Black Rose Alice 4 by Setsuna Mizushiro

By this fourth book in the series, I had hoped for more character development. Instead, with the focus on Dimitri’s past here, we get even more reasons why Alice should avoid the vampires. Admittedly, I had a hard time liking any of the characters – Dimitri is still a lifeless board, Maximilian sullen, and Alice petulant. The promise of the earlier volumes has failed to materialize.

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Story: Alice finds a diary from the 1920s; it is written by the daughter of the first Japanese patron of Dimitri. It tells of Dimitri’s arrival, the girl, Akiko, falling in love with the inscrutable vampire, and how the vampire nest was created. There is also quite a bit more about vampire propagation as Leo’s request to Toko comes to fruition.

Most of the volume is about Akiko’s observations on the vampires and Alice becoming more and more jealous. Sadly, it turns Alice into a silly child and I couldn’t help thinking that if she is their idea of a perfect queen, the race is doomed. Dimitri also fails to interest – he says 1-2 sentences, gives bored looks, and we get absolutely nothing from him. It makes all the girl worship over the century uninteresting and unbelievable. At this point, I’m not sure if I’m going to continue to follow the series. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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