Book Review: Bloody Monday Volume 6

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Before I knew it, I received the rest of my order from Barnes & Noble. So, I now have three more books to cover. Today, I will be reviewing one of those books, which is called Bloody Monday Volume 6 by Ryou Ryumon.

As I gave a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

A deadly virus that J talked last volume has surfaced within Third-I. Fearing that the virus would spread, a decision to seal contaminated area was made. When sealing off more areas is considered, Fujimaru says that it is not necessary and tells them that there is a possibility of an anti-viral drug and guesses that the Shikimura file is related to the antivirus. However, Fujimaru and Third-I are not the only ones looking for the Shikimura file.

I really liked this volume. Everything is action-packed and exciting overall. It was also nice to see that Fujimaru one upped the terrorist a few times, like having them receive an e-mail infected with a computer virus when they tried hacking his e-mail server. Although the best possible place to be is right at the system being attacked during that attack, in order to defend the system, I would think that a remote connection with the server would also be a good place, but still not as good as if one were actually using the system being attacked. We also find out why those close to Rynosuke Takagi were being targeted by that assassin. After all, there is no reason for an attack on such people, unless a possibility of an antivirus existed. Also, it really does seem like Kodansha was listening to fans, at least for me, since this is the last of the three series I follow that are distributed by them. In previous volumes, term definitions were mixed between those that occurred in the chapter and those that occurred in later chapters. However, in this volume all terms were defined before they appeared in the actual content, which was a nice sight. The story and being able to go through it with not much confusion is certainly much better if terms were defined before or after their usage. In the latter case, it would work best being at the end of the book. Also, things were a bit more believable because one of the terrorist, known as Michael, said that anyone could crack a system, once they find out how somebody else cracked the same system. In this case, it was the fact that Michael watched Fujimaru crack Third-I's system in the previous volume. That would make sense, so long as the company or other target has not beefed up security. Considering that these are government agencies though, they would probably beef up security really quick, especially since those that are determined to be good at cracking are hired after they crack into government systems, at least according to one of my college instructors before I got my degree. Otherwise, they would be arrested for their activity. The fact that the excitement has not died down and that Kodansha really does seem to be listening to people is certainly a plus.

Although I liked the book, there were a few issues. Considering that this is a professional translation, I would expect that grammar would be good enough to understand. However, there were a few instances where words were missing or the incorrect word was used, which made some of what was being said hard to understand. I do not expect anything to be error-free, since nothing created by mankind is flawless, but I want things to be understandable and I think readers of any kind of book would agree with me. Another problem I found was in the Table of Contents. In the book, every chapter has a title and the Table of Contents in the book contains title for every chapter but the last one. Now, this is not as bad as the TOC issues of Negima! Volume 34, but it certainly is a consistency issue. In fact, every volume from the first volume to the fifth volume has titles of all of their chapters in the Table of Contents. Right now, I hope that this is a one-time issue, since quality seemed to be going pretty well so far with this batch of Kodansha releases. As for the story itself, Fujimaru seems a bit more knowledgeable but the writer really needs some classes in computer security. Yes, the key to cracking a system is finding security holes, such as open ports, especially the default ports, and software vulnerabilities, both server software and Operating system. However, they mention a fake Shikimura file that cannot be decrypted. I will overlook this due to how well the series is going, but basic computer security knowledge says that nothing is uncrackable. Also, new encryption technology is not as favorable as old, unlike what your IT guy or tech will tell people about updating all software. The new software may plug holes and such but new encryption technologies are not as well tested as older encryption technologies. Now, I may not have the skills to crack systems, but white hat hackers, which I talked about in my review of Case Closed Volume 28 and in other posts too, will certainly know exactly how good an encryption scheme is, just like gray hat and black hat hackers would. However, like the TOC issue here, this is just a minor issue. The biggest issue is the grammar, while everything else is just a minor issue.

Despite the fact that there are some grammar issues and a possible one-time issue with the TOC, I think that this was definitely worth reading. I would recommend this to those that are interested in computers, technology, and fiction that deals with terrorism.

What are you thoughts on Bloody Monday Volume 6? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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