Author: Lianne Sentar
Publisher: Chromatic Press
Released: December 2014
For some very silly reasons, most of which are now unclear to me, initially I was hesitant to read Tokyo Demons, a trilogy of novels written by Lianne Sentar and illustrated by Rem. But after finishing the first volume, You’re Never Alone, I was hooked. I immediately went out and devoured all of the bonus content and side stories that I could find. Honestly, I hadn’t been so excited and captivated by a series in a very long time. Soon after, Tokyo Demons became one of the flagship titles for Chromatic Press. Tokyo Demons, Book 2: Add a Little Chaos was originally serialized online between 2012 and 2014. Later in 2014 it underwent final revisions and was collected into a single volume along with two additional side stories which delve further into the pasts of some of the characters. Despite my obsession with the series, for the most part I was able to restrain myself from reading Add a Little Chaos until the novel was completed. It was a difficult wait, and so I was thrilled when the second book was finished so that I could read it.
Kiyoshi has been rescued and Core’s attack on the Byakko gang at Kiseki was able to be fended off, albeit not without casualties. The survivors who have taken refuge with the Church and sided against Core are still in danger though. Under the influence of Pitch, a powerful and highly addictive drug that he was forced to take, and due to the trauma of his kidnapping, Kiyoshi is no longer the person he once was physically, mentally, or emotionally. In fact, after being caught up in something with even graver implications than the simple drug war it initially seemed to be, everyone has changed. Ayase, Jo, Sachi, and all of their friends and allies are fighting for their lives and none of them are unaffected by the violence surrounding them. They are doing all that they can with the limited information that they have to fight against Core and save the others of their group who are still caught within its grasp. Working with the Church’s resources, members of Byakko, and contacts within the police force, as well as with some unexpected aid from within Core itself, they may have a chance. But everyone has their own agendas and it’s becoming more and more difficult to know who and what can be trusted.
As with many second volumes in a trilogy, the situation the characters find themselves in quickly escalates from bad to worse in Add a Little Chaos. Tokyo Demons has always been fairly hard-hitting, dealing with heavy themes like psychological and physical abuse and violence, but Add a Little Chaos goes to some very dark places. I have come to care about all of the characters in Tokyo Demons immensely, many of whom are broken and damaged people with tragic pasts, horrible presents, and grim futures. They are all so incredibly desperate to be strong and to protect themselves and the ones that they care about the most. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see them go about it in the wrong ways, even when they’re doing the best that they can and what they believe to be right. Some of them are able to find a few brief moments of comfort with one another that they cling to only to have them ripped away by the chaos enveloping them. With layers upon layers of loyalty and betrayal, each revelation in Tokyo Demons is shocking and gut-wrenching, not only for the characters who have to deal with the immediate consequences, but also for the readers who can do nothing but witness it all happen.
Tokyo Demons is a complex and multilayered series; many of the seemingly independent storylines which were introduced in the first volume are now beginning to crash together in Add a Little Chaos and additional plot developments have been set into motion. Tokyo Demons also features a large and diverse cast of extremely complicated characters. Their even more complicated connections to one another are critical to the story as well. How they deal with their own personal struggles impacts the people around them as well as the larger conflict in which they find themselves. Even considering all of the superhuman elements and psychic abilities involved in Tokyo Demons, what make the series so compelling and engaging are its believably flawed, exceptionally nuanced, and constantly evolving characters and the constantly shifting dynamics of their relationships. From the beginning of the series alone I could tell that the scope of Tokyo Demons was going to be huge. If anything the story only continues to expand with Add a Little Chaos and increase in its intensity. I am still absolutely loving Tokyo Demons and am both looking forward to and dreading its conclusion.