Source: Netgalley, thank you to the publisher!
TL; DR : Vampire Anime Bullshit of the best, most ridiculous variety.
Remy is a Reaper – someone who hunts and destroys Vampires. He lives and works under the thumb of his father and the prejudice and hate of his fellow Reapers before he becomes embroiled with two delegates of the Vampire Courts who are trying to strike a careful peace with humanity. All while a new and savage strain of vampirism is sweeping over the country. My best elevator pitch for this is Vampire Anime Bullshit. Because that’s exactly what it is. I could clearly see, in descriptions and fight scenes the animation that this would be rendered in. Which, let me be clear, is a huge compliment (both to the writing and evidently my anime expertise?). The first 20-30 pages of this, I was solidly on the fence. But once that unlocked in my mind, once I started reading this like the gooey, ooey, anime style goodness it was? I ate it up. For me, the best part of this was the characters and their dynamics. Remy is exactly what you would expect from that kind of premise – and he fills the roll well. But my favorite part about Remy is he’s dumb. He’s so sweetly, stupidly dumb and he knows it. The others know, it they pick on him for it, and he just takes it in stride. There is something utterly refreshing about that. Then you have the actual sunshine that is Xiaodan Song and the grouchiest grouch Zidan Malekh on each side of him. These two vampires make up the perfect pairing with Remy’s meathead dumbness. In fact, it’s that relationship that has be waiting for the second book. This is by no means perfect. At times it feels drawn out, and as much as I love Remy’s lack of gray matter up top, he does occasionally get frustrating. But ultimately the dynamic of the banter, and the anime vibes of this are perfect. I ended up actually enjoying the arc of one particular character who I do hate, which was even more impressive to me. Overall this was a huge surprise to me. I will definitely be hunting (get it?) down the sequel when it comes out and I will happily recommend this for any of my anime or YA vampire fantasy fans out there. This is a can’t miss.
4 out of 5 spinning scythe blades (Because yes, there are ridiculous weapons in this too, my weeb heart be still)
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