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Story:

A serial killer has been stalking the streets of Los Angeles, performing perfect crimes that no one can solve. L, the world’s greatest detective, is called to the scene, and enlists the aid of FBI agent Naomi Misora to act for him on the case. It quickly becomes apparent that the mysterious serial killer B.B. is not just killing for killings sake, but is engaged in an open war with L, a war Naomi Misora may become a victim of if she can’t solve the Los Angeles BB Murder Cases.

Impressions:

First I have to say that this is the most well presented “light novel” published yet. It’s a hardback, has a dustcover jacket (it only covers 2/3’s of the cover but still looks nice), thick pages, and neat text with no huge spacing. In short, it looks like a regular book that I can actually read it in public. Very nice Viz.

I should probably say that I stopped reading Death Note halfway through. The meandering dialogue and constant introduction of new levels of danger were just too annoying and eventually plain boring. So why did I read a book that is a sidestory to Death Note? Because Nisioisin wrote it. Nisioisin has been a young star in Japanese literature in recent years, even my favorite translator Andrew Cunningham, who translated this book beautifully, can’t help but gush over him, so I was very excited to read Nisioisin’s first translated work and see what the excitement was all about.

Reading the book, I can definitely tell Nisioisin is a very promising writer. His writing possesses a strong narrative voice, equal parts cynical and humorous, along with an affinity for the surreal. However, as much as this is a Nisioisin book it is also a Death Note book, and that’s where the problems come in. The book is a faithful reproduction of the constant analyzing and speculation that went on in the manga, so many parts of it are just boring as hell. I commend Nisioisin for creating an imaginative case, but all speculation by the reader is meaningless once Ryuzaki begins explaining the case instead of having to earnestly work to solve it.

This is the major flaw of Death Note, and mystery novels in general, and the reason I can’t stand those kind of works at all. So for anyone who loved Death Note or the wordy kinds of detective novels, I say Another Note would be perfect for you, but for anyone wanting to read Nisioisin’s work, I would say wait until Del Rey publishes his first novel, Kubikiri Cycle, and see how worthy it is on its own merits.