Adele McVay's Reviews > Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom

Death Note, Vol. 1 by Tsugumi Ohba
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's review
Sep 09, 2009

really liked it
Recommended for: anyone
Read in October, 2009

I bought a couple of Manga novels just to see what all the fuss was about, I hate to think I may be missing out on something and wanted to keep an open mind, after all literature is literature. To be honest I didn't really think it would be my thing, so it lay around for a while and my 8 yr old son read it and told me he loved it. We have a deal, if I'm going to recommend/buy books for him then I have to let him do the same in return, it's a good deal, we're sharing books and stories and I've found it encourages us both to read things we may have dismissed otherwise and have a chat about the issues that come up. So even though I wasn't in the mood for Manga I picked up the book and gave it a go. I was worried that I'd be unable to pronounce the names or keep up with the Japanese mythology, I thought maybe some 'prior knowledge' would be needed. I'm not sure if the mythology in this is made up purely for the series, or if it's existing Japanese mythology, it doesn't matter, it's really straightforward and well explained anyway. The story is about a Death God who owns a Death Note. If a persons name is written in the Death Note they die. The Death God drops the Death Note to earth and it is found by a young A grade student who begins to learn what the Death Note is and how to use it. He decides to use it for 'good' by killing off criminals in an attempt to create a Utopia, but begins to learn that the Death Notes rules are not written and have to be learned by trial and error and that owning and using the Death Note comes with a price. It's a great story that I could hardly put down and the artwork is amazing. My son said he'd love a version that was all in colour (the Manga is black & white within with a pretty spectacular intricate full colour cover). I loved that the book reads from back to front cover and from right to left of page, this is how it reads in Japan and the publishers have not 'flipped' to make it Western, so it's been a great tool for demonstrating that other cultures/countries do things differently, even simple things like reading. The books are expensive and are no cheaper places like ebay, but the flip side of that is that if you buy them all you can sell them on without huge loss. I've bought the 1st 3 books and have learned that our public libary carries them, so check with your library before splashing the cash.

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