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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Love and These Wounds Are A Cherished Pain..., 24 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Trinity Blood - Rage Against the Moons Volume 1: From the Empire: v. 1 (Paperback)
Rage Against the Moons is the novel version of the first story arc of the Trinity Blood saga, and is made up of three volumes. Volume 1 sees us meeting Abel Nightroad upon a great airship that is hijacked by a rogue vampire nobleman, bent on starting a war between his Empire and the Vatican. It is here that, along with this illfated vampire and the airship stewardess, we discover that Abel is no mere bumbling, money poor wandering priest as he first appears to be, but something even more terrible. As he says, "Humans feed upon animals, and Vampires upon humans, but what if there was something that ate vampires? I am a Crusnik, a vampire that feeds upon other vampires." It's a titillating glimpse of just what lies at the top of the food chain in this mythical universe, and glimpse it we do as Abel transforms into a creature that is a beautiful yet utterly terrifying cross between a vampire and a reaper, with a scythe made of crystallised blood and eyes that glow crimson. Welcome to the reality of Trinity Blood, a futuristic horror that blends politics, religion, and horror with science fiction.

It sounds an odd mix but it works. In the near future, mankind decides to colonise Mars, and sends out manned exploration. There, they discover technology left behind in the form of nanomachines that when injected into humans, causes changes within the body that allow living within Martian conditions. The changes are made on the genetic level, so that the offspring of the changed colonists are also changed. There is one small hitch however. The changed cannot tolerate UV rays from the sun, sport fangs, and well, thirst for blood. This is an ancient fairy tale horror brought to life, and fingers begin to point wildly back home, igniting tensions that lead to war. The colonists are left on their own, with only a group of scientists in an orbiting station left to oversee the nanomachine technology. Unbeknownst to the colonists, and the humans back home, there is a second type, the Crusnik nanomachines, which work in an entirely different way. Those changed by the Crusnik are able to walk in the light, and appear quite human. That is, until the Crusnik machines are activated, and a super vampire sprouts before your eyes. These Crusnik children, of which there are four, remain upon the space station for centuries, until the day comes that their Martian brethren see that the Armageddon has settled down, and decide to reappear to help Earth rebuild. Of course, as centuries have passed, those in the know of how it all started have long passed away, and the fingers are left pointing solely at THEM...the bloodsucking monsters who defile God's earth. A holy war ensues, and the Crusniks split as to what side they support. That is, until one Crusnik decides to kill another, and plunges her Crusnik lover, who supported the other side, to slide into the deepest of despair. Carrying her body to the Vatican for burial by those she supported, he sat by her sarcophagus in mourning for 900 years, until fate brought him forward and into the service of the Church...

It is this service that places Abel Nightroad upon that very airship, returning home after a mission, and it sets forward a chain of events that unveil a conspiracy by a secret terrorist organisation known as the Rosen Kreuz Orden. Just who they are, and what their purpose is, is slowly revealed as various duties causes Nightroad and his android priest companion Tres to cross paths with members of their cells. The far reaching tentacles of the Rosen Kreuz Orden is revealed when it becomes apparent that cells are not only plotting chaos within the human territories, but also within the Empire, which is the vampire nation established here on Earth. It seems they do not care which side strikes the first blow, as long as the match ignites the powder keg of a world engulfing war. Before dying, the only clue for the motivation given by their agents is that they desire to "purify the world with fire". They have no hesitation in making use of even the innocent, kidnapping young women, murdering entire families in gruesome ways, and even kidnapping a little girl who possesses a psychic power with the intent to bend her gift to their will.

If you have watched the anime or read the manga, this story may sound rather familiar, but interestingly enough, all three forms of the Trinity Blood saga differ from each other. Some events happen in a different order, some of the characters have differing appearances, and in some cases, especially in regards to the novels, there are fine details that appear that do not exist in any of the other forms. In this particular volume, this happens the most in regards to personal character development. With more written text than a comic panel allows for, it allows more to be said about motivations, thoughts, feelings, and everything else that the author wants to share with the reader. This certainly makes reading this volume a completely different experience from reading the manga, or watching the anime for that matter, and as it is a light novel, we still get treated to the occasional illustration.

