Archive for the 'Li, Yishan' Category

27th May 2008

The Aluria Chronicles

Rating: ♦♦

After the last set of books I had reviewed for Yaoi Press, I had high hopes that the quality of the stories and art would continue. While the title story in this book is good, it just didn’t grab me the way some of their other titles have.

We’ve got Gin, a harem boy who’s having a pretty rotten case of bad luck. He’s falsely accused of murder, then left out to be a sacrifice to a demon for punishment. The demon surprisingly believes his innocence and brings him to the kingdom of Aluria.

Once there Gin is put in a cell with Kakale, who seems pretty damn nice at first. Until he screws him blind and then steals his body. Kakale’s a vampire, you see, and one of his powers is the ability to take over other’s bodies.

So Gin is running around in Kakale’s body, which is not a very healthy thing to do when most of the kingdom is after his head for being a blood-thirsty vampire. While running around in Kakale’s body Gin gets caught up with Kakale’s ex, Rakioul.

Rakioul manages to see Gin underneath the shell of Kakale’s body and falls for Gin’s innocence. But what are they going to do when Kakale wants his body back?

Things all end well, but there are a lot of plot holes and confusing bits that just left me wanting. This is a story that could have been completely engrossing, but instead fell short.

The other story included in the book was much more my speed. We’re taken back to feudal Japan – can we say ‘yay!’ for boys in traditional garb? – to meet two rivals who end up getting sucked into a spell that has them revealing their true feelings for each other. It’s drawn by the studio that brought us Pinned, so while the art was lacking, the story was completely engrossing.

I’m not sure if this would be a book I would recommend to anyone but the die-hard vampire fans, but it’s definitely a nice read. Not something that I will be keeping in my permanent collection, but a nice read all the same.

Posted by Cynthia | Posted in ♦♦, Aluria Chronicles, The, Leigh, Calissa, Li, Yishan | Comments Off on The Aluria Chronicles

22nd May 2008

Spirit Marked

Rating: ♦♦♦

Tatsuki narrowly escapes the imperial grounds as his uncle, the emperor, and family are killed by the demon shogun. From there, Tatsuki is saved by an animal spirit and imprinted with the spirit’s emblem. Hence, the title Spirit Marked.

The tale goes on, of course. There’s kidnapping and escaping and revenging and boys kissing. Honestly, if you’re looking for explicit sex, you won’t find it here. There are sex scenes, but they’re very, very tame.

The story is well thought out. I found the end to be a little abrupt though. I wasn’t ready for it to end. The illustrations were quite beautiful. Yishan Li did a superb job with perspective, emotion and movement.

Also in this volume is a piece called “Clockwork Heart” by Lawrence Rider and Studio Kosaru. I didn’t care for the jerky flow of this story. I don’t know if it was the writing or the editing. The relationship between the two characters just seemed, well, unbelievable because they moved to the sexing and commitment way too quickly. Studio Kosaru did a fine job of illustrating though. This might be one of the studio’s best pieces so far.

I think Yaoi Press is trying to find its place while giving new authors and illustrators an opportunity to be published. It’s a noble pursuit and I tip my hat to Yaoi Press. I hope to see the quality improve with time for I see potential.

Posted by Nikita | Posted in ♦♦♦, Hillman, Colter, Li, Yishan | Comments Off on Spirit Marked