I saw the anime before I read this book and I thought I knew what I was getting into. I was wrong ... and that's a good thing! This book has surprising...moreI saw the anime before I read this book and I thought I knew what I was getting into. I was wrong ... and that's a good thing! This book has surprising merit on its own, even without the breathtaking visuals provided by the feature film. Though adapted from a Japanese novel (keenly apparent at times when the writing seems to get repetitive or fall flat), I was swept away with the poetic descriptions of a gothic, post-apocalyptic Earth.
The seemingly random creatures and people that inhabit the darker new world, including werewolves, golems, devils, and demons, have a reason for existing. The history and constant flux of mysteries, either concerning the supporting characters, the vampires, or D himself, are enough to keep any curious reader going. For me at least, these good qualities were more than enough to allot forgiveness for a little clumsy writing due to a difficult translation between two polar opposite languages.
This isn't exactly the next great classic to circulate as mandatory reading in school, but it's a fun adventure and an enjoyable read. The magnificent illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano only sweeten the experience. I will certainly be reading the sequel. (less)
Quite the curious tale. If this isn't a story about a post-apocalyptic world, then it's a world slipping slowly into an unglamorous, disease riddled d...moreQuite the curious tale. If this isn't a story about a post-apocalyptic world, then it's a world slipping slowly into an unglamorous, disease riddled decay. Aside from the mystery of the spontaneous worldwide plague decimating the population, there are children being born with totemic, animal features. Sweet Tooth (Gus), one of the protagonists, is such a child.
This volume concerns the lives of two survivors in an otherwise dead or dangerous world. Sweet Tooth is living alone in the relative safety of his forest, taught by his 'father' to be self sufficient and God fearing. Jepperd, the other protagonist, is the complete opposite. He's a grizzled old man who has seen the world and found it in wanting. He believes only in the will to survive and wasteland justice. Naturally, these two characters meet and the story commences.
As far as illustration goes, it's not your typical comic book style. The panels are inconsistent, whimsical; rather like walking through a gallery of American impressionism. Sometimes the artist will change styles entirely to fit the personality of the current main character. This creates an original perspective shift as you hop from the mind of a bitter man to a naive child.
I enjoyed the first volumn for both it's simple and effective storytelling. I look forward to the next. (less)
Make no mistake, this is not 'Ender's Game' all over again. Bean is a dynamic character with a fully fleshed out back-story and a completely different...moreMake no mistake, this is not 'Ender's Game' all over again. Bean is a dynamic character with a fully fleshed out back-story and a completely different way of thinking. Where as Ender relied on his remarkably gifts for strategy, sociology and leadership, Bean is a cold, calculating player focused on fact and deduction - a fun-sized Sherlock Holmes.
If you were hoping for more incite into the events surrounding 'Ender's Game', never fear, you get quite a bit of that too. Many of the side characters, such as General Gaff, become more involved in Bean's story. Plus, for the first time, you get to walk backstage and sit in on the secret conversations that shape Ender's future. No more snippets of conversations at the start of each chapter. Turns out Bean was a significant factor in the events that occur in Battle School.
One crucial word of advice though: READ "ENDER'S GAME" FIRST! While this book can stand alone as an engaging story, there are certain key plot twists that are spoiled in "Ender's Shadow" that you'll want to see through Ender's eye first. (less)