Friday, May 13, 2011

The Dark Hunters, Volume 4 by Sherrilyn Kenyon and art by Claudia Campos

This manga is a version of the Sherrilyn Kenyon book "Night Embrace". Talon is a Dark- Hunter who meets and falls in love with a human. The Dark-Hunter's name is Talon, and he has attracted the bad attention of Camulus, a Celtic God whose son he slew in battle centuries ago. And now that Talon has finally fallen in love with the human artist known as Sunshine, Camulus has the perfect target to take out his vengeance on.

And New Orleans is suffering from an influx of Daimons, and Acheron, the leader of the Dark-Hunters, has called them all together to fight the Daimons. But someone is impersonating Ash, and since Acheron wears dark glasses all the time to hide that he has eyes of a solid silver color, it's almost impossible to tell them apart. Luckily for Talon, two Weres, Fang Kattalakis and his brother Vane are in the city to protect their sister, Anya, who is pregnant and close to giving birth. While they aren't vampires or Dark Hunters, they don't like Daimons either, and they agree to help Ash, and Talon, should they need help.

And since Talon must avoid the sun during the day, Vane and Fang are the ones he calls on to keep watch on Sunshine when she needs to travel the city during the day, since Talon can't be there to protect her. But when Sunshine is snatched, Talon needs the help of Ash and the Kattalakis brothers to get her back. Afterwards, Sunshine meets her grandmother, who gives her a talisman to protect her. But how can a mortal magical trinket protect the vulnerable Sunshine from a very pissed-off God?

And Talon has an ace in the hole, the spirit of his dead sister, slaughtered at the same time as Talon, named Ceara. Ceara has kept watch over Talon, whose real name is Speirr, ever since they were killed together. And now she has agreed to be reborn, because Sunshine is the spirit of Talon's dead wife Nynia reborn, and now that he has her again, he no longer needs Ceara. But Talon is afraid of hurting her when he is killed either by the Daimons or Camulus, and he tries to get her love killed by Eros, whose lead-tipped arrows can destroy love. Except, it seems, when it is true love, and Sunshine's love is true.

But how can Talon keep Sunshine safe and survive to build a life of love with her? And will Sunshine risk losing her artistic talent forever to return Talon's soul, kept by Artemis, to his body? And how can he live without Sunshine, if he will outlive her merely human lifespan? Is there any way these two lovers can find happiness together?

I picked this up based on title alone, not realizing that it was merely the manga-ization of one of the already-existing Sherrilyn Kenyon books. And to be honest, this is probably the last series I would ever want to be done as a manga. Why? Because Sherrilyn Kenyon's heroes are men. Manly men, not the sort of man-boys that manga holds up as the epitome of male beauty. I mean, yes, the characters are all very handsome men, but not pretty-boys. And that's exactly what the artist turns the characters into, which was a complete betrayal of the kind of characters that the Dark-Hunters are.

All of the characters in this book look like they are in their late teens at best, and are all long and willowy-looking. Again, far from what the characters are supposed to look like in their respective books. We're talking about manly guys in their 20's, not teen wannabees. And that just stuck in my craw. Like I said, this series is the last one I would consider turning into a manga, because the characters in it are the least compatible with the Anime style. It turns into some horrible car crash of a great story with art that is totally in opposition to how the characters are supposed to look.

If you want to read the real deal, go for the original novel, Night Embrace, and give this series a miss. You miss out on a lot of the story, and unless you are a besotted teen looking for new anime men to swoon over, there is really no need to look this one up. I mean, when the main character doesn't look any older than Ash's squire Nick, who really is a teenager, you know something is wrong. Avoid and find the real book.

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