Author: Yamila Abraham
Artists: Le Peruggine
Publisher: Yaoi Press
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: February 2008
Synopsis: “The tension is building between the weakening monk Hakuin and his amorous demon partner. They visit the home of the incubus, Figaru. Figaru’s master takes Hakuin on an ultimately futile mission. Now the Winter Demon Fuyu needs help to rescue Hakuin. His only hope is an ailing incubus who must mate to renew his powers. Just how far will Fuyu go for his beloved monk?”
The travels of the demon Fuyu and the monk Hakuin continue in volume three of Winter Demon. Souls of demons they defeated are leaking from the weapon they’re trapped in, so the pair head to the home of the weapon’s creator to find a way to fix the problem. But things aren’t as simple as that with a dangerous journey up a mountain to be had and the incubus Figaru whose unfulfilled lust is becoming life threatening.
There were some aspects of this volume of Winter Demon I really liked. It was neat seeing the demon Figaru interact with Fuyu and Hakuin after set up for the different characters in previous volumes and the book opens with a steamy story from Fuyu that was a fun way of having Fuyu and Hakuin go all the way without it actually occurring. As bit of a downside while reading, I found the characters themselves progressed in a stereotypical yaoi-manner, romantic feelings replacing much of their personality. However, it was written in a pretty entertaining way for the most part and I liked the angle of the unsure emotions caused by the effects of a demon’s contact with a monk.
I really enjoy Le Peruggine’s artwork and was happy to see them return for the majority of the work in this book. The characters looked really good, pretty but with nicely built bodies. The smooth greyscale shading method was interesting and gave the art a unique look to it. At times I found certain expressions, fear and confusion in particular, were a bit over exaggerated at times, but overall I thought the art was nicely done and an enjoyable aspect of this volume.
Each time I read a Yaoi Press book, the quality slowly gets better in terms of publishing quality. Unfortunately this volume of Winter Demon three felt like a step backwards with several flaws that were glaring. First of was the cover design, while the artwork was nice, I don’t think it was entirely suiting as a cover and the word bubbles definitely didn’t help. The synopsis on the back of the book was painful to try and read with mix-matched font sizes in what I can only assume is an attempt at putting focus on certain words. The interior printing was done nicely except for eight pages that were printed upside down and backwards! Not good (Edit: Though I’ve been informed that my copy is a rare faulty copy so other readers shouldn’t need to worry about it).
Despite its occasional flaws, Winter Demon is still, in my opinion, one of the best titles Yaoi Press has been putting out. Yamila Abraham has some interesting angles in this demon/monk love story and I enjoy the occasional twist and cameo from characters I originally thought were just side stories. At the back of this volume is another such side story, leading up to the next and final volume. While the quality of this charming series waivers at times, overall I’ve enjoyed it this far and look forward to volume four.