Merry Christmas and Happy New All !!! Belated I know. We had some rather unpleasant circumstances this past week, causing me to get quite behind in my writing schedule. Rest assured J.S. is working twice as hard to catch up! I don’t have a lot to add this particular week, so I’ll leave you with another book review I did on a novella entitled Vampire Hunter D. It’s a great read. Not too long, not too in-depth, just great reading. Was like 5 bucks on Amazon. There’s something like twenty-three in the series, at least in its native Japan. Over here in the states there’s I think seventeen or eighteen. I’ve only read up to Vol. 4, and only posted a review on the first one so far. I’ll get to the others, and I’ll leave my thoughts on Goodreads as well as here. So, without further a-do, here it is. Again Merry late Christmas everyone, and Happy New Year!!!
Vampire Hunter D-A Review
By J.S. Eaton
This is my review of the novel Vampire Hunter D by Hideyuki Kikuchi. And yes, that is a Japanese author, and the novel was originally written in Japanese and translated into English.
BOTTOM LINE: It’s a great book, not terribly long, but well-written and quite entertaining.
Vampire Hunter D is a sci-fi/horror novel. Set in the year 12091, it’s a story in the far distant future. This allows the author a great deal of freedom in his scientific conceptualization, and he uses it to great effect. This novel is the first in a series of twenty-five books so far. At present, the first seventeen have been translated, and as a fan of the series I can only hope that all of them will be brought over eventually.
In this far distant future, vampires have ruled the earth for thousands of years, ever since a nuclear holocaust in the early twenty-first century laid humanity low and allowed the vampires to rise to social and military supremacy. Since that time, the vampires have ruled humanity in a kind of pseudo-feudal society. The vampires are even referred to often as The Nobility. At the time the stories begin, vampire society has begun a steady decline, for reasons that are only vaguely hinted at, at least in the early books. Humanity lives on the outskirts of the great vampire cities, in an area known as the Frontier. It is in this time and place that the novels start, with their hero, known only as D.
The story of this first book concerns a young woman named Doris Lang who’s been bitten by a vampire lord named Magnus Lee who lives near her village. The mysterious vampire hunter, D, makes his way into her village and she hires him to kill the vampire before she turns into a vampire herself.
This first novel is a great entry into this far distant future. The writing incorporates a number of different themes besides sci-fi, not the least of which is a heavy Old-West motif. The Frontier, where humanity lives, is often described in details that would make up a typical western American town from the eighteenth century. Saloons, the town sheriff, stables, the dusty dirt street, they’re all here in the novels. Kikuchi has combined them in the most interesting ways though, and it works well throughout.
The hero, D, is actually a half-vampire. He’s picked up the best of both worlds however, being relatively immune to sunlight, or any of the other weaknesses that vampires have here while maintaining the vampire’s strength and speed. A word about D is probably warranted at this point. The author goes to great lengths on numerous occasions to tell the reader how perfect D is, how every woman who sees him wants him, how strong he is and how he’s always cool and collected. D bests nearly everyone who battles him, even vampires. After a few of these references it becomes obvious that Kikuchi is really enamored of his literary creation. It’s not a bad thing, but after the third or fourth time we’re told about D’s striking good looks or his invincibility it can kind of wear.
The story itself is good. The antagonist, Magnus Lee, is a sordid old blood-sucker who’s been alive for thousands of years. Every so-often he takes himself a human bride, more as a plaything than a partner. Doris is eventually captured by the vampire, and D has to rescue her. Once that’s done he has to defend her from the vampire’s minions, not the least of which is Lamika, Magus Lee’s daughter. D defeats all these opponents with ease. There are subtle hints during the narrative that D owes his superior abilities to something aside from being half-vampire, but that’s never fully explained here.
The story is relatively short compared to most novels from western authors. Not having read any other Japanese authors I couldn’t say whether or not this is a normal length for novels from across the ocean. It’s an entertaining story nonetheless, and more than worth the five dollars I paid for a printed copy. I really look forward to reading the further adventures of this mysterious hunter named D. Kikuchi has made an interesting character and set him into a fascinating future.
See you in the Future