Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Truancy" by Isamu Fukui

Author: Isamu Fukui
Title: "Truancy"
Pages: 432
Publisher: Tor Books

Thanks to the ever so generous Graeme I received “Truancy” as an unexpected gift that got me addicted. For three blissful days I was totally lost in this hardcover edition, which is so unlike me, since my attention span with books ranges to 60 pages at most a day and finishing 400 in three days was impossible to me. I certainly wish more books could force into oblivion.

At first I was very reluctant to setting expectations as everybody knows Isamu Fukui is 17 years old and having had a huge disappointment in “Eragon”, also written by a teen, I had no idea what to expect. However I was not disappointed at all. The story is quite simple. The setting is an unnamed city, which is ruled by an unnamed Mayor in such a manner that turns people into obedient marionettes. This is all an experiment to create the perfect society. The school is the first step to shaping the City’s citizens into spineless humans, but as the system becomes unbearable, revolt is to be expected in the face of the Truancy, an organization of students that oppose the City’s rule.

Tack is the main protagonist to say so, even though there are other characters, who tell the story. He is an average student, who just wants to stay under the radar, until he meets Umasi, a skilled fighter pacifist, and starts training with him. The death of Tack’s sister by the Truant leader Zyid is the trigger that turns Tack into a fighter himself. In Order to avenge his sister Tack becomes a part of the Truancy and even escalates to the position of right hand assassin of Zyid. The plot of “Truancy” revolves around the newest, harshest stage of the war between Truancy and the Educators, who are run by the Mayor and have control over the City. The ending of the book shows a small scale apocalypse and a city lying in ruins.

I applaud Isamu for his great skill in characterization. The dialogue is superb in my own opinion and the protagonists’ points of view are distinguishable although a great deal of head hopping is established. However it’s good that Isamu keeps the cast of narrating characters tight. Each and every character has his or hers dramatic tale that connects them with the others and explains their motifs perfectly. If you have read Japanese manga or watched enough anime, you will definitely feel that specific vibe of nobility, epic drama and honor woven together. This method of storytelling is addictive and offers a lot more suspense for the reader. Another strength that I find is the visual approach to storytelling. I think that this is the literary equivalent to watching a great action movie and the descriptions of the combat scenes are simply mindboggling. Showing high speed motion in a written story is one of the hardest things to achieve and Isamu makes it look easy, too easy.

As conclusion I can simply point out that if you hate school, have hated school and haven’t lived long enough to realize that those were the best years in your life, than this book is for you. In my opinion Isamu has a very bright future ahead of him in the industry.

4 comments:

Graeme Flory said...

I felt like I was missing the point somewhere along the line... Good book though, nice review!

daydream said...

Thanks for stopping by! The point for me is that grownups are not always right and they need their butt kicked. It is not a very deep book. It is basically dedicated to students who hate school.

Robert said...

Sounds like you really enjoyed this book and I'm glad it's nothing like that horrific Eragon...

daydream said...

Thanks for stopping by Robert. I assure you that Truancy has nothing in common with Eragon, any wise.

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