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Title: Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo 4: Onibijima Satsujin Jiken
Author: Amagi Seimaru
Number of Pages: 318 pages
Book Number/Goal: 27/40 for 2010
My Rating: 5/5

Jacket Summary: A murderer witnessed through a keyhole who disappears without a trace when the door is opened. An approaching tornado. And snow in the middle of summer... The stage for this tragedy is a cursed island that people call Onibijima...Will-o'-Wisp Island.

Review: I think my love for Kindaichi mysteries is pretty well established, and I don't really have much of anything new or different to say here. I love Kindaichi so I loved this book. :p It's not just that they're good mysteries (though they are), but I really love how the killer always has this heart-wrenching tale of why they had to kill all these people. No one kills for greed or just because they're a psychotic killer. They're always motivated by revenge against the people who wronged them or their friends/family and there's always this big heart-felt apology at the end. idk, I like the ~drama~.
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I did it! My first goal was "at least the same number (11) as I read last year, or more". Then when I passed 11, I said, okay, maybe 15. Then when I passed 15 and there was still a month or so left in the year, I thought, well, why not try for 20? And I finished the last ten pages of my twentieth book this morning.

Julia Alvarez - How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
I enjoyed this quite a lot, but I really think it should have been marketed as a book of short stories. Instead it's a book of short stories that is called a novel, yet has none of the cohesion or overarching plot required of a novel, though the stories are all about the same four women. It's also very obvious that many of these stories were originally published separately, as there's a lot of repeated background info, introducing characters as if we've never met them before when it's the fifth time they've appeared, etc. There are also a handful of stories in first person, when the majority are third person, and that kind of makes it feel patched together, too. (There was also one very bizarre story where it was first person, except all the girls were named in third person. So even though the narrator was saying I and we and us in reference to the four sisters, it sounded like there was a mysterious fifth sister doing the narration because she attributed actions and dialogue to all four in third person. I...have never seen a story written like that before and hope never to do so again. It was disconcerting and a very strange choice.)

Anyway, I really did enjoy the individual stories quite a lot, and found the book hard to put down. I just am kind of annoyed with it for saying it's a novel when it's not, as that made me keep expecting things that it never delivered.

Amagi Seimaru - Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo "Yuurei Kyakusen Satsujin Jiken"
This is the last of the Kindaichi novels I have. D: I may have to order more from Amazon Japan, as they never seem to have them at Book Off (except, of course, they did get in a copy of one of them after I'd already ordered it from Amazon). This one was good (as usual; I've yet to meet a Kindaichi story, manga or novel, I didn't love) and really had me guessing. The trick of concealing the killer was actually better than the killer's tricks, I think! The chapters in the killer's POV started with excerpt from a captain's log, then switched to first person with the killer setting down the log. This made you think the killer was writing the log, and thus had to be an older man with a daughter, when in fact, the killer was reading the log, which had belonged to her father. Tricksy! I loved it.

I have also read 200 manga, which was really not a goal (well, as I got closer and closer to 200, I did make that my goal so it would be nice and even), but I find to be quite impressive. If you figure an average of 180 pages per volume, that's about 36,000 pages of manga. D: Wow.

The most recent manga I've read has been the first two (and so far only two, though it's listed as on-going) volumes of W Juliet II, the sequel (obviously) to W Juliet. It takes place a few years in the future, when Makoto and Ito are twenty and just married. Like W Juliet, it's cute and enjoyable, though not the best thing I've ever read. (I'm loving that there's more stories about Tomoe, though.)

Unrelatedly, this is like, Facebook day or something. I had two people friend me today. Actually, it's been Facebook month, as I've had more people friend me this month than most of the rest of the year. XD
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This evening I finished the first of the Kindaichi novels I got. Well, it's actually the third in the series, but they don't need to be read chronologically, and I chose this one because it's a smaller format than the others and I had thought I might be taking it somewhere and need to put it in my pocket (the concert, maybe, but I ended up not taking a book).

Anyway! This was really good. The author of the books is the same as the manga (the manga has a separate author and artist anyway) and the story was just as compelling as the manga. In fact, I zipped through it (all 350 pages) in just two or three days, which is really quickly for me, considering I usually don't have much time for reading these days. But I really didn't want to put it down.

One thing I found interesting was that I don't think this could be successfully translated into English. Spoiler )

I found it interesting that he made use of the inherent ambiguity of Japanese this way.

Also of note was the fact that this was written in 1996 but was all about the internet. Wow. Internet has come a long way in eleven years, especially in Japan! The dated-ness didn't detract from the story at all, though.

For my own reference, links to the other five novels:

#4 鬼火島殺人事件
#5 上海魚人伝説殺人事件
#6 雷祭殺人事件
#7 殺戮のディープブルー上巻/殺戮のディープブルー下巻
#8 邪宗館殺人事件

In other news, Bruce got his ticket and is coming back Sunday morning. His sister is driving up to Huntington on Saturday for her 20th high school reunion, so he can just go back to Indy with her that night and she can drive him to the airport Sunday morning. And he was able to use his parents' credit card to buy the ticket, so we don't even have to worry about getting paid back or anything, thankfully.


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