Now, the novel is illustrated by Thores Shibamoto, while the manga is actually a later project illustrated by Kiyo Kujo. Kujo used most Shibamoto's original character designs for inspiration, so that the more familiar manga characters are readily recognisable, but there is a definite difference to the feel of the art. Abel Nightroad is more delicate in appearance in Shibamoto's drawings, and when in Crusnik form, reminds one more of a delicately beautiful yet cold avenging angel from Renaissance art. Truthfully, this look is also carried across to the other vampires we see depicted, with the look ranging all from the way from a Botticelli type delicateness to a more aristocraticly haughty beauty. That is not to say that the humans are all ugly, as they are not; they too tend to be rather attractive, but in a less spectacular way. The real stand out though is not in how the characters themselves look as people, but in the clothes and accessories. Shibamoto draws in a richness of detail that adds great interest to the pictures and adds depth to the text provided by Yoshida. This is just as well, for while not written for children, it is aiming to be a light, quick read for the masses, so the language used is deliberately uncomplicated but not ridiculously low level.

The political machinations are deceptively complex, the blood letting extremely violent and gruesome, and the religious positions of the fictional Vatican may lend confusion and misunderstanding to younger readers. Due to these factors, I feel the cover's stated mature rating is warranted, and personally only recommend it to the post 18 crowd. This is not to say all is darkness even in this postapocalyptic tale, for Abel Nightroad posesses a wry sense of humour, though it is undoubtably a very grown up sort of humour that is best appreciated the older you are, though the younger adults will not miss out on it completely. Being a serial, the ending leaves us open for the sequel where the adventure continues with Abel and his cohorts in the Vatican's secret unit, Ax, as they seek to discover more about the Rosen Kreuz Orden and stop their masterplan from coming to fruition. If that one lives up to the anticpation this volume gives us, it will be a worthy addition indeed to my bookshelves and yours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 4 April 2007
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Trinity Blood - Rage Against the Moons Volume 1: From the Empire: v. 1 (Paperback)
Vampires. Powerful, eternal, virtually indestructible, they are at the highest level of evolution. Aren't they awfully cocky, thinking like that? What if you knew there was something stronger, more powerful, older? What if you were that thing? Well, then you would be AX Special Agent Crusnik. Traveling in the guise of a simple poor priest, which he actually is, Agent Crusnik aids the Vatican in a constant, post-apocalyptic, political battle. Often throwing direct orders out the window, and taking his partners along for the ride, Crusnik battles his enemies to the bitter end. Until the next one appears. Exposing more plots and evils than he expunges, he and the other agents must continue to be a virtually unbeatable force. And that is quite a big shoe to fill.

Don't be put off by the religious references before you read this. This is literally post-apocalypse. Rome is one of the few major powers left, and the Vatican is not at all what you would expect.

Of all of the pop fiction that I've read, which isn't exactly a ton, but is a fair amount, this book comes the closest to anime. So, if you're a fan of anime, this is the book for you.

Amidst the non-stop action, Agent Crusnik is hilariously witty, a little bit bitter, and still manages to remain concerned about everyone else. He's definitely someone I'd want on my side. Just not around all the time, what with the constant death, destruction, and mayhem.

I want more, please. Pleasantly, there are five more stories on the way, as well as DVDs!

Reviewed by: Carrie Spellman
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, 13 May 2013
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This review is from: Trinity Blood - Rage Against the Moons Volume 1: From the Empire: v. 1 (Paperback)
The book arrived in perfect conditions and without a scratch. Fast delivery and easy to track. The conditioning was the necessary not to damaged the book.
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