Kizumonogatari: Wound Tale, by Nisiosin
This was a kind of fun and unusual experience. This was an Audible adaptation of a Japanese graphic novel. It used several different voices and included background music during some parts. I like graphic novels though I’m not a huge fan of anime or Japanese graphic novels.
The main character is Koyomi Araragi, a not terribly bright or experienced 17-year-old student. He has a crush on Tsubasa Hanekawa, the class president and brightest student at their school. To give a sense of the kind of humor the book has, much of chapter two is devoted to Araragi seeing Hanekawa’s underwear when a breeze lifts her skirt over her head. It’s light, silly, juvenile humor and it’s the kind of thing that continues throughout the book as Hanekawa keeps popping up in the story, for some reason willing to sacrifice herself for the greatest underachiever of her school.
The two talk about the rumors that a vampire has appeared in their remote town, blonde haired and pale-skinned. Some time later Araragi sees a figure under street light. A woman, a torso really with no legs or arms, who casts no shadow. This, he later learns, is the “iron-blooded, hot-blooded, yet cold-blooded” vampire Heart Under Blade. Her limbs have been severed and she’s near death. She begs him to save her, which would require draining all his blood. After his experience with Hanekawa he’s feeling suicidal and agrees to allow her to drink.
Instead of dying he wakes up, now her thrall, unable to walk into sunlight without bursting into flame. In order to become human again he must confront the three vampire hunters who cut off her arms and legs and return the limbs to her.
It’s fun, with lots of twists and turns with some scenes that are laugh-out-loud funny. It was a nice change from novels and nonfiction or more serious YA books. The characters are all off kilter in an enjoyable way. Not having read the actual graphic novel I can’t compare quality, but the price difference between the two is about $2.00 (the audio version is priced higher), and the audio book was part of one of Audible’s 2-for-1 sales.