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Posts Tagged Light Novels

Review: Secret Moon

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: Siira Gou
Manga-ka: Sato Tomoe
Publisher: June
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: December 2008

Synopsis: “Nearly a hundred years ago, a spurned lover ended Tomoe’s life. Madame had given him new life, but this gift was not without its limitations. Living again in Japan after an extended time abroad, Tomoe was on the prowl for a new lover. But he may have gotten more than he hoped for in young Taichi Yamagami. Influenced by the ebb and flow of the moon, he could be a sweet, naive intellectual, or a rough, demanding lover. Tomoe has never had a lover quite like this…”

This is by far one of the most interesting yaoi light novels I’ve read. Both characters are flawed, fascinating creatures with at once super human abilities and very human foibles. Tomoe has known too much loss in his life. The idea that he could lose this newfound love he’s discovered leads him to make poor choices. It’s natural that those choices could end up turning Taichi away from him anyway.

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Review: Eat or Be Eaten

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: Jinko Fuyuno
Manga-ka: Yamimaru Enjin
Publisher: June
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: June 2009

Synopsis: “Masaki Ashizawa is hired by a restaurant mogul to find a world-class chef for his new French restaurant. He finds the perfect candidate in Shuichiro Tsubaki, the gruff master chef of a small restaurant. But the proud Tsubaki is happy calling the shots in his own restaurant and Ashizawa must go to all new lengths to convince him to accept the offer. What will it take for Ashizawa to clinch the deal? And what secret form his past is Tsubaki keeping form Ashizawa?”

Jinko Fuyuno has created a great cast of characters in this book. So much yaoi relies on pre-fab character constructs but here the author has dared to take those constructs and flip them inside out. She’s still written the book from the uke’s (the “bottom”) point-of-view, but Ashizawa is no wallflower or a timid man unsure of his desires. He has a successful life he’s created for himself with hard work and determination. He doesn’t take no for an answer, or back down from a challenge, even when the challenge requires a lot of self-examination. This attitude of moving forward makes him the perfect candidate to head up the Grand Maison Master Chef’s plan to open a new kind of restaurant. Ashizawa’s first duty—find the best chef for the job.

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Review: Desire – Dangerous Feelings

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: Maki Kazumi
Manga-ka: Yukine Honami
Publisher: June
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: January 2009

Synopsis: “I wonder why, when I look at you, I get turned on.” With a few simple words uttered by his best friend Ryoji-Toru’s world flips upside down. It doesn’t help that Toru has secretly been in love with Ryoji for some time. But whereas Ryoji wants a purely physical relationship to satisfy his curiosity-Toru wants more. Can the two ever come to terms with how they really feel about each other?

I must be getting used to the different writing style, because I don’t mind saying I had a lot less time to notice the writing in this book, as I was so taken with the story and the characters. As I think back, I’m not sure exactly what it was that caught my attention so thoroughly, but I will say that I was reading on the bus and I missed my stop – twice! The story line is pretty run of the mill – best friends and unrequited love is not new to the genre, nor is the push and pull of unspoken feelings and poor communication. Seems boys just don’t tend to talk to each other.

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Review: The Aristocrat and Desert Prince

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: Haruhi Tono
Manga-ka: Ai Hasukawai
Publisher: June
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: August 2009

Synopsis: “In his young life, Takeyuki has never really known hardship. The youngest son of a wealthy family, he has never had any difficulty getting anything he desired. Now, though, Takeyuki is enjoying his last month of freedom before he begins working at his father’s import company in Tokyo, and he has decided to spend that time with his brother and his sister-in-law in Cassina, a small country in the Middle East. Little does Takeyuki know that his prideful manner will soon land him in hot water! In Cassina, some dangers are very real and some people are not who they seem. For example, who exactly is the charming, majestic man who won’t stop staring at Takeyuki during their flight to Cassina, and why do his blue eyes make Takeyuki feel like his chest will burst?”

This story was enjoyable to read. Despite the fact that the main character, Takeyuki, was a bit of a brat, and almost terminally foolish, he still had a likeability factor that made me sympathise with him. He’s a caring man, though he’s seldom had opportunity or reason to show it. When he finally gets past himself to see the world around him, and think about the people who have helped and cared for him, he turns out to be quite a likeable guy.

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Review: Dark Walker

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: Hikaru Yura
Manga-ka: Hirotaka Kisaragi
Publisher: June
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: November 2008

Synopsis: “Tomoki Naruse has the strangest dreams. Every night, he finds himself waiting for a phantom lover – whom he has never seen. Unraveling the mystery of Tomoki’s dream lover leads him to discover the Depths of Dreams, a shadowy world hidden within the darkness, and the realization that he is one of the mythical Dark Walkers – a human born with the ability to “fall” from the Real World into the Depths of Dreams with his mind and body intact. Dark Walker is the sensual story of two boys who discover love in the midst of great danger.”

