Written By: Christine Feehan
Art By: Zid of Imaginary Friends Studios
Published By : The Berkley Publishing Group
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
A couple of weeks ago, I was wandering through the Barnes & Noble discount section and noticed a manga on the shelves. What caught my eye was that the manga, Dark Hunger, was written by New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, best known for her vampire novels. Intrigued, I decided to pick it up.
Dark Hunger revolves around Riordan, a Carpathian male vampire hunter, and Juliette, an activist with a secret. As the manga opens, we discover that Riordan has been captured by a Master Vampire and is being held at a laboratory in a hidden jungle location. He has been tortured and poisoned with no hope of survival until Juliette, seeking to free the exotic animals caged inside the laboratory finds and releases him. Thinking that she has been sent by the Master Vampire to inflict greater injuries upon him, Riordan first goes on the attack. But he soon realizes that Juliette is in fact Riordan’s lifemate, a fate that Juliette resists fully. Undaunted, Riordan continues his pursuit despite discovering Juliette’s secret identity.
Dark Hunger is at its heart (no pun intended) a love story, as romantic as any other vampire tale. The twist – Juliette’s secret identity – adds a bit of flavor to the mix, but we have seen this tale before. There is nothing truly new or remarkable about the story, which is probably why the book ended up on the bargain shelves. Rated “Teen Plus”, it’s a big tease – slightly racy for teenagers, but lacking in eroticism for adults. The story starts off strong, grows a tad melodramatic and then gets a bit on the weird and stilted side toward the end. I will say that the artwork is extremely enjoyable. Zid has quite a way with drawing the human form and I dare say that had this manga not been rated for teens, this would be a rather “hot” manga. In fact, I probably would have enjoyed this manga a lot more if Zid had been given freer reign with his artwork.
The ending of the manga left it open for a sequel – maybe the sequel should be rated a bit higher on the maturity scale. That way, fight scenes can be a tad more descriptive and love scenes can be a bit more steamy. Otherwise, I’d probably passed. I would recommend Dark Hunger to teenagers who enjoy vampire stories, but I would caution them to find it at a bargain price. The tale is simply not enjoyable enough to pay the full $10.00 price tag.