Aliens from somewhere past the constellation Cancer have invaded Earth, modeled themselves after starfish, and attempted to terraform the coasts. The only thing that can stop them is the Universal Defense Forces and their technologically advanced supersoldier suits, nicknamed “jackets.”
When new recruit Keiji Kiriya enters his first battle, little does he know that he’ll be fighting it over and over, eventually next to the most famous soldier of the war; “Full Metal Bitch,” 19-year-old Rita Vrataski.
This book was originally written in Japanese in 2004 and then in 2009 it was translated and published in the US as All You Need is Kill. This particular edition is the tie-in with the movie coming out on June 6th, 2014, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt titled, “Edge of Tomorrow.” There is also a graphic novel adaptation of the original novel that was recently published entitled All you Need is Kill (confused yet?).
Why is this on our bookshelf?
It’s much in the vein of Heinlen’s Starship Troopers, with the alien war and the battle suits. The time loop is the real grabber in this one.
Rating (4 stars)
While I may not seem like the type to like Future War books, there’s something about the novelization of military culture that fascinates me. Edge of Tomorrow is, in its own way, a bizarre mix of Starship Troopers, The Thin Red Line and Pacific Rim.
I was a little leery of getting into Time Loop World again after my last book reading experience, but decided to gut it out. Although repetitive (as time loops are wont to be) the telling in this one didn’t bother me. Sakurazaka effectively changes enough each time to show Keiji’s learning curve while still showing the cyclical nature of his world.
If anything, the loosest part of the whole novel was the attempt to explain the alien creatures and their genesis. Supposedly they’re really some sort of terraforming accident gone wrong, spawned when alien technology met a starfish and took their blueprint, but they supposedly look like smashed frogs and shoot some sort of javelin out of their bodies at high rates of speed. I almost wished a couple of times that there had been less description of them all together, and you had been allowed to just visualize any alien destroyer you chose.
I couldn’t get out of my head the fact that Warner Brothers cast Tom Cruise as the star. This is more a fingerwag at Warner Brothers than at Sakurazaka, the author. Keiji Kiriya is a Japanese soldier being played in the movie by Tom Cruise, the whitest American dude ever. Aside from the general OMG TOM CRUISE, REALLY eye-rolling, I refuse to believe that there wasn’t a Japanese actor out there who could have been cast instead (Ken Watanabe, anyone?)
Read this book:
If you’re still waiting for that exosuit/jetpack you were promised IN THE MILLENNIUM.
Don't Read this book:
If you’re a Tactics and Movement war geek
Once you're done, do this:
Read Starship Troopers (but avoid the movie at all costs).