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on Oct. 19, 2011 :
I found this novella to be a surprisingly good read. Why do I say surprising? Because it's obvious this book was originally conceived as a script, rather than a work of fiction. Simply put, this story begs to be drawn or animated! On that front it succeeds amiably. I'm familiar with Manga and Japanese animation and recognized the established conventions of the format in this story. If Sailor Moon and Magic Knight Rayearth series had an offspring, this would be it. Within the pages of Soldier Evolution Revolutionary Girl one could find many of the elements of those series contained within, from the Mokona-like Kamyu to the Sailor-Moon inspired names of the heroes: Soldier Evolution, Soldier Starlight, Soldier Firestar, etc.
The Good: The battle scenes were exciting and the action vividly described. This story was more visual than a lot of the science fiction and fantasy novels I've read. An impressive feat considering the sheer scope and variety of the characters' powers or enemies. Several times in the course of reading this story, I had to stop to marvel at how creative much of the content was.
The Bad: While I was impressed with the sheer imagination of the author, I was disappointed with some aspects of the story. The inevitable shortcoming of producing a work of fiction that is in essence a script left it in unenviable territory. On one hand, this story would make for a stunning Manga comic strip. On the other, it depends too heavily on the missing visuals to complete the experience. The author's attempt to describe the characters' looks ad naseum, however admirable, was self-defeating. The more details the story gave about the characters, the more I wanted to see them and not read about the color of their hair or what kind of halter top or high heel boots they were wearing. The constant information dumping became tedious after a while and I started to simply tune out.
With that said, the author does have a good story to tell, even if it is disjointed at times. The characters are young and vibrant and the plot is epic. There are some missteps. But this fun story will appeal to younger readers, especially fans of Japanese animation and Manga comics.
(review of free book)