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Review: Cold Fever

Cold Fever

Author: Narise Konohara
Manga-ka: Nanao Saikawa
Publisher: June Manga
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: February 2011

Synopsis: “Tohru lost his most of his memory in an accident. He can’t remember anything that happened from the past six years. Struggles, but with time, he slowly recovers his memory. He feels as if he is a different person now, and he hates “the other guy” – the “himself” from six years ago… And thinking, Fujishima was his friend, felt like he was being watched over like a guardian angel but in the end he’s betrayed. Miserable and emotionally drained, Tohru is trying not to relive in the shadow of his past. He is trying to move on with his new life… but harder he tries, he finds himself being pulled in by Fujishima.”

I wanted to make sure this book had real impact. I wanted to portray a couple who were in love but not happy.” – This is a quote from the author in her afterward, and there is no doubt she has accomplished her goal with Cold Fever. This was a very hard book to read.

Fascinating and difficult are words that describe this story. So many times I wanted to set it aside because it is very full of ugliness and struggle. I found it heartbreaking to watch the turn around of Toru, a character I had come to love in the first two books. As he regressed to his old self and slowly fell apart, it seemed like there would be no one to hold him together or pick up the pieces.

Equally distressing to see was the pain as Fujishima endured a deep hatred from the man he loved, all the while thinking he deserved nothing better. That he believed he deserved what Toru put him through was truly unsettling. I wished he received better treatment, showed more strength to resist the abuse, or even just left.

Instead, Narise Konohara drove both characters to their limits and completely broke what readers expect out of a romance. In fact, this could well be called a festival of abuse, anger, fear and hatred for much of its length. But in the end, these two men have had so much stripped away they cannot deny who they are, or what they ultimately want. When love and hate are so closely intertwined the one thing there is no room for is indifference, and that is definitely one thing I cannot imagine anyone feeling about this book. Not everyone will like it. Many people might hate it. No one will read it and be able to ignore its power.

I found the shorter works at the end added a nice counterpoint to visceral main story. Although it continued to showcase unhappy love, it showed a gentler, more generous side to the theme.

As with the first two books, I loved how the art depicted additional moments from the story that were not always deeply explored in the prose.

In the end, I felt the need to make sure I could re-read this story at will, and I’ve already purchased my hard copies of both Cold Ever and Cold Sleep. It’s a shame one book, Cold Light, is astronomically expensive. I can only assume that means it is out of print. What a disappointment – I would have liked to own the complete set.

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Digital copy provided by eManga for review purposes

Jaime Samms

About the Author:

Jaime Samms has been writing gay romance and fiction for quite some time now, and reviewing it for almost as long. She's published with e-publishers Freya’s Bower, Lovyoudivine Alterotica and soon, Total e-Bound and Drollerie Press. "Writing is quite a passion for me. I’ve been asked many times why write about love affairs between men, when I clearly am not one, and really, it feels right to me. Not a terribly informative answer, but there it is."

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2 Responses

  1. Kuromi3 says:

    reading cold fever atm, I got cold light on a whim cuz it was on sale @ yaoi club awhile ago. So glad I did, not only cuz the story is good ( I too fell for the new Tohru) but now because its hella expensive.

  2. Jaime Samms says:

    You are so frickin' lucky! By the time I decided I needed to own this series, I couldn't afford the first book. I have the last two, but I so wish I had been on the ball sooner! Maybe some day, it'll come back into print. I hope!

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