Book # 2
Title: Death Note: Another Note
Genre: Manga. Suspense. Light novel. Crime fiction.
Synopsis (from the book): 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. It soon becomes apparent that the killing spree is a psychotic riddle designed specifically to engage L in a battle of wits. Stuck in the middle between killer and investigator, it's up to Misora to navigate both the dead bodies and the egos to solve the Los Angeles BB Murder Cases.
My opinion: When I was still on a Death Note high, I had spent a considerable amount of time browsing Internet pages about the popular series and that was how I came across the news that a prequel light novel was in the works (the year was 2008). I went on to search for it on the net to see how things are going – there were already two roughly translated chapters posted somewhere. By then, I was despairing over the fact that I would never be able to get a hold of it because light novels are hard to come across in the Philippines. Luckily, an uncle of mine bought me a copy. For the previous years, 2008 and 2009, I’ve reread this a lot and not rereading it this year doesn’t sit quite well with me.
Just so you know, you don’t need to read the manga or watch the anime to understand what goes on with the story in this one. There are actually little to no mention of Shinigami (death reapers in Japanese) and even the killing notebook itself. It’s a prequel, also – in a sense, it’s probably a good way to start with the series.
The style of this one is typical of a light novel – composed of quick narratives and simple dialogue – but that didn’t take away too much from the plot, which revolves around the serial killings in Los Angeles and L trying to catch the culprit. One thing that amused me about the narration was that it was Mello who was telling the story and if it was from his perspective, how could he have known what the other characters in the story were thinking? But then again, his parts were mostly in the beginning parts of each chapter so there.
The only thing that bothered me was that there were too many technicalities. Technicalities, as in the methods, the clues, etc. You can tell me that sort of stuff is expected in a spin-off novel for a series like Death Note but please, some of the stuff were too much. I literally had to stop reading to ponder on the things like (can be considered SPOILER, skip if you like) the locked door technique that was used with the Wara Ningyo Dolls, the puzzle, and the book pages. Obviously, it took me longer to finish it.
Oh wait, there’s another thing that bothered me – the names of the other characters (more like, the victims) are bad. Who names their kids with such horrible names?!
Nevertheless, the book counts as a good read for me and it’s a keeper for Death Note fans like me, a good find for non-fans (I hope you get converted and become fans too). There might also be a few more Death Note light novels in the future as well, looking forward to it.