Death Note: Another Note (Novel) Hardcover – Feb 19 2008
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About the Author
Born in 1981, NISIOISIN made his writing debut in 2002, winning the 23rd Mephisto Prize in 2002 for Kubikiri Cycle (The Beheading Cycle). This eventually became the first book in his best-selling Zaregoto series. His subsequent novels have earned him a passionate following throughout Japan.
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Top Customer Reviews
You do have to have either read the Death Note manga, or watched the Death Note anime in order to really understand what is going on however, it contains huge spoilers if you haven't actually seen either until the end.
It is a very good translation, I haven't noticed a single awkward sentence, the cover and the artwork inside look good, and I found that the story held my interest all the way through.
If you enjoy Death Note, this is a pretty cool book to own.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The strengths of the novel are many. First of all, it's a dream come true for L fans (trust me, I adore the hell out of that sugar-sucking insomniac, so I know what I'm talking about). It reveals a good deal about his background and the nature of his work, allowing readers a peak behind the smoke and mirrors with which he operates. It cements his legend as the greatest detective the world has ever seen, and simultaneously reveals his most dangerous weaknesses and compulsions. Indeed, this is as much a study of L's passive-aggressive ego as it is a look at his phenomenal detective skills. And then there's the fact that Another Note is simply a gripping story- it's got a dark atmosphere, great characters, and a labyrinthine plot (with a solution that'll turn your brain inside out). It's also quite refreshing to see a story where Naomi Misora isn't a wasted opportunity (from a narrative standpoint). Her death in the series itself was stunningly untimely, as her obvious intelligence and resolve could have made her a truly compelling character. Here, she reaches her potential, working beside L with startling ability and intuition.
A few flaws knock this book down a peg: The beginning is a bit boring, and the ending (despite the cool denouement) feels rushed and dry. The final chapter is a dreary, abstracted explanation of the mystery's solution, its tone suggesting that the author simply wanted to finish the damn novel and get on with his life. It's a strangely anticlimactic way to finish things off, and it saps the story's resolution of its inherent drama. In addition, there are a few other hackneyed plot contrivances. And the character names are terrible.
But these little things aside, Another Note is an excellent novel, and author's hints that a couple more prequels are forthcoming fill me with smiles.
It's about L instead of Light?
Huh. Sounds worth a look.
And it was...kind of.
This book is a prequel to the Death Note series. It covers the Los Angeles BB Serial Murders that are briefly mentioned in the manga. It tells of the first time L ever worked with FBI Agent Naomi Misora, arguably his greatest collaborator.
What's interesting is that, unlike a lot of whodunnit mysteries, this one is actually more effective with a second reading. As a Death Note fan, I found the first reading of chapter two mildly intriguing. When I reread it after finishing the book and knowing who the killer was, that chapter became much darker, creepier, and more engaging. The same can be said about other parts of the book, but it was most effective here.
Another unusual thing about this book is the way it's written. Essentially, its narrated by L's protege, Mello. He starts out by trying to write about the case like he was writting a true crime report; very straightforward and admittingly speculative. Very quickly though, his tone changes to that of a novelist. He ends up writing down what the characters are thinking or feeling. Only occasionally does he catch himself and revert back to the other style. Mello even interrupts the story at various points when he has a problem with how he worded a certain sentence or how he had a character speak. It gave me the feeling that I was looking over Mello's shoulder as he was writing it. This all provided some quirky, self-aware humor at parts where the book risked becoming too ridiculous. Also, it was an interesting way to provide infodumps and backstory when it was needed.
There were some problems though.
First, is a bizarre contradiction with the rules established in the Death Note canon. Not only that, but it's never really explained. Both Mello and the real author just expect us to accept it without question.
Second, when you finally get to the final chapter and realize what was truly at stake if the mystery wasn't solved, you want to yell out, "So What?!". Although L admits in the manga that he's childish and hates to lose, his reasons (and Mello's justifications for those reasons) for getting involved in the BB case make him come across as uncharacteristically petty.
