Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

I just read the first two volumes of Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and I am EXCITED! It’s been awhile since a book has caught me so fully and I’m ready to blaze through the whole series of 13 volumes! Here’s what we know so far:

Light Yagami is a smart, handsome, & clever academic king who is boooored.

Enter Shinigami death god Ryuk who is so bored (note: the first volume is fittingly called Boredom) with his job of killing people with his Death Note, that he’s ready to drop it in the human world to see what they might do with it. What’s a Death Note? It’s a book where any person whose name is written in it DIES according to the wish of the writer. Ryuk’s Death Note gets picked up by our hero (or anti-hero?) Light, who figures out the purpose of the book in no time flat. Who does he decide to kill? A mean teacher? A bully at school? A rival? Nope. He decides to kill criminals. Light wants to rid the world of evil by killing off everyone who is evil. Sounds great! No harm, no foul—sounds like a kind of superhero to me.

Enter L. “L” is the un-named, un-faced, world-famous detective renowned for being able to solve any crime and catch any criminal. But wait, who’s the criminal here? Isn’t Light the good guy catching criminals himself? Not in L’s opinion. L is ready to take down Light and his vigilante justice, and figure out what force is making Light the unstoppable judge, jury, and prosecutor he is without having to touch a single victim.

The cat and mouse mystery begins! Who is L? Where is Light? Who will catch whom, and what will be the price? This story gets so good so fast. I was totally captivated by the ever ingenious ways Light and L moved to outwit each other. This story has one-up after one-up and each time it just gets more suspenseful and tense. Who IS the greater brain between the two, and more importantly, who will win? I loved it.

Death Note is a slightly older series (2006), but if you haven’t read it yet (like me), it’s gonna be like opening a brand new caffeine-filled surprise of a book that will keep you on your toes, watching a battle of wits to the death between seriously smart characters. (Heads up: anime and video games involving these characters exist as well—look out for ‘em and enjoy!)

Review by Gigi, CLP-Brookline


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