Saturday, December 12, 2009


 THE DARK HUNTERS: Vol. 1, is a manga book with story by Sherrilyn Kenyon and art by Claudia Campos.
I've been hoping to find someone who reads a lot of manga to do a post here at VampChix, but no luck so far.  I like to offer a variety of book genres within the vamp genre, so we can all discover something new.  So when I ventured into the new-and-improved manga section in my local Borders the other day, I browsed and decided I'd check out this book.

I'm a manga noob (or better, a newb, since I am willing to learn).  I've glanced through a few books before, but I don't read them regularly or know too much about the genre, other than I love most of the artwork and I used to be a comic-book freak when I was a kid.  Donald Duck so did it for me.  But I digress.

It took me a bit to figure out how to actually read this book.  Newb, remember?  I knew that you read it backwards, but didn't pick up that you actually read each page from right to left until I was a few pages in.  If I would have noticed the handy-dandy directions in the back (front) of the book that would have saved me the embarrassment, but it's all good now.  I have successfully completed my first manga!

And I loved it.  Just so you know, I have only read Kenyon's FANTASY LOVER years ago.  So I'm unfamiliar with her Dark Hunters world.  Sure, I pick up books in the series all the time then stack them on my TBR pile.  I don't read them because as someone who writes vampires herself, I don't read a lot in the genre because there's always that fear of picking up someone else's world ideas.  It's not a huge fear, I just don't read vamps when writing them.

So my introduction to Kenyon's world was awesome.  Kyrian, the hero, is a badass, brooding, tortured, alpha hunter.  He's vampire, but he doesn't drink mortal blood (only the bad vamps do that).  The heroine, Amanda, is a not-so-innocent accountant who happens to have a sisters who are involved in the paranormal world; Amanda is the only one not at all interested in that woo-woo stuff—until she meets Hunter (Kyrian).  They are bound together—literally, with handcuffs—against their wills, and have to learn to work with each other to survive.  There's a lot of worldbuilding and flashbacks to show the hero's past and how all the various creatures in the series exist and what their powers are.  That's all cool.  I didn't feel as though it bogged the story down because there was enough action to balance it out.  There was a touch of romance as well, which is very necessary, I think, in any action story (The Terminator would not have been as successful without the romance; seriously.).  The artwork is amazing, and it matches the attitude of the immortal, kick-ass story very well.  No soft lines, all hard, precise details, just like the characters.

The only thing that bugged me was the cliff-hanger ending!  But then, I wondered, perhaps this is how it is with a manga series?  Does the story simply continue from book to book?  Someone will have to clue me in on that one.  But it definitely succeeded in making me want #2 in the series.

This series is rated 13+ for age, and I agree, some content goes beyond sweet romance, but stays far from 'explicit' territory.  It's a quick read, but you'll find yourself lingering over the artwork and then putting it on your 'keeper' shelf when you've finished.


Ida Brugler said...

I do not have these but have the Dark-Hunter seires and the League seires. each book is about i guess you could say a couple getting together. some are gods, weres, or dark hunters. GREAT BOOKS My fav. is ACHERON!
Thanks, Ida

Anna Dougherty said...

I've always been a fan of the Dark Hunter world and so I picked this up when it first came out. It's really cool and I enjoyed the new format. Well, it was new for me. I'm hoping to get the others as they come out.

Derek Tatum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Derek Tatum said...

Weirdly enough, the only person I know who would be qualified to review manga is... Sherrilyn Kenyon. Needless to say, I doubt she would be an objective judge ;)

It is to my knowledge that there are plans to continue the series, so I think the cliffhanger is part of the format. I'm like you, I've never really delved into the manga scene, but there are some vampire manga that I have enjoyed.

Michele Hauf said...

I've also got Vampire Hunter D waiting to be read. I loved the movie! So maybe this is my 'manga month'. :-)

Derek Tatum said...

What I found surprising is that the "Vampire Hunter D" manga is fairly recent. It was a book series first, then adapted to film, and now there is a manga...

I also enjoyed the "Hellsing" manga that I read. The idea there is that somehow the Van Helsing family found a way to control Dracula and make him fight for them. I haven't caught up to date with it but it is fun stuff.