Vampire Hunter D: Volume 10

Kikuchi is back and extravagant as ever with his first and only "Vampire Hunter D" 3-set novellas.

In the title story, "Dark Nocturne", D is hired to unlock the secret of a siren's song that is drawing men to their deaths in the hills outside Anise Village.

In "Notes on Imagined Autumn" D finds himself caught between two lovers during a ritualistic sacrifice in the village of Shirley's Door, but if D can't stop the sacrifice will all in the village be doomed?

And in "Legend of the War Demons" two living weapons, genetically engineered creatures who are the last remnants of a war waged hundreds of years in the past, find that battle is not so easily forgotten. It's up to D to stop their unending conflict before it consumes the present as it did the past.

Each short story is beautifully written, each separate yet interconnected in so many ways. It's hard not to appreciate the subtlety and extreme style of Kikuchi. The 3 novellas share one certain trait among others -- their stories revolve around one particular season and subsequently moving in perfect concert, the first novella takes place in the Spring, second in the Fall, and to end it, Winter befalls.

Innovation must be one of Kikuchi's many many names. No one story is alike and none can be compared to other works. "Legend of the War Demons" was especially enticing -- a war that's been going on for millenniums seems unrelenting even though each castle's inhabitants have long died. If you've never picked up a "Vampire Hunter D" novel, this is sure to turn you into a regular. Vampire stories aren't really my forte, yet Kikuchi was able to achieve the rank of "My Ultimate Favorite Writer" with his little series called "Vampire Hunter D."

As always, he never ceases to amaze -- his abilities seem limitless. The preview of Volume 11 proves it without a shadow of a doubt. In "Pale Fallen Angels: Part One," D's newest employer is none other than a Nobility. This odd pair of Dhampir and Nobility is sure to be an interesting one. But we'll have to wait till October to read the tale.

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