Book Review: Bloody Monday Volume 1

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It certainly has been a while since I have done a book review, huh? I was at Barnes & Noble today and I picked up three titles. Today, I will be posting my review of one of those titles, which is called Bloody Monday. As this is the first volume in the series, I hope I do a bit better job than the last book review.

Bloody Monday is a story about a high schooler named Fujimaru Takagi, who is apparently a genius hacker that goes by the alias Falcon. Although his exploits are well-known, almost nobody knows his true identity, outside of those in a secret government agency. He has helped that agency in a number of occasions, but he is not officially affiliated with it. This time, a virus has supposedly been imported into Japan by a woman name Maya, after she had supposedly tested it out in Russia, where she originally obtained it. However, this is not just any ordinary incident. There is an even more fearsome scheme being planned, which is called Bloody Monday. By discovering the virus, Fujimaru entangles himself and his friend in a situation that may be difficult to handle.

This is pretty much an on-going series, but that I look back at this portion, known as season 1, I find something a bit funny, but I'm not going to say until the second portion, known as season 2, is completely translated officially. Anyway, there is not really that much bad too say, except for one thing did not sound so cool. That thing is Falcon's slogan, which is "Only Fools Look". When I originally read this, the slogan was, "Stupid sees, Stupid does". I kind of like the latter better, as it basically summarizes what his target did. I don't have much of a problem with the former, but the latter is much more intimidating. Sometimes, things do not sound so cool in different translations, but that does not really take the story down that much.

As this is the first volume, there is not much that I can say that is great about the story, without spoiling it. However, it seems really enjoyable and it started off quite well. We do not get to see everything Falcon has ever done, but that is not so important to the story. All that needs to be known is that he is a genius hacker. They do use a lot of computer terms, but those are either explained in the chapters or the extras, so that is not really an issue, hence why I did not mention it until now, although it should be obvious, considering who the protagonist is in the story. For example, they go over the differences between a cracker and a hacker in the computer world, which most people do not understand. Pretty much, those that are considered white hat hackers, which Falcon primarily is in the story, do not like to be looked at as criminals, like black/gray hat hackers are seen (gray hats do not always crack into things with malicious intent like black hats are known to do). Due to this fact, white hat hacker prefer to call people who crack into systems for malicious intents crackers. Also, Fujimaru is not dense about situations concerning him and his family. Again, this is probably obvious, but not many stories have lead characters that are aware of the various possibilities. For example, when his father is proclaimed a prime suspect in a murder investigation, he tells his sister not to go to school, as they have a bad reputation due to what predicament their father is in. Of course, he does not follow his own advice or his father's instructions. If he did, the whole thing would be boring. In addition to his father's predicament, Fujimaru also suspects that the new teacher the school got, after the last one was removed by Fujimaru, is not so innocent due to seeing her on the video with the supposed virus, which has him trying to figure out whether or not she was in Russia, which we, the audience, knew. I also like how the enemy is not quite exposed yet but are making their move, like killing a friend of Fujimaru's father. However, most of the intrigue in this volume is pointed to whether or not Orihara Maya is innocent or not, even though the audience knows otherwise. Not a whole lot is revealed in this volume, but it starts off great and much of the intrigue comes from either people moving in the shadows or dramatic irony. It was nice that terms were explained for newbies to the computer world, even though I do not need them explained to me.

Even though Falcon's slogan was not so pleasing to me, that does not mean that I would not recommend the title. After all, the tension with movements in the shadows and some instances of dramatic irony does keep hold on the reader. The first chapter really does a nice job starting the story and getting us familiar with our hacker protagonist. I would recommend this title to anyone that is interested in computers and possibly those who like fiction that deals with spies, terrorists, etc.

What is your opinion of Bloody Monday? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.