Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Anime Inspired YA Thriller
My rating ****
I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. The descriptive blurb is very accurate. I Am Become Death really is very Anime/Manga inspired even though it's a novel. The similarity between the two jumped out at me immediately because not only are my children YA readers, but they're fans of Anime (and one of them a Manga fan too), so I've become familiar with it myself.
In the story the protagonists Chikara, Renka and Gen, as well as the antagonists Michiko, Yukiko, Kaijin(and later ones) really did remind me of Anime characters. Of course this is only a slight comparison because the characters were more developed in the novel. But the similarities to Japanese animation didn't end there. Just as a reader familiar with Anime would expect, there are plenty of spontaneous sparring events throughout the story, a budding romance between the shy girl and the good looking boy, dark secrets held by many characters, supernatural powers tied in with different religious beliefs and even a few surprises from the past just kind of thrown at you. But as a reader, I have to say it all worked together quite well. The action scenes were very exciting and there was a good deal of suspense injected to keep me reading.
I should also mention that the author did present a fair bit of information about Japanese culture and history in the story as well as different political points of view. I thought it was handled well but I can see how some of those passages might drag a bit for some readers (but definitely not all). However, it's still a great first book in the series. I look forward to the next one.