I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
When I saw that this story and the next work in the series, Fire & Ice, were tagged “asexual,” I decided to give them a shot. I wanted to see how an asexual character would be handled. Since I hate reading series out of order, I bought the first work, Blood & Ash, as well. If you've been keeping track of my recent reviews, you already know I was disappointed by Blood & Ash. Fenton: The Loneliest Vampire (hereafter, FTLV) wasn't an improvement.
A big part of the problem was that FTLV was not actually a story, but rather a series of events connected by lots of summarizing. It began with Fenton's birth, and it wasn't until halfway through that he became a vampire. The last half of FTLV spanned several centuries and ended not long before the start of Blood & Ash. I think FTLV would have been much stronger if Aaron had focused on one particular event, such as Fenton's time with Kali. All that summarizing really weakened the story, and the portion focusing on Fenton's time as a human felt unnecessarily long.
When I first started planning out this review, I thought I would at least be able to say I liked Fenton better than Ash, but that wasn't really the case. True, Fenton didn't annoy me the way Ash did, and I found him to be more interesting. However, it was the idea of him that interested me more than anything. I loved the idea of an asexual main character who still wanted love, but wasn't interested in or comfortable with expressing that love via sex. It was too bad that "asexual and lonely" seemed to be all Fenton was.
Part of me is looking forward to seeing the development of an asexual relationship between Fenton and Skye, which reviews tell me will be happening in at least part of Fire & Ice. Unfortunately, I have little faith that Aaron will be able to make the characters and their relationship as complex and interesting as they should be.
The bit at the end, about Azrael's torture at the hands of some witches, only emphasizes how surface-level the characters in this series are. In Blood & Ash, Azrael is captured by witches again while trying to save Ash. Was there any mention of his previous capture and torture? No. I didn't even know about it until I read FTLV. There should have been some mention, maybe even some residual emotional effects.
(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)