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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Lying in Wait
Liz Nugent
Progress: 28/310 pages
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus
Progress: 72/313 pages
To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines
Judith Newman
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
Peter Godfrey-Smith
Progress: 41/255 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes
Chibi Vampire: The Novel Volume 5 - Tohru Kai, Yuna Kagesaki If you're a big fan of this series, you might like this novel. Maybe. Almost all of the series regulars make at least a brief appearance - the only character I missed was Karin's little sister, Anju, who, as far as I can remember, only had a few mentions and no speaking part. Kai stayed true to the original characters, and the story felt like something that could have happened in the manga.The book's primary original characters, Ayaha and her cousin, Shinobu, were mildly interesting. Ayaha had issues with her father, who she felt was trying to replace her mother, who had died of cancer, with a new young mistress. Shinobu had lived his whole life knowing that his mother would have preferred it if he had been born a girl. He also had a crush on Ayaha that was so secret, he refused to even admit his feelings to himself. He was probably the most intelligent person in the book – when Ayaha suddenly started throwing herself at Kenta, Shinobu put together what few clues he had and came to the correct conclusion that Karin had something to do with it, even if he didn't know exactly what it was she'd done. Oh, and have I mentioned that Shinobu was a bit of a sociopath?Unfortunately, for reasons I'll discuss next, I can't recommend this book to anyone but die-hard fans of the manga, and even they might be disappointed.As is usually the case with the light novels I've read, I found the writing/translation (it's hard to tell which) to be lacking. I could understand what was going on, but there was absolutely zero subtlety in the writing. It was the written equivalent of a sledgehammer, all the time. While I read a lot of fan fic that is often no better, and sometimes much worse, that fan fic is at least free. And also usually more interesting than this book was.Kai played it safe with the Chibi Vampire world and characters – absolutely nothing new and of lasting effect happened – and didn't even follow through with the book's two primary original characters. I had expected Shinobu to admit his feelings to Ayaha at some point, but their relationship was no different by the end of the book than it was at the beginning. I'd forgive that if there were any signs that Shinobu and Ayaha were going to be novel series regulars, but the descriptions I've read of a few of the other novels indicate that's not the case.The book's other big problem is Karin. It's been several years since I last read the manga, but I don't think Karin behaved any differently in the novel than she did in the manga. I just don't remember her being quite so annoying in the manga as she was in the novel. She was nice, but not very bright, to the point that just about anyone looked smart by comparison. She cried. A lot. She spent a good chunk of the book needing to be saved or crumbling in the face of adversity. Because she refuses to bite the one person who knows her secret and has offered, of his own free will, to let her bite him, she needs Anju's protection and help anytime she hunts, because she doesn't have the ability to erase people's memories like normal vampires do. The best she could do to protect an unconscious Kenta was hold him while shouting and crying.While it's true that the other novels in the series might be better, at this point I'd advise Chibi Vampire newbies to skip the novels and stick with the manga. Fans of the manga who'd like to try the novels should probably keep their expectations low.Extras:Most of the light novels I've read include illustrations, and this one is no exception. The nice thing about these is that they are done by the original manga's artist, so they look just like anything you'd find in the manga.(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)