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Ico: Castle in the Mist
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Ico: Castle in the Mist

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  478 ratings  ·  52 reviews
A boy with horns, marked for death.

A girl who sleeps in a cage of iron.

The Castle of the Mist calls for its sacrifice: a horned child, born once a generation. When, on a single night in his thirteenth year, Ico's horns grow long and curved, he knows his time has come. But why does the Castle of the Mist demand this offering, and can the castle keep Ico's destiny from inter
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2005)
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I suppose I should write two reviews here: one for folks who love _Ico_ the videogame, and one for folks who have never heard of it. (If you're in between, flip a coin and read both.)

_Ico_ was a 2001 videogame (for the Playstation). I loved it; I still love it. It remains a landmark in atmospheric, engaging videogame storytelling. Notably, it was almost entirely wordless. Everything was conveyed through architecture, lighting, the body language of the protagonists, and -- most important -- the p
Timothy Stone
Ico: Castle in the Mist is a novelization based upon the video game from a decade or so back. The story follows the plight of a boy who is born with horns on his head. As a horned child, he is a "Sacrifice" to the power residing in the Castle in the Mist. All that is really known about the Castle is that some dark god or other entity lives there that must be appeased by sending the boys and girls born with horns on their head to stay there once they reach a certain age.

The story here is about th
This book is odd.
It's not the video game plus+ dialogue and character development minus- parts that are fun to play but would be boring to read. It's a retelling of the story.
The first chapter is Ico's back-story, which is fine but drags on a bit too long. In the second chapter it starts getting really strange because the author starts going through the story almost exactly the way the game happens. I could actually imagine her playing the game with her laptop by her side, writing as she played
Hands down the best video game novelization, I have ever encountered. Really tempted to give it a five star but I try to reserve that for works that alter my perceptions or strike me in a really profound way.

Having never played the actual game, I can't attest to the similarities or the connections between the two. The novel focuses primarily on a young boy who is sent as a sacrifice to a castle surrounded in mist. There is a great deal of mystery and a plethora of unknowns working behind the cur
I really enjoyed this book. I knew before reading it that it was based on a video game, but I've never played it. I think the story in this book was very successful, but I had some problems with the way it was constructed.

The beginning, for me, was the best part. The writing was wonderful and as Ico's backstory was filled in the character was really coming alive for me.

In the middle, it started to be much less organic. Here you could tell that the book was based on a video game. Every scene se
Bag of Games
ICO: Castle in the Mist is a novelization of the game, originally written by acclaimed author Miyuki Miyabe, and serialized across 2002/3 in the Japanese magazine ‘Shūkan Gendai’. It was published as a complete novel in 2004 in Japan, and was translated to English only last year.

We all on the same page? Good. That’s the niceties over and done with.
Now then; if you value the time you spent with ICO, you more than any other will want to read this. I need to tell you that you more than any other sh
Coming from the perspective of someone who loved Ueda's games, I was very eager to read this and find out what Miyuki Miyabe might've done with the universe and the story.

Right off the bat, there's a few interesting new pieces of content here that were not in the game, and that Miyabe uses to flesh out the story and events of the journey inside the castle. Ico, his village and its customs are given backstories. Yorda, her mother and the castle are given backstories, and a few supporting characte

イコ - 霧の城
a story of an unknown place,
.. told in an unknown age.

I haven't played the game, but I still loved this beautiful book, gorgeous descriptions and characterizations ~<3
Ugh, deleting this one is really the hardest, because mine was the *first* review for this book on GoodReads.

Oh well. What must be done will be done.

Read the review on my blog:
Feb 01, 2011 pearl marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This could be so good, or so, so bad.
Actually it could be "meh", but I'm not even considering it at this point. Rise up with dignity or go down in flames, I say.
Ico: Castle in the Mist is an interesting though mostly bland take on the artful PS2 game ICO. If I were to read this book prior to playing the game, I think I would have bumped up my rating from 2 stars to 3. Indeed, as a stand-alone novel, it is a fairly decent read. Miyuki Miyabe does a rather good job at filling in details and questions the reader may be wondering. The problem, however, is that the author completely misses the point of Fumito Ueda's minimalistic story and setting of ICO.

Any fan of the video game, ICO, should read this book. It provides an excellent reinterpretation of the original, thinly spread plot line, fleshing out the game world nicely. While Ico's, the boy, background is rather a lot like you might imagine after playing the game and reading the manual's story notes, the real surprise here is the well constructed history for the female protagonist, Yorda, which makes up a good third of the book. If you've ever wondered what her past was like--and what play ...more
When Miyuki Miyabe comes to ICO she writes a world she has made her own. As she states in “Preface,” given “free reign with the story and world found in the game” by the producers and creators, she found her “own path through the tale.” She uses and develops elements and characters, but “the order of events, the solutions to puzzles, even the layout of the castle have changed.” The designated status as novelization honors the originators of her inspiration, but make no mistake that Miyabe lends ...more
While many gamers love to talk about story in videogames, you have to remember that they are often told better in summary format. The gameplay, exploration, puzzle solving, and combat will take up the majority of the time. There's really not that much going on story-wise. This is also how the original Ico was. Many gamers grew to love the game based on the aesthetics, mood, puzzle solving, and the bond that you feel with the Yorda character. The game focused on making you feel connected with a m ...more
Squilliam Fancyson
The world in which this novel is written is grand and intricate compared to the (unforgettable) video game on which it was based. It far accedes the plot of the game, if there really even was one, so much so that it honestly can become unbearably dreary at times.

In this novel we are introduced to many new characters inside and outside of the Castle In The Mist, and even towns not mentioned in the game. This starts out wonderfully with the first (of only four) long chapter(s). We learn of the wor
Cheryl Hall
I read this book a fair few years ago, but I've been thinking about it recently.

