Rosen Blood: Vol. 1

Viz Media. (Rosen Blood). Dec. 2021. 160p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781974725946.
Gr 9 Up–Stella has just woken up in a strange bed, in a strange mansion, with a strange guy named Levi sitting before her. He informs her that the carriage she was in was in an accident that claimed the coachman’s life. With no other living relatives, she asks Levi if she can work at this home as a live-in maid. While Levi obliges, Stella eventually finds out this mansion is the home for a handful of vampiric men, who are now unwilling to let her leave, and all find both her skin complexion and her scent positively intoxicating. Thus begins Stella’s new life. Unfortunately, weak characterization mars this work. The only real development that the book’s lone living female character experiences is her further descent into a Stockholm syndrome spiral. Stella is essentially a prisoner, and as the book goes on she shows no real regard for her own well-being, as long as her new hunk vampire captors are happy. Additionally, Stella’s obliviousness to the nature of the species of her detainers is unbelievable. The shoujo artwork is detailed and also brings a bit of a macabre vibe to the table, which fits the story’s atmosphere well.
VERDICT Stella’s weak progression as a character is vexing; it’s even more frustrating to see the other vampires behave so handsy around her, as if imprisoning her in their mansion as their maid wasn’t debasing enough.

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