Tomoki has no idea what to make of these dreams he’s been having. He does know they aren’t something to be shared with his ribald classmates, though. No telling what they’d say to make fun of him if they knew. Strangely, he doesn’t seem to have the same worries about the new guy in class – handsome, tall, and flirtatious, Yugo. In fact, Tomoki is pretty sure his reaction to Yugo isn’t quite what he’s come to expect as ‘normal’.

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Review: Gentle Cage

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: You Shiizaki
Manga-ka: Kumiko Sasaki
Publisher: June
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: July 2008

Synopsis: “Amateur painter Itsuki Hashimoto and up-and-coming sculptor Masatsugu Tokiwa became friends through their love for art. But a few years later, family circumstances force Itsuki to cut Tokiwa off of his life. Now, Itsuki is living a confined life as the “human pet” of Yamabe-sensei, Tokiwa’s former teacher. Can Tokiwa help Itsuki break free of his cage?”

It has to be noted, at least by me as a writer of m/m romance from a western perspective, that had this book fallen into any romance category other than yaoi, there’s a good chance it might never have been published. Tokiwa’s ‘seduction’ of Itsuki is not gentle, and really, non-consensual. At least not at first, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. Knowing the genre, I’m well aware this is a common trope, but I have reservations about it nonetheless. Lots of people who love the genre aren’t really bothered by it. Still, as far as the execution of the much-used plot device goes, in this book it is at least rather well done.

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Jaime Samms Joins Kuriousity as BL Light Novel Reviewer

Today I’m proud to officially announce our newest reviewer here at Kuriousity: Jaime Samms. She’ll be covering a sorely-lacking-until-now portion of the site – boys’ love light novels! You can read her first review of Digital Manga’s Caged Slave.

“Hi! I’m Jaime Samms, also known as dontkickmycane in live journal land. I’ve been writing gay romance and fiction for quite some time now, and reviewing it for almost as long, since I tend to have lots of opinions… …My love for all things Yaoi is what brought me here, and I’m so pleased to join the team. I have no complaints about all the reading I’ll have to do, either!” – Read more…

Welcome to the team, Jaime!


Review: Caged Slave

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: Yuiko Takamura
Manga-ka: An Kanae
Publisher: June
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: April 2008

Synopsis: “Tsukasa Shinozaki is a dutiful secretary, performing above and beyond the call of duty. Yes, Tsukasa has fallen into that time-honored trap of a secretary falling for the boss. When Tsubasa’s boss dumps him for a marriage of status, Tsubasa hooks up with a mysterious man at a bar-under the rule that he not reveal his name. Will Tsubasa ever truly know his Prince Charming?”

After being dumped by his lover and boss in favour of the company president’s daughter, Tsukasa Shinozaki is convinced he has no taste or discretion when it comes to men. When a beautiful stranger hits on him in a hotel bar, Tsukasa can’t help but take the invitation, only to find his new mystery man refuses to reveal his identity. Despite this, he decides to continue the illicit relationship and tries to make himself believe he isn’t falling for his secretive lover. It isn’t until the man makes a surprise appearance at Tsukasa’s job that he finally has to admit he’s fallen. But now that the mystery is over, the relationship doomed to end as well, and Tsukasa resigns himself to another broken heart.

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Join Kuriousity: Currently Seeking Yaoi Light Novel Reviewer

Currently Seeking - BL Light Novel Reviewer

Here at Kuriousity we do our best to cover as many manga releases and genres as we can but it becomes more than apparent with so many great books out there to read that there’s just not enough hours in the day! So as of now we’re officially looking for a new reviewer to add to our team.

We’re currently looking for a Yaoi/Boys’Love Light Novel Reviewer. Chosen applicant(s) will not be expected to solely review light novels but that will be the focus of this position.

The role of reviewer is not paid but you will recieve copies of books to review and they’re yours to keep! All applicants must currently reside in Canada, be 18 years of age or older and of course have an interest in boys’ love, manga and writing.

Interested? Send your name, e-mail and an example review to reviews (a) kuriousity.ca


New Titles in June’s Web-A-Thon Future

Digital Manga

In follow-up to their press release outling Digital Manga’s newest endeavour, a preorder set-up that allows early releases for books recieving high orders, their web blog now lists a variety of future yaoi titles that will have the same opportunity for eager fans.

The titles include volume two of Yugi Yamada’s Close The Last Door! and volume three of Yukari Hashida’s Kabuki. You can see the complete list of titles on their website.


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