Book Reviews

Loop (Book 3, The Ring Trilogy)

See how the trilogy ends with this gripping sci fi!

“Loop is a Suzuki masterpiece and will shake you to your core whether you like it or not.” – Book Magazine (Japan)
“[Suzuki] does not disappoint… Loop satisfies better than the original or its sequel when you want real answers.” –
“High-flying science-fictional redefinition of reality… [Suzuki] is more interested in separating your head from your body philosophically than physically.”
If you think Loop is similar to the “Ringu 0” movie, you are in for a big surprise.
This novel is not a horror work, it is rather a science fiction account. Set in the future, a mysterious new cancer virus is slowly exterminating every life form on earth. Kaoru, the main character of the story, tries to find a cure for this disease which is affecting his loved ones. He has to fight between alternate realities, finding that the answer to his quest is located in the New Mexico desert.
Loop raises several questions on the nature of God and our perception of what is real. Be ready for some shocking revelations!
In this much-awaited conclusion of the Ring trilogy, everything you thought you knew about the story will have to be put side. In Loop, the killer mimics both AIDS and cancer in a deadly new guise. Kaoru Futami, a youth mature beyond his years, must hope to find answers in the deserts of New Mexico and the Loop project, a virtual matrix created by scientists. The fate of more than just his loved ones depends on Kaoru’s success.Loop is written as a stand-alone work though it is best enjoyed by fans of Ring and Spiral. The author’s own favorite of the trilogy, this astounding finale is an emotionally resonant tale that scales conceptual heights from an angle all its own. Fiction about fiction has rarely been so gripping.
Review: Amy
Before reading this review, be aware that it will contain some spoilers, so if you want to be completely surprized do not continue with this review.
Having read the previous two novels “Ringu” and “Rassen(Spiral)”, Loop actually makes a lot of sense. To try to explain the events of the previous novels any other way would seem ridiculous. The way that Loop plays off the concept of God and higher powers is perfect. Loop is definitely Science fiction whereas Ringu was Horror, and Rassen was borderline Horror/Sci-fi.
As one can see, many people have been disapointed with the conclusion of the trilogy, hoping for something more elaborate maybe. Yet the conclusion ties in precisely with the previous events that happened in the Ring World. To say that this isn’t a worthy conclusion is discounting the authors intent.
Suzuki is a very capable author, and no doubt knew what he was doing when he wrote this. He obviously didn’t care if everyone liked his novel or not, he did it the way he knew would be best, he wrote it in his complex style of science and social commentary. Suzkui has some great points here in that there has to be a God. The idea that the world just “fell into place” on its own is a proposterous one. The characters in the book discover this, and realize that without “divine” intervention things were destined to choas and death.
There is nothing left unexposed by the end of the novel, everything is examined with a fine-toothed combed. It is not to say it is without its flaws. As Suzkui’s moral baramoter is not very high, but he does flesh out his characters well. The translation is not the best, it is quite uneven as someone else mentioned. With complex and simple vocabularly mingled together for not much reason. But despite the clunky translation, the work shines.
In light of that, “Loop” novel has been unfairly compared to the Matrix trilogy, when in fact, it was published “before” the release of the first movie in May 1999. Loop was released in 1998( To say that it is a rip-off of the Matrix is an utter flasehood, if anything, the matrix would have ripped off of “Loop”. However, the comparison’s to “Ghost in the Shell” may be more plausible, since it was released long before the Matrix and Loop, and may have had an influence, but to say it is a knock off is a total misconception and makes the series seem pedestrian.
The Ringu trilogy is not a perfect trilogy, but one of the better horror/sci-fi series out there. With each novel building upon eachother until the very end, and yet, if you wanted to you could read each book on its own, and still understand what is going on, which is quite a feat. You don’t have to read the series in order to understand it. You could truly read it in any order. Loop has been underrated and deserves its own set of honors right along with Ringu and Rassen.
Don’t pass up this novel because of somewhat uneven criticism, it is a definite must-read for fans J-Literature, and fans of well-written mysteries/sci-fi/horror. Don’t pass it up!

Buy from Amazon

About the Author

Koji Suzuki

kojisuzuki_tour01Suzuki Koji, a bestselling author, is often called Japan’s answer to Stephen King. After graduating from Keio University, he worked a number of jobs, including working at a cram school, where he told scary stories to entertain his students. While taking care of his two daughters while his wife worked, he started to write.
In 1990, he won the Fantasy Novel Award with Rakuen [Paradise]. In 1991, he published the novel Ring, which was made into a successful feature film. In 1996, with Rasen (Spiral), the sequel to Ring, he won the Yoshikawa Eiji Young Writer Award. The Ring series included two more installments, Loop and Birthday. In 2002, Dreamworks SKG remade the Ring for American audiences. His most recent book, Kami kami no Promenade, (The Gods’ Promenade) was published in April 2003. Ring is the first of his novels to be translated into English.
Mr. Suzuki has also written extensively on fatherhood in Japan, criticizing traditional absent salarymen fathers. He has written a number of books on the subject (Fusei no Tanjo, Kazoku no Kizuna, and Papa-ism) and has spoken in front of the Japanese Diet on the suject. He has translated Simon Brett’s children’s book, The Little Sod Diaries, into Japanese as well as writing his own children’s book, Namida [Tears]. In addition to writing and translating, he is an avid motorcyclist and expert sailor.
A Japanese national, Mr. Suzuki resides in Tokyo. He is fluent in English.