Review: The Dark-Hunters manga by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dark-Hunters Volume 1 cover

The Dark-Hunters
Sherrilyn Kenyon, art by Claudia Campos
Vol. 1: July 2009; Vol. 2: March 2010
St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBNS: 978-0312376871 and 978-0312554002
208 pages (both volumes)

When I first heard that the Dark-Hunter books were being retold and retooled in manga, I wasn’t sure if I was excited about it. When I heard that the Dabel Brothers would be involved, I perked up. I’ve enjoyed their treatment of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time novel, New Spring, and knew that the art would be excellent (though I notice their name isn’t on volume two, so… at least their initial involvement eased my worries).

I was a slacker fan and didn’t pick up the first volume, which came out last year, until I saw volume two, which released this March, on the shelf. Fortunate me! I got the whole of this story arc in one sitting. The first two manga books cover the story of Kyrian of Thrace, whose story Sherrilyn initially told in Night Pleasures. Now I’m going to share why this series is a guilty pleasure of mine: the Dark-Hunter series is paranormal romance, and as such there are some lovely, juicy sex scenes in the novels. I was very curious to see how that translated into manga. I was pleasantly surprised by that aspect of the original stories being glossed over. Intimate acts are implied, Nick comments on Kyrian getting laid, but it’s nice and safe for the Teen/13+ crowd this is rated for, and only risqué when we get to see a fair bit—but obviously not too much—of the Dark Hunter Talon (whose story will be told in the next two volumes of the manga series).

Joshua Hale Fialkov’s adaptation of Sherrilyn’s story works beautifully with Claudia Campos’ art, and once I remembered the right-to-left reading style of Japanese manga—it’s been a while, alright?—reading and seeing the story unfold was a pleasure. My fear of this style of art making these dreamy beefcake male characters too effeminate was unrealized; though Kyrian is very, very pretty he’s still the manly man, and seeing him as an ancient Greek general is no stretch. Acheron is the perfectly mysterious bad boy, and seeing him drawn reminded me how young he was when he stopped aging.

Thank you, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Claudia Campos. I didn’t know it was possible to drool over manga-style men. Bravo!

I’ve gone from leery of this new medium for a beloved series to excited. Volume three is scheduled to hit the shelves September 28, 2010, and I suspect I’ll be at my local Dark-Hunter Volume 2 coverstore (a convenient walking distance from my office) to scoop it up that day.

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About Jessica

Dork extraordinaire, that's me! An unhealthy knowledge of Star Trek, a love of books, a fondness for purring cats.
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