September 27, 2010
Isaya Takamori – DokiDoki – 2010 – 1 volume
this is a novel
I reviewed this BL novel over at the Manga Village, so you can check it out over there.
I liked this. A lot. A whole lot. I cracked it open without realizing it was a novel, then proceeded to read the entire thing in about one sitting. I like vampire hunting stories, and while this didn’t have the best romance or the… uh, most coherent ending, the action and character development were really, really good. Plus, the very end of the book had me wishing for a sequel. I don’t think one exists, but I would read other books by the same writer. Good stuff, and it was light on the BL and heavy on the action.
And since Manga Village went down, here’s my review from over there:
Age Rating: 16+
A vampire hunter, Isaac, one day meets gorgeous and sexy silver haired Tristan, a vampire. Tristan is the trouble starter of the family; stirs up other people problems and self-centered. Isaac somehow manages to get involved in Tristan’s problems all the time. And one night, they spent a night together and Tristan confesses to Isaac… Something Isaac didn’t want to hear about…
I picked this up not realizing it was a novel, but was pleased all the same. I do read a lot of “paranormal romance”-type stories, and it was fun to see a yaoi twist on one. It was also a very quick read, it took me only a few hours to finish.
The story follows Isaac, the only vampire hunter working for a government-sponsored vampire hunter organization, a young man who is overworked and underappreciated. He only hunts mid-level vampires and peons, and isn’t really equipped to go after first and second generation powerful vampires by himself. One night, while running down a low-level servant vampire, he runs into Tristan, a beautiful boy who is clearly a vampire, a very powerful one, but not one that Isaac has ever seen or heard of before. Much to Isaac’s chagrin, Tristan begins hanging around and making unwanted advances. But to earn his keep, Tristan also offers invaluable help to the organization by locating all the vampires they are looking for, meaning that Isaac has to deal with his advances. There is, of course, a reason behind what Tristan does, and both Tristan and Isaac have dark pasts that intersect and come together for an epic conclusion in a fight against a master vampire. Par for the course in this type of story, but written in such a way to make it completely addictive and impossible to put down for genre nuts like me.
Isaac made for a good main character. He was very cynical, and the story is told from his perspective, so he offers a lot of wry humor that made reading this a lot of fun. The murder of his family is what drives him to kill vampires, and he never forgets this point when dealing with Tristan. As much as he appreciates the help, he can’t bring himself to fully trust a vampire with good intentions. Similarly, he can’t trust Tristan because he’s the stereotypical “straight” main character and doesn’t appreciate the romantic attention. Told from his perspective, this type of story is a lot more convincing since he really never “falls in love” with Tristan. He is annoyed by his advances, but becomes used to them and almost obsessed, until the situation comes to its inevitable head. In novel form, since we see the character’s thoughts, it’s a lot more convincing than it would be as a comic. He’s also likable and heroic, which is important in an action story like this one.
The fact that Isaac is a great main character goes far in supporting Tristan, who is rather annoying for about three quarters of the novel. He makes a point of hitting on Isaac more frequently than Isaac would like, and his superiority as a powerful vampire, combined with the unwanted advances and his unwillingness to share his plans, make him nearly impossible to sympathize with. We eventually see his weaknesses and his plans, and he is a little more… “emo” than I’d like after all that comes forward, but I suppose the fact that Isaac doesn’t like him initially colors the perception of him as well. We’re not really supposed to like him at first. Ultimately, he works well as a love interest and a main character.
As quickly as I consumed this, the ending is what really made it worthwhile. It’s fast-paced, the action is wonderful, lives are on the line, dark pasts are involved and revealed, it’s just about every exciting thing it could possibly be, and manages to pull it all off. The logic behind what drives the characters was a little flawed to me, and there are certain plot developments, especially the romance parts, that just didn’t really ring true to me. It has its flaws, but the final action scene, combined with how the characters react and turn out at the end, is what made me like the book so enthusiastically. Isaac’s sense of humor and the fun vampire-infested world the story is set in helped keep things interesting from the first page, too. It wasn’t the best paranormal romance I’d ever read, but it may be the best yaoi novel I’ve read, and I desperately wanted to read a sequel when I finished.
Good action scenes, a wry protagonist’s perspective, and decent fantasy elements make this tale of the male vampire slayer and the vampire who loves him a lot of fun to read.