Reading Level: Older Teen
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Betrayal Knows My Name series
Rating: 4/5 stars
“Abandoned as a baby and raised in an orphanage, the kind-hearted high-schooler Yuki Sakuragi is driven by a need to find the reason for his existence. Plagued by mysterious dreams, Yuki also possesses the strange ability to read the deepest, darkest thoughts of anyone he touches. As both the dreams and his powers intensify, there appears before him a beautiful young man named “Zess,” whose face tugs on Yuki’s memory. He warns Yuki not to venture outside on Walpurgis Night, the eve of the blood-red moon, which invites death. But when Yuki’s compassion leads him to disobey Zess’s order, has Yuki carelessly thrown his life away before he’s even given himself the chance to find out the very reason for it?”
This is the first book in The Betrayal Knows My Name manga series. There are six volumes in this series and all have been released. I picked this up because it was recommended to those who enjoy the Black Butler series and I did end up enjoying this quite a bit. The premise and characters are interesting, if a little confusing at times..
I do have a couple of complaints…there are a ton of characters thrown at the reader and a lot of them look similar so it’s hard to tell who is who sometimes. Towards the end of the volume even more characters are added. If Odagiri is going to keep adding characters we’ll need a quick bit at the front of each volume reminding us who is who.
My other complaint is that the story jumps around between locations without letting the reader know, which makes it hard to follow. All the sudden you will realize you’re reading about a different set of characters at a different location. I had to flip back a number of times to figure out what had happened, only to realize that we had just abruptly changed storylines/locations/characters.
The illustration is intricate and well done and many of the character are heart-breakingly beautiful. There is a bit of gender-bending that goes on since the main character Yuki was supposedly a woman in his past life.
Overall the premise is interesting enough that I plan on reading the second book. I am hoping the second book will be a bit easier to follow. I would recommend to those who enjoy paranormal manga with a bit of a Victorian feel to it (although it’s set in modern day). I can understand why fans of Black Butler would recommend this manga; it’s got a similar feel to it.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Graphic Novel Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
– Paranormal Reading Challenge
– YA Reading Challenge