Tuesday 20 September 2011

Book Review: Vampire Kisses, Blood Relatives vol 1 by Ellen Schreiber and Rem

Title: Vampire Kisses- Blood Relatives 1
Author: Ellen Schrieber. Art by Rem
Series:  Vampire Kisses Blood Relatives #1
Published:  1st October 2007 by Tokyopop
Length: 128 pages
Warnings: vampires, slight kissing
Other info: This is based on the Vampire Kisses series written by Ellen Schreiber, who has also written the Full Moon series. Rem has illustrated things, most recently the manga version of Gail Carriger's Soulless. 
Summary :The absolute last thing goth-girl Raven and her vampire boyfriend, Alexander, need is another hitch in their nighttime-only romance—but dark trouble hovers on the horizon when Raven and Alexander discover four freshly dug graves filled with empty coffins. When a crew of sketchy vampires takes up residence in Dullsville's lonely graveyard, Alexander finds this motley bunch led by his very own blood-sucking cousin, Claude Sterling. Shocking! Claude and his creepy crew can only spell out more problems for the pair, especially when Raven finds them in daylight in the very last place she could ever imagine. What could Claude and his invaders be doing—or searching for—in Dullsville?
Review:This is a spinoff to the fairly popular series Vampire Kisses, which features goth girl Raven and her vampire boyfriend Alexander. However it’s not a adaption of the novels, as Blood Relatives has a new storyline-Alexander’s cousin Claude has turned up in Dullsville (where they live) and has started looking for something. Exactly why is not known. However, judging by Alexander’s determination to stop him, the reason can’t be good.
The storyline’s ok. It’s not outstandingly good, or outstandingly bad. Same goes for the action that happens, because not that much happens. This is probably because it’s the first volume and therefore only really character introductions and scene setting and all that ever happens in manga volume 1. It may also be because of the length. You can’t fully have a story set up in 128 pages. Especially in manga, where it’s mainly pictures with a little text to explain it all. It doesn’t give quite enough room to pad everything out. And even if it does, it’s read and over far too quickly. There’s physically not enough in this book.
The characters are good. Raven can get on your nerves slightly, as can Alexander. But most people can after constant exposure. I.e. The first chapter features no-one but Raven and Alexander, except for a few panels at the end.
I like Rem’s art. Its in her own style, and the clothes are well designed. The character designs are also amazing- they’re exactly how I envisioned Raven and Alexander when I read the novels. Six of them I read, and there’s a few more I need to read. The clothes are also extremely detailed and pretty-I loved Raven’s wardrobe
I like the fact that the novels aren’t essential reading to enjoy this. There’s a double page spread introducing the characters we’d know from the novels, and the manga-only characters get introduced when they appear. Of course, reading the novels are a good way of adding a bit more character, but you could, I think, very easily read the manga without the novels. I say I think because I read the novels before I knew the manga existed. Oh well.
Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a quick light read that needs more to it than the 128 pages there is.

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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