Posted on August 28, 2008 by Monica Valentinelli
When manga comic book styles meet a popular author’s work, the results can be either spectacular or disappointing. Christine Feehan’s Dark Hunger is paranormal romance mixed with a highly stylized art form that does what it sets out to do — entertain fans and entice new ones with a bit of passion and lust.
What I liked about this particular manga interpretation, was that this product is the whole package; the cover art shows the two main characters (Riordan and Juliette) as they appear in the book. With cover copy that shows off the “romance” in the work, you know what you’re getting into when you read it.
Everything she wanted in a man who cannot die.
Juliette is a shape-shifter, an environmental activist working deep in the heart of the jungle, freeing animals and her people from vicious mortals and vampires. Riordan is a Carpathian male, an immortal psychic who hunts vampires, but lives under the threat of turning into a vampire himself unless he finds his lifemate.
Riordan and Juliette, in the true spirit of romance, have a push-pull relationship that affects everyone around them — including their environment. Going through much more than emotional changes, Juliette’s biology takes a turn as Riordan convinces her she’s “the one,” the lifemate that will save both of them.
With fateful circumstances surrounding them, themes about pregnancy to continue the survival of both the Carpathian races and the Jaguar shape-shifters are a big part of the conflict for this story. The Jaguar males, abusive and cruel, have manipulated the females of their race, causing a chasm among their people and the surviving females to be exceptionally distrustful of men. This, too, creates a rift between Juliette and her family — her little sister, Jasmine, and her strong-willed cousin, Solange. Through an act of self-sacrifice to truly survive, then and only then will the love of Juliette and Riordan stand up to what Fate has in store for the two.
The conflict with the master vampire is not yet resolved in this story arc, but the spotlight in this manga edition is really on Riordan and Juliette, bobbing and weaving as Riordan is hunted.
If you like paranormal romance, you’ll like this manga representation of Christine Feehan’s work because it’s a taste of what you can find in her novels. The manga artwork is professionally done and definitely shows off the romantic side of Dark Hunger. Highly idealized female and male characters, coupled with a jungle background, make this manga a rollicking, romantic “brain candy” read with a twist.