I probably shouldn’t have read this so close on the heels of Draper’s previous reverse harem series, Gesa’s Menagerie. I prefer Gesa as a character to Esper, but that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily wrong with Esper. I got a bit tired of her “Woe is me, I’m so ugly” ruminations, but otherwise she’s a great representation of a woman who knows what she wants out of life and doesn’t care much for anyone (even her best friend) who might think it’s atypical.
I also appreciate the modern representation of an evolving relationship between two characters, in which its perfectly fine for lust and sex to happen between two consenting adults before deeper emotions start to emerge. I’m looking forward to seeing where the actual romance between Esper and Toma goes, especially if Toma’s weird family starts to get in the way.
It’s obvious that this series is not set in the same universe as Gesa’s Menagerie, though some of the terminology (and general setting) are similar. Draper handles a new set of world-building and magic with the same deft hand as I’ve come to expect.
I’m a bit bummed that I won’t get to binge this series like I did the last one, but I’ve already pre-ordered the next installment, which is pretty high praise in itself.
Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.