Ohh, baby!! Get ready!!
Something in my brain clicked and I have been pounding away at book 3. I ran through my second round of edits in one day because I was so excited to get it done.
In fact, I am SO excited that the first two chapters of Lost Brother will be posted – for patrons only – over on my Patreon page the second they are cleaned up.
Please note: You won’t really get what’s going on with the story unless you’ve read the first two books; links to my books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble are on the sidebar of this blog.
I am so PUMPED for this, I cannot even tell you. My beta reader (bless her heart as she endures my harassment) has told me how terrifying she finds this new threat and I can’t wait for you all to meet him.
Anzai and his group collect Zero Eleven into their group and all of them seem to have suspicions about their Ishimaru’s real loyalties now that he’s the new leader. But, they keep going with their raids on the CCC. However, the CCC is one step ahead of them.
Watching this group in action despite how the CCC always ups them is amazing. Anzai and Ishimaru kick major ass when they need to. There needs to be more of that and less of the lingering glances between Tsukasa and Anzai. And Zero Eleven is annoying but I think her character is designed to be annoying. When the plot is moving, this series is good. 3 out of 5.
The new guy, Ishimaru, is working on getting Zero Seven and Zero Nine to join up with Anzai and his group in exchange for information on Kikuhara. Zero Seven only agrees if he will exchange for details about the devil who killed her mother. But with the existence of devils now public knowledge, tensions are high and man known for advocating devil rights has a ‘mysterious’ house fire. When Anzai arrives at the scene, Kikuhara needles Anzai about his lost memories.
Zero Seven’s backstory is messed up and I still get this feeling that anyone who tells her about the devil that murdered her mother won’t be telling the whole truth; much like how everyone keeps dancing around what Anzai can’t remember about his childhood. I hope these reveals turn out to be worth is in the long run since there’s so much build up. 3.5 out of 5.
*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is best for mature audiences
*This review is cross-posted at Otakus and Geeks.
In the follow up to the 1987 movie, we meet the Emmerson Brothers Sam and Michael. After defeating the vampire monster, Max and his buddied, the brothers thought their lives would go back to normal. But a coven of female vampires calling themselves the Blood Belles targets them for revenge and their lives are once again overturned with blood and violence.
Before we get into it, I have to admit I was not the biggest fan of the original movie. I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t feel the need to watch it more than once; which always shocks people who learn I write vampire fiction. After refreshing my memory, I found this book enjoyable. It picks up right where the movie left off, ups the stakes (no pun intended) and tells an entertaining story. The color palette and art are perfect for this genre to keep the mood haunting and dark. The character Believer had me rolling my eyes with his over the top speeches but otherwise, this book is cool. If you like vampires and love the movie, I think this is worth the read. I give it a solid 3.8 out of 5.
Yuuki has left a trail of bodies in his wake and despite Nora’s best efforts, both she and Makoto are captured. Yukiko is still desperately searching for answers with Sakurane.
By the end of this volume, ten years have gone by and the only character we are certain is still alive is Yukiko; which is fine by me since she is my favorite.
I do have to take a moment to talk about the art in this volume. I’m also in the midst of reading Ajin and Tokyo Ghoul so when we get to the obligatory ‘experiment on the creature’ scene in Happiness, I love the different route of making the images trippy, twisted, and distorted. It’s exactly the sort of art I’ve come to adore from Oshimi. It’s very creative and creepy because we know that distortion is Makoto’s pain. Excellent. 4.7 out of 5.
Makoto and Yuuki meet up with Nora but Nora is only interested in helping Makoto. Newly turned and unstable, Yuuki hides with his girlfriend, Nao. Yukiko is determined to find and help them but Makoto remains with Nora to try and help her regain her humanity.
Nora and Yukiko are my favorites so far. Nora isn’t totally brooding as there is this innocence about her that’s really genuine. At the same time, she’s tough and brutally decisive. Yukiko just wants to do the right thing and cure Makoto so she can get her friend back. I’m concerned about her fate as Yuuki is destroying everything around him so it’s only a matter of time before he gets to her.
I am glad I picked up this series. Oshimi is the main reason I bought this because I loved the Flowers of Evil series and this series keeps to that trippy, otherworldliness from its predecessor. I am really enjoying this. 4 out of 5.
*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+
*This review is crossposted to Otakus and Geeks.
Danny Crawford’s religious father decided to stop him from being gay by dumping the boy into conversion therapy. Desperate to escape the abuse in his home at the hands of his homophobic father, Danny is willing to die. While in the hospital recovering from his botched suicide attempt, his plight moves Damien; a vampire pretending to be a priest in order to feed on terminal patients. Damien decides to take the boy in but Danny’s father is determined to fix the ’embarrassment’ that is his son.
I had such high hopes for this given the premise but my overall impression is that of reading a textbook. The POV will switch, the prose seems to talk AT you, and the whole thing comes off as a methodical checklist of what a gay paranormal romance is supposed to contain without the heart other stories have. Damien switches back and forth between contemporary vampire and old world vampire in his language and that knocked me right out of the book. I couldn’t get fully immersed.
This book feels like a missed opportunity. It could have been a really touching, beautiful story that brought up the very real horrors of conversion therapy but I feel like I got a particularly detailed wiki entry. It isn’t even very smutty as the sex scenes are all fade to black. I have to give this a 2 out of 5.
After being saved from death by Nora, Makoto grapples with his blood-lust. Nora insists staying with humans will give him nothing but pain but Makoto clings to his friends and family. However, Yuuki was bitten when Makoto tried to save him so when he turns, it brings some strange men to Makoto’s door, who attempt to kidnap him. And these men know about and are prepared for vampirism.
In comparison to a lot of vampire stories these days, this one is fairly subdued. I’ve seen it compared to Let the Right One In and I have to agree. Instead of being loud, flashy, or overly gory; Happiness is taking it’s time to build a moody atmosphere. And again, the art reflects the desperate nature of Makoto’s thirst and ow his perceptions have changed since being turned. Very smartly executed. 4.5 out of 5.
Makoto ends up befriending his former bully, Yuuki, after intervening when Yuuki was going to get beat up by more dangerous bullies. But they go after Makoto for revenge; inciting his new bloodlust and attracting another vampire to the carnage.
In this volume, we also get to learn the name of the girl who turned Makoto; Nora. The volume ends before she does anything to tell us more about her so I am anxious to learn her deal and why she’s interested in Makoto at all. With all the intriguing atmosphere, I guess I expected a little more back story this time but I’ll have to wait for the next volume to find out more. 3 out of 5 for that tease at the end.