Ico for the PlayStation 2 is one of my favourite games. Although I've only played it once it has a way of lingering in your memory with it's hauntingly beautiful atmosphere.

One of my favourite things about it and it's spiritual predecessor Shadow of the Colossus is their vagueness. Almost everything in these games are left to the individual players interpretation. Therefore this was a challenging read as it portrayed
Eric Piotrowski
I fell in love with the video game Ico when I first played it many years ago on the PS2. I ordered this novelization as soon as I learned about it, but -- although I devoured the first 100 pages very quickly -- it didn't hold my attention. There's nothing really wrong with it, but it doesn't capture the magic of the game or its world.

Perhaps the biggest mistake made by the author is allowing Ico and Yorda to speak. Their differing languages is key to the subtle beauty of their friendship, and it
I haven't played the game. I only heard how awesome the game was, so I was jumping with joy when I found this novel. I must say I was not disappointed, the novel was beautiful, touching and mesmerizing.

The self-sacrificing friendship offered by Toto, the love of a mother for his foster son, the 'Sacrifice', and the mystery surrounding the Castle in the Mist and its ethereal princess, Yorda, all of it kept me reading with bated breath.
Well...the initial part of the story was well and good and makes you go woah-this-is-a-good-start-Im-sure-this-story-is-awesome but after Ico started going into the castle, it just got too much for me. I don't know whether the writing was too fast-paced or complicated or poorly described but I just can't visualize the story anymore.

Yeah I know it's based on a game and I should be expectant of sudden changes but....

I just hate it when I can't visualize the book I'm reading.

It is the novelization of a beloved video game, so there is some possibility that my joy in reading it is biased by my fond memories of the engaging mystery and emotion of the game. That being said, I think it would also be a great read for lovers of fantasy who have NOT played the game, even if they do not recognize the places and moments that conjure up game nostalgia for those who HAVE played it. The author takes some artistic liberty filling in gaps in the game world's story, but I am assure ...more
I'll preface this by saying that it's been a number of years since I played the game. I wish I could say the book is as great as the game was. What I expected to find was an imaginative attempt to fill the backstory that is (to my recollection) not explained at all in the game. In part, it does this, but I felt it strayed too far from where the game took me in that the story no longer fits the game, at least not what I remember of it. At best, it's a book inspired by the game, and deviates when ...more
Why are there people who dislike this novelization? I personally believe it combines all the things I loved about the game with new and fantastic details and backstory. It's a beautiful fairytale, one I couldn't put down! It's definitely a story that I'll return to again and again and share with others. I truly loved this.
I have to preface this by noting that I am completely unfamiliar with the video game that this book is based on.
Ico was a very good book indeed, absolutely no familiarity with the game was required to get into the book. As other reviewers have mentioned, it has all of the elements of a timeless fairy tail, while still having a freshness to it. There is an overall sense of sadness, common to Miyabe's works, that is continued in this volume. This book has a clearer, happier outcome than is in her
I love the game, and while I've sworn off novelizations I'd recently read a review of this book by someone I trusted, and decided to give it a try. I don't really regret it, but I can't say I truly enjoyed this book. I was drawn in by the backstory and was enjoying the story until it suddenly switched to Yorda's backstory instead and...I would rather Yorda remained mysterious and unknowable, as she is in the game. Of course, I guess that would have made for a much shorter and more boring book! A ...more
Luke Cesaletti
This was an amazing book, the best book I've read so far!!!
Ben Marshalsea
Just started reading this... it's got a lot to stand up to.
The game is nearly perfect - dragging you into a strange land where a witch wants to eat your soul or some such... sounds cliche, but the game works. Why does it work? Cause of the visuals, the cut scenes, and the huge amounts of space it leaves to you to wonder what's out there.

I'm not really sure the book will manage it, but I'd like to read someone elses take on it.

I'm also interested to see how she handles the ending, one of the cont
Amazing book, so glad I picked this up on a whim! Poetic and lyrical and intense at times, while others just the right level of fun.
I didn't fully finish this book, I just couldn't finish it. I haven't played the game all the way through, mostly because I don't actually own it, but I have played through part of it and some of it felt like a walk through because it followed the game action so closely. Not even the game storyline, but the actual game mechanics. I kept pushing because my boyfriend kept insisting it was great but it wasn't for me. I really got dragged down when the story switched to the girl's flashback perspect ...more
May 02, 2012 Ena rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of the game, elementary to secondary school students
This book was a recommendation to me and I had no knowledge of its being a novelization of a consol game. Having said that I quite like the book regardless. I kept thinking that I would have loved this book if I was a child, it's a good fairytale.

Despite the book bears the name of the character Ico, there is a lenghty part where story is told Yorda's POV, which is good, since (view spoiler)
As a fan of the game, I approached this novelization with caution. The game is deliberately minimalist in its storytelling, while the book would surely have backstory and much more characterization.

I needn't have worried. While there is quite a lot of backstory (perhaps half the book tells first Ico's backstory, then Yorda's), it's done in a way that doesn't seem to impinge on whatever you take away from the game itself; this story is but one possible explanation, though a very good one.
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See also 宮部 みゆき.宮部美幸

Miyuki Miyabe (宮部みゆき Miyabe Miyuki) is a popular contemporary Japanese author active in a number of genres including science fiction, mystery fiction, historical fiction, social commentary, and juvenile fiction.
Miyabe started writing novels at the age of 23. She has been a prolific writer, publishing dozens of novels and winning many major literary prizes, including the Yamamo
More about Miyuki Miyabe...
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“It was all right to be sad. It was all right to lament. It was all right to feel anger. But [is] not all right to run away.” 13 likes
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