Third, the names of most of the characters are unbelievably stupid. The best example would be "Backyard Bottomslash" (no, I'm not joking). Unless Mello "changed names to protect the innocent", there is no reason for having such bizarre names. If they had been used in a comedic manner (much like Mello's inconsistent narration style), that'd be one thing. They weren't, and they really weakened the parts of the book that we're expected to take seriously.
This book is only recommended for fans of the manga. If you're a Death Note fan, you'll have certain expectations while reading the book which will make the twist ending that much more surprising. For anyone else, the twist will lose all of its power because they will not have said expectations.
This book was decent, but it "cooled" my enthusiasm for any future Death Note Spinoffs. If you want something truly great, stick with the original.
Like the series followed the struggle between L and Kira, Another Note follows a similar struggle between L and an unknown murderer. Leaving mysterious clues and hints, the murders grow in violence and as the police struggle to find anything on the culprit, L involves a suspended FBI Agent, Naomi Misora to be his eyes and ears. In typical Death Note style, however, things quickly turn strange as a private detective named Rue Ryuzaki makes his presence known. For veterans and fans of Death Note, this book is a must read. For mystery fans in general, even, this book provides an intriguing, provocative experience that can only be enhanced with multiple readings. For example, the book repeatedly discusses the purpose of the Wara Ningyos, dolls that are left at the scene of the crime. They are positioned in very specific manners that would puzzle someone who doesn't know the overall outcome of the book, however, once knowing why they're where they are, it almost provides additional insight into the killers line of thought. This book is flat-out impressive; but that's what one should expect from this series. The Death Note name remains untainted; great book, great read, great series.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Death Note, it will be somewhat confusing, but not much knowledge of the manga or anime is needed, as the important stuff is explained in the text itself. However, just to be clear, Kira is the protagonist of Death Note.
As was said by many reviewers already, this is a prequel. Mello narrates the events that took place in the case that is not often mentioned in Death Note, starting after the third murder has occurred.
Misora is an FBI agent currently on a leave-of-absence, who gets an email message supposedly from her boyfriend, Penbar. However, it is from "L", a famous detective in the Death Note series and is already famous before the BB case even took place. She asked by "L" to help him on a case.
After accepting and following his instructions, she heads off to the first crime scene to investigate, where she meets a strange person who moves about on all-fours, when investigating scenes, only eats sweet things, and sits in a knee hugging position. This draws her attention, but he helps her investigate each of the three crime scenes.
That is mainly how the entire story works out.
As for complaints, there are only two. First, there were references to Death Note that were fairly unnecessary, such as talking about Kira's actions in the anime/manga, which seemed as nothing more than a few comments made by Mello. Death Note fans might like Mello's comments on the Kira case, but those comments just do not add a whole lot to the story. The only exception was about the shinigami eyes, which is stated expressively that the antagonist had since birth. The explanation about the eyes, although I knew how they worked, being a Death Note fan, made it known how easy it was for Beyond Birthday, the criminal/antagonist, to find his victims, compared to an ordinary killer attempting the pattern that was mentioned. Second, there were grammar problems as well as other problems that do not make the writing of very good quality. The first thing I noticed was that there were incomplete sentences. Words that should have finished a previous sentence were the first word of the next sentence. Also, there were periods at places that I felt needed commas instead. It just felt like there was no proofreading going on before the publication was done. The third thing was a reference to a previous sentence, that I am having troubles finding right now, did not seem right. The reference said former, pointing to the first condition in the previous statement, but it should have been the latter. If this book was proofread better or at all and the unnecessary references to Death Note were eliminated, I would have given this book five stars.
This is a great read, especially for Death Note fans, but certainly not everyone will enjoy it. If you are a Death Note fan, I recommend this 100%. For a crime fiction fan in general, I would only recommend this for its story, even if there are grammar and other writing problems. However, the decision ultimately will ride on you, the reader.
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