Zaregoto, Book 1: The Kubikiri Cycle, by Nisioisin

Download Zaregoto, Book 1: The Kubikiri Cycle, by Nisioisin

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Zaregoto, Book 1: The Kubikiri Cycle, by Nisioisin

Zaregoto, Book 1: The Kubikiri Cycle, by Nisioisin

Zaregoto, Book 1: The Kubikiri Cycle, by Nisioisin

Download Zaregoto, Book 1: The Kubikiri Cycle, by Nisioisin

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Zaregoto, Book 1: The Kubikiri Cycle, by Nisioisin

It’s the vacation of a lifetime, a trip to a remote island filled with geniuses–and murder.

On Wet Crow’s Feather Island, a tiny speck in the Sea of Japan, lives Akagami Iria, the exiled daughter of a powerful family. Born into great wealth, she was a princess of the highest pedigree–until she was cut off by the leader of the Akagami Foundation. For the last five years, she’s lived on Feather Island with her maids. But she hasn’t been alone. She has invited the best minds Japan has to offer to come and stay with her.

And so nineteen-year-old college student Ii-chan and his best friend, computer genius Kunagisa Tomo, find themselves as Iria’s guests at her elaborate mansion. Surrounded by fascinating women–a chef, a fortune-teller, a scholar, and an artist, not to mention his own friend Tomo–Ii-chan is feeling a little overmatched intellectually. But the sudden discovery of a grisly murder sends the island into shock. And Ii-chan discovers that he does possess a bit of genius: the ability to discover what is real and what is fake . . . who is who they claim to be–and who is a killer.

  • Sales Rank: #702545 in Books
  • Published on: 2008-07-22
  • Released on: 2008-07-22
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 7.25″ h x .75″ w x 4.75″ l, .50 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 352 pages

From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—Written by a manga-novel author, Zaregoto uses a manga style in the format of a novel. Ii, a 19-year-old college student, accompanies his friend Kunagisa Tomo, a computer engineering genius, to Wet Crow’s Feather Island, home of wealthy exile Akagami Iria, who surrounds herself with the best and the brightest. The island’s other guests include a painter, a fortune-teller, a chef, and an all-purpose genius, as well as live-in maids and other caretakers. The geniuses bicker regularly and immerse themselves in expressing their mutual hatred for each other. On the third evening of Ii’s visit, a powerful earthquake draws the tense discussion short. Ii and Kunagisa discover Ibuki Kanami, the painter, beheaded in her studio. Akagami Iria takes control of the murder investigation, refusing to call the police, and rumor surfaces that this crime is far from the first, and could very well not be the last. Zaregoto reads like a combination of Fantasy Island and Clue, and as it continues, readers can’t help but wonder if Akagami Iria has set up this dangerous game as a way to entertain herself in her exile. With no graphics to rely on, the story suffers from an overwhelming amount of dialogue but still offers a challenging mystery that will keep readers guessing. Libraries with manga fans craving something beyond the typical graphic novel and Japanophiles searching for something new should consider this for purchase, as well as Hiroshi Ishizaki’s Chain Mail: Addicted to You (Tokyopop, 2007).—Sarah Krygier, Solano County Library, Fairfield, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful.
Elementary, my dear Iria.
By Tracy
If you aren’t into illustrated covers (or Manga, for that matter) don’t let the cover throw you. You need not fear harmless little Kunagisa Tomo or her blue hair (mosty). There will be so much going on in the course of this novel, you’ll be far too busy to notice.

Likewise, if you are not accustomed to Japanese names, the book title and character names may seem intimidating. Don’t let it get to you! You’re a serious reader. No sweat!

Wet Crow’s Feather, with its expansive mansion, is the exclusive island home of wealthy and powerful Akagami Iria, an heiress of ‘highest pedigree’. And if she invites you to come, you get to vacation for free! Hell, she’ll even pay you for your time! A great deal! There’s only one little catch: only geniuses need apply. If you’re the undisputed best at what you do — a master artist; a savant hacker; a culinary prodigy — or if your name has frequently been attached to words like ‘laureate’, ‘Nobel’, or ‘paradigm shift’ your cheque may already be in the mail.

Iria-san is something of a collector. Since she never leaves her island home, what better way to keep from getting bored than to surround herself with the world’s best and brightest? And why not? She has money to burn. But given that only geniuses make the grade, college student Ii finds himself feeling out of place. He’s accompanied his often delicate (but always freakishly brilliant) friend Kunagisa. *She’s* an infamous computer genius; *his* presence is merely tolerated.

Maybe Ii is much more ordinary than the illustrious women he finds himself amidst — an exiled heiress; a famed scholar; a master chef; a celebrated artist; an uncannily accurate fortune-teller/mindfreak; and, well, then there’s Kunagisa.

However, when heads start to roll, the question isn’t only ‘who dunnit’, but who among them possesses the skills to solve murder among geniuses?

