by Mayu Shinjo; adapted by Tetsuchiro Miyaki
published by Viz; $9.99 US
Still funny. This volume ramps up the romance from the previous books, with the introduction of a TV exorcist who used to be an apprentice to Miko’s father. When he shows up in person, claiming that he was promised Miko as his wife once he became successful, he makes the incubus demon Kagura jealous. The visitor is a danger to Kagura in more ways than one — not only is he more acceptable to her parents, he can literally banish Kagura from her life.
When reading this series, I always find myself thinking about the classic Buffy/Angel relationship. The idea that giving a guy what he wants by sleeping with him will cause him to leave you is a universal one when it comes to high school girls, and making the guy a literal demon just ramps up the fantasy, angst, and potential for humor. I find it amusing that when guys start hitting on Miko, the characters have to debate whether or not they’re secretly demons or just guys who don’t take “I’m already in love” for an answer.
More disturbingly, though, Miko doesn’t believe in her own feelings. When she wants to make love to Kagura, she thinks that’s a bad thing (and she never quite trusts herself, wondering if she’s under the spell of his powers). Somehow, in her mixed-up teenage mind, that she enjoys being with him is a sign that she shouldn’t be. She pays more attention to what she’s told she should be doing than what she wants to do. Man, people are twisted, aren’t they? And yet, they make for entertaining, soapy reading.
Demon Love Spell Book 3 has a sudden wedding, the conflict between family and feelings, a character pretending to be someone else, secret motivations, vows of destined love, and abrupt revelations. There’s also a story about a snow demon drawn to Miko’s warmth, followed by a short backup about what Kagura’s life is like when he’s hamster-sized. That’s adorable! (The publisher provided a review copy.)