Series: Beasts of Abigaile #1
Published: June 27th 2017 by Seven Seas
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As part of my New Year’s resolution, I’m reading whatever books I want when I want to, and not paying too much attention to numbers or setting exact goals. I’m currently in the middle of The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, and I’ve barely made a dent in it, because the book is a whopping 1100+ pages. So. In between reading my giant doorstop of a fantasy novel, I’ve been reading a bunch of light fluffy manga that I’ve been impulse-buying because I’m a book addict and I have problems.
One of those series is Beasts of Abigaile. A teenage girl named Nina has just moved to the tiny but prosperous nation of Ruberia. She’s thinking about settling in to a new school in a new country, which gives her a fresh start in life. Ruberia is beautiful, and seems like something out of a fairy tale. But Nina doesn’t quite get the same kind of fresh start that she expected. She is attacked by a werewolf, only to discover that she is now one of them. And it’s at that moment that the secret of Ruberia’s prosperity becomes apparent–the humans have enslaved the luga (werewolf) race. And even though she used to be human (and sort of still is, but now with cute ears and a tail), she’s carted off to the island prison school of Abigail, where luga children are oppressed and taught to serve the humans.
Abigaile resembles a typical Japanese high school. There’s a student council that wields power within the school, and everyone wears a uniform and goes to classes. Instead of cliques, there are packs known as “homes,” and everyone is organized into an alpha-omega wolf pack hierarchy. Nina is strong-willed and always stands up for what is right, even when she’s in an unfamiliar and terrifying environment. And in the process, she catches the eye of two handsome young werewolves. Roy is the alpha werewolf who attacked Nina in the first place, and Gilles is a member of the student council who takes Nina under his wing and tries to protect her as she eases into life at Abigaile. I’m looking forward to seeing each of them develop more and seeing which one Nina ends up with.Beasts of Abigaile Vol. 2 (Beasts of Abigaile, #2) by Aoki Spica
Series: Beasts of Abigaile #2
Published: October 17th 2017 by Seven Seas
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In Volume 2 of Beasts of Abigaile, we get to see more of the side characters and to learn more about the history of Ruberia. The first book went into the human’s fairytale stories about the island. This one tells it from the luga perspective, and it’s pretty dark.
The volume starts out when Nina and Roy are being punished. They are forced to wait on the humans at one of their parties, and Nina sees her friend Poe being forced to cage fight against wolves to entertain them. Poe is a gentle soul and an artist, but he’s rejected by all of the luga. Nina’s the only one who shows him any kindness, and she’s horrified by what she sees. But standing up for Poe means risking her place in the luga hierarchy, and making herself vulnerable. It also means learning more about how the luga were enslaved, and about the hope that many of them still carry for a better world.
Meanwhile, the love triangle continues, with Roy as the aggressive macho-guy and Gilles as the more subtle type who helps Nina keep her secrets and fit into luga society. Both Roy and Gilles start to get some more character depth in this volume, and there’s more to both of them than their first impressions.
One thing that I really like in both of the books that I’ve read thus far is the worldbuilding. The author gives you just the right amount of information–enough to feel immersed in the world, but not so much that you get bogged down in the details. It feels very natural, and readers learn about things at about the same pace as the main character.
Volume 3 isn’t going to be released in the US until March, and I am impatient. I want to binge-read this series but it isn’t done being translated yet. Life is so unfair! XD