Reading Level: Adult
Size: 224 pages
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Parasol Protectorate manga series
Rating: 5/5 stars
This was a very well done graphic novel retelling of the Soulless novel (1st novel of the Parasol Protectorate series). I enjoyed it a lot. Lots of humor and action, along with a Victorian and Steampunk flavor. There is also quite a bit of romance.
Miss Alexia Tarabotti is a soulless or preternatural and finds herself attacked by a rove vampire at a ball. She refuses to be dismissed and insists on helping Lord Conall Maccon solve the mystery behind the appearances of more and more rove vampires. Alexia may be headstrong and smart, but is she strong enough to stand up to the attention and flirtation of Lord Maccon without becoming too emotionally involved?
This was a very fun read, it was engaging and I loved the illustration style. The illustrations are absolutely stunning. The costumes are extremely intricate and beautiful and I never had any trouble following the characters or story. The style is very manga-like but the book is read from front to back, left to right in American style.
I actually think this manga retelling was even more fun than the original full length novel. It hits all the best points of the story, there is a lot of humor, and the dialogue is witty and fun. This is the first time I have really read a manga that focused more on romance than action (although there is plenty of that). I actually really enjoyed it, it was just so much fun (I know I keep repeating fun…but it really was a fun read).
Alexia and Conall are a bit more light-hearted and goofy than in the original novel. Alexia is portrayed as much prettier and lady-like than I imagined her to be from the novels, still the slight shift in character worked really well for this manga style graphic novel. I loved Lord Akeldama, his overdone and flamboyant characterization translates perfectly into manga format and was incredibly well done.
Really this is one of those manga’s that was incredibly well-balanced. We are introduced to wonderful characters, there is an intriguing mystery, a solid world, action, romance, and beautiful illustration throughout. I really really enjoyed it.
I would recommend to older YA or adult readers. There is some nudity in here as well as some steamy scenes. Aside from that though the story doesn’t really have any swearing or horrific violence or anything like that.
Overall a stunningly beautiful and highly entertaining graphic novel. I really loved it. I would definitely recommend to fans of the Parasol Protectorate series. I would also recommend for those who love humorous manga that have witty dialogue, steampunk elements, and romance. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!