio narration was great. I didn’t take any notes because there weren’t any repeated audio instances, I was always able to tell who was speaking. The narrator didn’t constantly mispronounce words and spoke in a clear, consistent tone of voice. It was a nice treat to have a competent narrator with clean audio.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a digital review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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