Rating: 2/5 – Fool Me Once, Shame on You, Fool me Twice…
After the lackluster and uninspired ending of the previous offering from Yoshiki Tonogai (Doubt), I prepped myself for either a bold new direction or more of the same from this “sequel” to the series. Sadly, I was given more of the latter and not enough of the former, and I’ve got a feeling this is a series I won’t likely pursue to its conclusion.
Doubt ended predictably, with a forced finale that reneged on the promise of the first volume. I’m getting that same vibe from Judge, but with one major difference: I don’t care about or even like any of the main characters this time around. Our central protagonist, Hiro, driven by the envy he has of his brother, sets in motion a chain of events that gets him killed (albeit unintentionally). Two years later, he’s kidnapped, put in a locked building with nine other people who have committed equally heinous “sins” and forced to play a game called Judge, where every hour one of them is voted out…which means they’re killed. Only four people get to survive the game, so it’s tough luck for the five people who can’t convince the others their lives are worth saving.
Now this sounds like a great premise. Heck, it *is* a great premise…but after reading Doubt I felt a need to proceed with caution. I’m glad I did, because this book seems headed in the same general direction, but without any characters I’m really interested in. I’m sure there will be stories from certain individuals that will be interesting to hear, but I’m equally sure that won’t be enough to justify picking up the rest of the volumes in this series.
I’ll be happy to be wrong, but you’ll have to tell me if I am. My judgment on Judge is that my money and time will be better spent elsewhere.
Reviewed by: Al Sparrow – firstname.lastname@example.org
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