Unholy Blood Volume 1 Review

‘I’ll get payback and then some.’

In a Korea where vampires made their existence known ten years ago, Hayan Park is a young woman attending her first year of university. It will be the first time she’ll attend school and she couldn’t be more excited. However, the professor she admires gets brutally murdered by a vampire, and Hayan can’t let the culprit go unscathed.

Hayan has hidden her true identity as a vampire her whole life. The only person in the know is Father Michael, the priest who raised her and who keeps protecting her. He doesn’t want her to be involved in any vampire-related matters, but she can’t let the murder of the professor go, and unfortunately, her fight against the culprit brings unwelcome attention.

Captain Euntae Hwang, known as the vampire-hunting demon, belongs to the police force and his goal is to go back to a time where vampire didn’t exist. After a few chance encounters with Hayan, Captain Hwang’s attention falls on her. He knows more that he lets on, but his true plans are still a mystery.

But Captain Hwang is the least of her problems now. An Angel of Death, one of the six rulers of the vampires in South Korea, is looking for Hayan as she’s a pureblood vampire. Father Michael though won’t let anyone harm his protégée and puts his military background to use to stop the Angel of Death from getting to Hayan…even risking his life.

Hayan can’t forgive the vampires who harmed her adoptive father, and vows revenge on anyone who was involved.

Unholy Blood entwines past, present and future in a seamless way. Readers can get a sense of where Hayan will end up thanks to the prologue, which gives us a glimpse of the future, then shifting back to the start of her story. It’s clear to understand where the story is in time, and something that distinguishes this series compared to others is that we are given exact dates so we can work out the timespan when everything happens.

Although it’s just the first volume, the author, Lina Lim, introduces a multitude of characters, but other than Hayan, how important the others will be is just speculation…at least until the next volume comes out. Lim gives her readers some hints as to whether these characters are friends or foes, but it’s still too early to tell as the characters have quite complicate backgrounds, some of which you wouldn’t expect—for example the priest being a military veteran and not hesitating to use firepower to kill vampires. We also don’t know what it means for Hayan to be a pureblood vampire. Does it give her extra powers? Why do the other vampires want her? We get so many questions and little to no answers in this volume.

Unholy Blood is full of action and fighting sequences from the first chapter. Although violent, it’s not gory. The author partially blurs the illustrations when they show something gruesome. And the same happens to curse words, so it’s up to the readers’ imagination to figure out what is said. Lim also made sure that each illustration is as detailed as possible—from a busy street to rounds of ammunition covering the ground after an action scene—there is a lot of attention to details for both the characters and the settings.

Compared to other Ize Press series, the cover for Unholy Blood doesn’t have lamination, thus making the cover feel like a cardboard. However, it goes well with what they have done with the word ‘blood’ in the title. It’s been foiled and, depending on the light, it can shine as silver or turn to black. I thought it a clever play as blood is a bright colour when fresh and then it turns to a darker colour when dry.

With the rise of digital comics on platforms such as Webtoon, Tapas and Tappytoon, publishers are acquiring more and more online titles to release in a print format. Unholy Blood is the latest example. Written by Lina Lim, it started in 2020 with weekly chapter releases, and it has amassed over 128 million views so far. Ize Press releases it as a print edition in the English language. Volume 2 is coming out in March 2024.

Our review copy from Ize Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.

8 / 10


Number 1 fan of Solo Leveling who also happen to be a self-proclaimed bookworm with a special love for manga and YA, romance and fantasy books. I'm currently obsessed with Korean webtoons.

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