If you like math-logic, murder mysteries, plot-twists, or interesting characters, you may want to take a serious look at this fun and entertaining book!

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
Courtesy of The Figment Review at Figment[dot]com
By The Figment Review
by Matthew Reeves

Some writers are talented, some writers are addictive, some writers are renowned, and some writers manage to compile all these things and more into a neatly wrapped package that sells incredibly well. I say “some” because, well, let’s face it, these types of authors are few and far between. If you want to shrink the list even smaller, try listing authors that managed to do all of the above with their publishing debut.

When I picked up Zaregoto, I knew very little about its author NisiOisin. I had only read a short work of his in a literary anthology once, and though not my cup of tea, his writing had proven captivating regardless. When I discovered that the American publisher Del Rey had brought out a mystery novel of his, I was very interested. Having read and loved the Japanese mystery novel GOSICK, I had high hopes that yet another young adult author from Japan could possibly breathe more life into an admittedly fading genre of the YA market.

The story of Zaregoto is told from the viewpoint of Ii-chan, a nineteen year old college student accompanying one of his friends, Kunagisa Tomo, a recognized computer genius, as she travels to Wet Crow’s Feather Island to meet the rich and exiled daughter of the powerful Akagami Foundation. She, like a number of other specially gifted people from Japan, has received an invitation to come to the private island estate of Akagami Iria. Apparently, the exiled princess is bored and she wants to gather the brightest minds the country has to offer to spend time with her. Though Ii-chan wasn’t invited, Kunagisa brings him along with her to the island anyway. There they discover a host of other talented individuals that all but perfectly match the definition of a “genius”. In fact, with so many of these geniuses walking around that range in skills from cooking, painting, computers and even fortune telling, it begins to make Ii-chan feel a bit overwhelmed intellectually. He seems to be the only `average’ individual around.

But then the unthinkable occurs. One of the guests is found dead after an earthquake – beheaded. With everyone a suspect, there’s no knowing for sure who they can trust. As one murder follows another, Ii-chan discovers he just might have what it takes to figure out the truth – that is of course, if he isn’t the next one to die.

Zaregoto is a thrilling, edge of your seat, logic bending tale of murder and the human psyche. Filled with a unique and varied cast of characters, excellent narration and abounding plot twists even long after the mystery has been solved, it is without a doubt a phenomenal read.

From beginning till end, this is a book that keeps you guessing at every page. Readers won’t need much time to realize that NisiOisin has a literary style all his own. Whether it be the strange name choices (even by Japanese standards), or the narrative structure, this is a story that is both spellbinding and challenging. Though the book is obviously targeting the YA demographic, it is anything but “easy reading.” NisiOisin’s writing requires the full attention of his readers. Every conversation and every detail could be a clue or point for character growth.

Zaregoto takes a slower more methodical approach to the genre in the tradition of many of the classics. The mystery is gradually built one layer at a time and even the smallest of details is given adequate measure to be noticed. One of NisiOisin’s greatest assets is his ability to write as much as he does and still make every word count.

When it comes to a mystery novel, the ending can and usually is considered by many to be the most pivotal point of the work. It’s whether you discover if the author has what it takes to tie everything together in a way you never could see coming or fails miserably. Thankfully, I’m glad to report that Zaregoto not only succeeds in creating a shocking finale for the novel, but also in touching on the smaller more easily overlooked aspects of the plot that dealt with individual characters.

As with any piece of literature that is translated into another language, the adaptation quality can vary greatly; ranging from amazing to terrible. Through my reading I could find no noticeable faults with either the work or its adaptation. For the most part, this is a spectacular translation by Del Rey, especially when considering how challenging a writer such as NisiOisin must have proven to be.

In conclusion, some writers are talented, some writers are addictive, some writers are renowned, and some writers manage to compile all these things and more into a neatly wrapped package that sells incredibly well. If you haven’t guessed by now, NisiOisin is just such an author. Not only was Zaregoto his publishing debut, it proved to be the first in a long series of books that would mark his still successful literary career in Japan. Now that his works are being slowly brought into the English market, one can only hope that more people will take the time to discover his unique sense of storytelling.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
Zaregoto is Excellent!
By David Cummins
I bought this book after reading Nisioisin’s Death Note: Another Note, and just like that book, this one is fast-paced and very clever. The writing style is smart, quick and to the point, these characters don’t beat around the bush much. The characters are incredibly vivid and unique. The Japanese names took a bit of getting used to, and the lack of “He said” or “She said” in the dialogue made some passages of extended dialogue just a little confusing to follow. (There were a couple times I had to back up a little to figure out which character was talking). All in all, however, the fact that Nisioisin cut a lot of that makes the dialogue flow faster and more naturally.
This Japanese author is brilliant and I can’t wait for Book 2 to be released in English.

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