Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Summertime of the Dead by Gregory Hughes

 review by Maryom

"Yukio's two best friends are dead. Tormented and blackmailed by the Japanese mafia - the notorious yakuza - they have taken their own lives. Overcome by heartbreak and fury, Yukio is determined to avenge their deaths.
  So begins a deadly mission that will take Yukio on a destructive path to the rotten core of Tokyo - and to his own dark heart."

I'd been putting off reading this book for a while as I expected it, from the title, to be yet another zombie story. So when I read the blurb - as above - I was pleasantly surprised and expecting a mystery thriller - a tale of a young teen taking on the might of the yakuza, tracking down the culprits and bringing them to justice. Unfortunately the story turned out to be far more of a bloodbath than I expected. Yukio sets off round Tokyo with his Samurai sword seeking out those he sees as responsible - a bit like Charles Bronson in Deathwish.

Taken as a whole I found this to be a very disturbing novel. At the end, the author comes down as very firmly AGAINST Yukio's behaviour - but only at the end. My concern is that a reader might not make it that far, might take it as approval of Yukio's actions and even try to imitate them. If this had been adult fiction, I would not have been so perturbed but Yukio is only 14 - and presumably the target reader is of similar age.

Publisher: Quercus
Genre: Teenage fiction

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