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The Dark-Hunters: Volume 1    by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Claudia Campos Amazon.com order for
Dark-Hunters
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2009 (2009)
Softcover

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*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

I had not read any of Sherrilyn Kenyon's previous novels, so was not sure what to expect from the first in an original English language manga series based on Kenyon's Dark-Hunters. But even though I had not read any of the novels, based on my experience with the paranormal genre, I feel like The Dark-Hunters manga was very toned down.

Amanda Devereuax comes from a family full of psychics, vampire hunters, and other females with strange abilities. Amanda actually has foretelling dreams, but she has hidden this fact from the world after being mercilessly teased as a teen. Since then, she has tried to distance herself from her family and live a normal life as an accountant. However, her fiancÚ just broke up with her because of her sisters and now Amanda feels lost though still safe in her average life. What she does not expect is to be mistaken for her twin sister and handcuffed to Kyrian, a vampire known as a Dark Hunter. As much as she would like to deny her heritage, she must embrace the paranormal if she is to survive.

Aside from the typical trap of too-much-dialogue that many OEL fall into (especially those based on a book), The Dark-Hunters has many problems as a manga. Claudia Campos's art is very uneven. Yes, it has a typical American shojo feel to it, which is great, but her characters are inconsistent. Sometimes I could swear that Kyrian is female due to his long, wavy blonde hair and his extreme eye lashes, but other times he is just a dude who looks like a lady. Either way, he falls short of being the bishonen that is typical of either Japanese or American manga. Another problem is Amanda's facial expressions. In manga, these are Řber important as they are how the reader connects to the character's emotional state. Most of the time I could not tell what Amanda was feeling without reading the dialogue.

However, what hurts this manga most is the lack of focus on a target audience. Though the majority of manga readers are teens, that does not mean an adult series should be turned into a T manga suitable for the 13+ age range. Someone that young could not connect with these characters and their situations. Making it OT (16+) would have helped, but even then readers would feel lost in some parts. If The Dark-Hunters were rated M (as I am sure the novels would be if such a rating existed), there could quite possibly be a readership for this manga series. As it stands now, it is too old for the targeted age while too young for the age that might enjoy it.

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