If you have read my favorite books of 2016 post, you will know that Death Note was one of my favorite book series of 2016. I started and finished this series in 2016 and it is now one of my most favorite book series ever. It is a manga series – manga is a Japanese comic book/graphic novel which is read from back to front and from right to left. The only manga I had read before reading this series was the first volume of Naruto but I was not super impressed with it. I did not feel compelled to continue with the series but with Death Note, I was addicted and had to binge read the series this year.
Death Note is a notebook which is used by Gods of death called Shinigami and this book is accidentally found by a school student “Light Yagami”. If the name of a person is written on this book, that person dies within a minute from a heartattack. So once you know the name and face of a person, you can kill anybody. So Light, who gets this notebook starts thinking he is a God who is entrusted with the responsibility of getting rid of evil in the world and starts killing criminals. This gets the police worried as a mass murderer is on loose. They get help from a person called L who doesn’t reveal his name and hence cannot be killed by Light.
I was initially reluctant to pick the first volume of this series thinking it might be a horror story as it involves Gods of death etc. But it is not a horror novel. It is in fact a very intelligent novel. Light is so clever and cunning! I have never read a character as brilliant as Light ever. Even though he is the main protagonist of this series, he is also an anti-hero in that he is the one whom everyone is trying to catch. L is also equally brilliant. So what you see is two brilliant people trying to trap one another. Light wants L to reveal himself so that he can kill L. L wants to catch the person who is killing people.
The story is pretty dark and twisted and sometimes Light can get too much to handle. Light sometimes uses other people and that part was also done so well. You feel like appreciating Light for his brain but at the same time, you cannot admire his actions. The characters themselves are pretty grey – nobody is good or bad here. Mello and Near were also brilliant characters, who get better as the story progresses.
These books have so many twists that I could never guess. If you like suspense, you will love these books. I found it really hard to put these books down. I just had to know what was going to happen. The climax was also great and I loved the way this series ended. This is one series that I love mostly because of the amazing characters.
There are totally 12 volumes in this series. I got the black editions which have two volumes in each book so I have 6 books. Volume 3 of the black edition was my least favorite. Volume 4 of the black edition (which had volume 7 of the series) was my most favorite. I could have never guessed what happened in that volume. Now I am binge watching the anime.
I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves graphic novels or comics or suspense and great characters. I want to read more manga in future as I had no idea that some manga are this amazing.
Any manga recommendations for me?