S: Es by Koji Suzuki is part of the Ring family of books. I received it in my Nocturnal Reader’s Box which described it as, “… the latest in the Ring saga. Its [sic] related, not a sequel, so not reading the others is perfectly ok.” And, I disagree. I do feel like I would have been more invested in the outcome if I had read the earlier books. The writing style is matter-of-fact and a bit lackluster. It read in a way that I feel it would have been better as a movie. This book is translated and so I cannot say if it reads better in the original language or if the translation does the original book justice.
Akane is an orphan raised in a foster-care facility that Takanori’s father founded. These two meet, they become involved, a pregnancy occurs, and they plan to marry. This all seems well and good and would make for a drama filled romance, but that is not this book. Unexplainable events lead to an investigation where Takanori finds more than what he went looking for. If you know the Ring series, then you won’t be surprised that this story focuses on a mysterious video as well.
The bulk of the story involves Takanori and Kihara, a renowned nonfiction writer, looking into the strange occurrences to figure out what the truth actually is. I had hoped that once they had found the truth, the story would have been worth it, but that moment never happened for me. It may work as a companion book to the series, but there is not enough drive in this book alone for it to stand on its own.
Here’s the deal, this book is weird. It takes you on this large roundabout journey to an anti-climactic ending that left me wondering: are Akane and Takenori sort-of-but-not related? And I can’t even begin to explain why I am wondering that without spoiling the ending for you. As a standalone, I rate it low (1 out of 5, maybe?), but it may be a great book for a reader who is a huge fan of Sadako and the Ring series.
What are your thoughts on this book?
Did the ending leave you just as confused?
(The ending reminded me a lot of IT by Stephen King, by the way, when there’s that space/time/dimension trip during the end battle… Did I imagine that or did that actually happen?)