In a world much like our own in a Victorian-esque era, Count Ernest Selden is trying to get to the bottom of a mysterious ailment which has been periodically affecting the queen of his home nation of Hylant. His efforts cause him to seek out the Misfortune Devouring Witch, a young woman who operates a shop whose means of profit are themselves deeply mysterious – everyone avoids the place due to that unfortunate moniker of the proprietor. There he discovers Yuuri Watoh, the titular witch… who is actually a vampire. Or a half-vampire, at least. So what sort of payment do you think she takes for solving people’s problems, hmm?
I am going to keep this short because there was genuinely nothing I liked about this book, and, truthfully, I should’ve known this was the case, but the sample I’d read seemed decent and mildly intriguing. Sadly, things rapidly descend into what I can only think of as being Harlequin-level territory, as Yuuri is easily flustered and Ernest doesn’t like to take no for an answer. It’s only about thirty pages before Ernest is using the pretext of Yuuri now knowing about the royal family’s problem as a reason to try to force her to marry him. Ugh. And all of this is taking place in prose that seems to be roughly meant for a fifth grade reading level.
Having said all that, I must acknowledge that I have found that I am not really the audience for 95% of the kinds of books localized by Cross Infinite World (the only exception – and it was a pleasant surprise that it was – has been Obsessions of an Otome Gamer). If I didn’t so strongly dislike the tropes often involved, maybe I’d take better to the fairly simplistic writing; maybe if the writing was more to my preferences, I’d be more willing to accept tropes I don’t usually like much. (Maybe if it was all gay, I’d like it better! This may be the truest statement of these all! Although, thinking on my history with simplistically-written gay romance, I would say that “tropes I don’t like much” would be what could perhaps not chase me off rather than “the prose is for ten year olds”.)
On the technicals, I’ll stick to noting that, as is the case with other releases from this publisher, for whatever reason, the illustrated pages have no been formatted correctly in the release for Kobo’s store. Whether I view it on my e-reader or tablet, I can only see a quarter of the illustrations. I know for items released in digital on Barnes & Noble’s store, formatting issues are B&N’s mistake, but am unsure if that is the case for any other similar platform (i.e. Kobo or Amazon), so I don’t know whose fault it is, but, hey, fair warning.
Anyway, as much as I appreciate that Cross Infinite World started licensing LNs for girls and women well before other publishers even gave much thought to doing so, I really wish they’d release more stuff that was a bit outside, well, relatively straightforward heterosexual romances. (No, tossing in a dash of supernatural content does not make them less straightforward.)
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