There's a serial killer loose in Los Angeles and the local authorities need help fast. For some reason the killer has been leaving a string of maddeningly arcane clues at each crime scene. Each of these clues, it seems, is an indecipherable roadmap to the next murder. Onto the scene comes L, the mysterious super-sleuth. Despite his peculiar working habits--he's never shown his face in public, for example--he's the most decorated detective in the world and has never tackled a cased he hasn't been able to crack. But this time he needs help. Enlisting the services of an FBI agent named Naomi Misora, L starts snooping around the City of Angels.
There are no spoliers in this review I have read the manga and watched the anime for Death Note and it has been my favorite so far. When I heard about this novel I maninly only got it because it was Death Note related and didn't have too high of hopes for it. After I read it, I can now say that this is one of my favorite books I have ever read. I'm not much of a reader and haven't been for a few years now but this was the first actual book that I willingly picked up and read from cover to cover. There were a few parts that I had a hard time understanding and had to read them over again to understand but this wasn't due to lack of description from the writer, I just had to get into the heads of the characters and everything then fell into place. I loved the story and it ended in a way that I would have never guessed. I went through the story with a certian mindset and conclusions that were later ripped apart and proved wrong. This was a great thing as I was able to flip each page and have something new that I didn't expect. This book is not writtten by the original authors of Death Note but this is no reason not to pick up this book. I found that it flowed perfectly with the original story: nothing was left out, nothing was made different. The characters were perfect just as you saw them in the original Death Note series. With all of that said, it is reccomended that you read or watch Death Note first (I would personally recomend that you read it because the manga is different then the anime but this is not a requirement as both the anime and the manga have the same plot and ideas) because this book has several throwbacks to the original series that make the book easier to understand if you have seen/read the original series.
** spoiler alert ** 2 ½ stars I would give this. The plot is worth 3 at least, but I shall explain below why I kept the rating so low...I finished reading the Death Note manga before starting this. Naturally, I was hyped about this book.I don't know if the writer of this book is a previously published author or not (looking at his bio, apparently he is a novelist and a manga writer, go figure...). I must admit I didn't like his style of narration at all.The story is told by Mello, whom you're familiar with in case you've read the manga. Chronologically, this book takes place before Death Note, and its contents were actually hinted at when we saw one of its stars, Naomi Misora, appear in the Death Note manga.What really bugged me was that Mello had the "God" point of view to everything: first he was explaining something that had to do with the background of the case, a person etc. and next we are in the scene and inside, let's say, Misora's head, reading her thoughts on the case. Sometimes we were suddenly in the killer's head.If you ignore that kind of storytelling, I guess the book's very good. The language was pretty rich and it had funny, entertaining descriptions. In the spirit of the manga, there was a lot of deduction going on, instead of hard-core evidence, and so it had a lot to do with talking and pondering instead of action.There was also the thing about the names of the victims in this book. It's said Mello didn't want to use the "real" names in his notes, but seriously? Backyard Bottomslash? Quarter Queen? I just didn't get the name thing. They weren't funny, they weren't amusing, and fit nowhere. They just gave the book a ridiculous, far less serious sound, destroying a lot of its credibility. But I guess I just didn't get the idea behind that.I'm not sure I liked the ending. It came very abruptly, and didn't feel all that satisfying, especially when everything was wrapped up by Mello once again.If it wasn't for the way we went from one person's head to another's, this book would have been quite good. I'm sure people will like it. I simply found myself slightly annoyed.
I am open to any type of novel. Western, Horror, Science Fiction, you name it, I have probably read a book of its type. But one thing the younger version of me was always skeptical about was reading novels based on well...TV and movies. I mean that is pretty much fanfiction. Which is mostly written by twelve year old horny fan girls. Right? Right? Wrong. What we have here is an interesting case. Written by NISIISIN in responses to the Death Note success the writer has taken it among himself to create a new chapter in the Death Note saga in the most fascinating of ways. Written amazingly well the writer manages to pull you in from the prologue. And it only manages to improve from there. Story: This novel is interesting one because it takes a turn in a different direction. While the original focused on the killers perspective what we have here is a flash back in time with L and Naomi Misora. Set before the Kira killings ever took place, we are taught of the bond between her and L being both genius detectives working on what is called the BB murder cases. What are they? A man named Beyond Birthday is on the lose killing only those with matching initials in their name. Such as BB or MM. Together her and L work on solving the case, and even getting a deeper back story on L. What made this novel so readable was quality writing. This could have been its own novel without the Death Note characters and it still would of been solid. The book keeps you guessing until the end, and can even make you laugh at points. The novel benefits from a relationship between the two characters that doesn't exactly hit it off right away thus creating a sense of struggle. Naomi is at times put off by L's strange behavior and makes her relatable in this sense. L is sort of the "comic relief" character but never once does it feel inappropriate. Some of the writing was gruesome enough to make it impossible to feel anything but sorrow for BB's victims. Overall, strong writing, just as strong as a regular novel in itself. Characters: Same old L we know and love. Everyone seemed to be completely in character from the orginal manga and as mentioned before, the bond between the two felt strong and genuine. The novel took a lot more time to characterize the briefly mentioned Naomi Misora with positive results. Beyond Birthday achieved to be a very strong villain who was both mysterious but also very easy to dislike. Overall: If you are a fan of Death Note then reading this novel should be at the top of your to-do-list. It is excellent and strong. I would check out other works by this author.
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