Hello fellow bookworms, I’m bringing you guys today a post that can either be a rant, a review (of sorts) and Even a recommendation list. A three in one featured set…because why the heck not?
It all started with a recommendation, a fellow blogger told me that since I enjoy dark romances I should read Den of Vipers By K.A. Knight… After that, It seemed I couldn’t scape from this book, I saw It everywhere, reviews, vlogs, Bookstagram.. So, I decided to try It out. I went in blind, only to find out that It was a reverse harem type book.
For accuracy sake:
What Is reverse Harem?
It’s a genre in manga and anime where a single girl is liked and followed by a bunch of handsome men (3 or more) who are all madly in love with her. The girl often cannot pick which guy she should go out with and remains indecisive for most of the Anime or Manga but in the end she does choses one of the guys as her main love interest.
I guess having to chose just one guy became truly tiresome… Why just pick one when you can have them all Right? And that’s how this subgenre became so popular on Indie Romance books, at least lately from what I’ve seen..
But back to the book that sparked this post “Den Of Vipers” which Isn’t my first foray in The Bookish reverse harem world by any means but I’m still not a huge fan of It… And here is where My ranting starts..
A little backstory, most of my reading experience (and watching you might say because you can hardly read anime.. duh!) with this sub Genre has indeed to do with manga and anime.. It’s Where It stems from after all.. And I’m sad to say that It hasn’t been a very pleasant one, or as pleasant as I hoped.
You may ask, What is wrong with having 3,4 or Even 8 (not kidding) guys salivating after you? .. Well, there’s nothing wrong with It exactly.. At first, at least… But when the story becomes just that, whatever number of attractive men fluttering around a TSTL girl, no character development, no plot, not Even an uninteresting one at that… That’s when you lose me as an spectator. Most of The reverse harem anime and manga I’ve seen and read suffer from this handicap… It’s merely a compilation of cute 2D guys.. because they are cute.. even for 2D guys (does that sound creepy?)
Clears throat.. Moving on…
There are a few exceptions just like with everything else.. Those stories that manage to work with The insane amount of guys surounding our main protagonist and still give us character development and growth from every character, and also a worthwhile plotline to guide us through.. Some of my top choices in this case and fair examples of a good reverse Harem are:
Yona of the Dawn
A fantasy setting with a political intrigue underfoot and a revenge subplot.. It’s a great Manga. There’s comedy, and even if the girl does chose one of the guys in the end it’s a slowwww burn…
My Next Life as a Villainess
This is a hilarious Anime, and the perfect example of a girl who doesn’t have to chose just one main love interest…
Ouran Highschool Host Club
Another one with a comedic plotline but with such lovely characters that it becomes an addicting read…
However,even if I’m recommending you guys some of the best reverse harem manga and Anime I’ve come across I’m still talking a media that It’s mostly visual..
What happens when you don’t have The aesthetic to hook The reader?
Well, in my little experience with reverse harem books.. That hook becomes Sex. Sex is a top selling point after all and it Even gets to the point where It’s just one sex scene after another.. with each of The guys (however many There are) of course …and If The book is long enough We might Even get two scenes because well there’s never enough sex.. right?
Sometimes, Authors do try to give some development to The characters but If there’s Too many of them some just become paper cutouts of each other with slight differences.. like hair color, height and built.. the scowling and smirking… let’s not forget the smirking..
Just like I mentioned before there’s nothing wrong with a polyamorous relationship… yay! for not having to chose just one guy and having fun with whatever amount of them you want but I need more than that to find the book entertaining enough.. that’s just my quirk as a reader… Maybe if i’m just looking for sexy erotica?..
There’s another issue … the main girl… She is either The sweetest thing to Grace the face of the earth or She is “a likeable bitchy girl with a hidden agenda”… the second being slightly better than the first if it gets developped enough.. And we also have the tough cookie, that girl who is unlike any other because of her strengh to handle… you guessed it all of our hunky guys…
This is where Den of Vipers fits in, right in the tough cookie territory with a dash of too much sex… As for plot? well it was actually kind of interesting… what there was of it (even the guys backstories) but overall this book was just too long for what it was.. no matter how dark and twisted the sex could get… it was just too much.
So, to answer my original question on this too long post, Reverse is not excesive at all when said harem is just a part of a whole.. kind of like with any other type of book.. there needs to be more substance between the sexy goodness..
Finally here’s My List of reverse harem books recommendations… The better ones in My opinion..
Hate By Tate James
This is a story where the harem is slowly (kind of) development through various books.. plus the girl is kick ass..
Credence by Penelope Douglas
Our main protagonist does chose one guy in the end but the overall story has it all, it’s dark, sexy, and it will push your buttons.
Flock by Kate Stewart
We have a suspenful setting and the great writing of Kate Stewart
What do you guys think about Reverse Harem books? Which are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below and Don’t forget that if you want to help me keep on creating content and making you at least smile a bit with my quirky posts and ranty opinions just visit my Ko-fi page or Paypal.me/cbookramblings and support my work..