Library Wars: Love & War Book 4

I gave this series another try in the hopes that the disappointing elements of the previous volume had been downplayed or changed. Sadly, they haven’t.

Library Wars: Love & War Book 4 cover
Library Wars: Love & War Book 4
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If anything, the melodrama has been ramped up, to levels I found ridiculous. The big reveal of the first two chapters — all while we keep hearing how brave Iku is now that she’s been kidnapped — is that Iku’s long-ago hero inspiration is her current boss. That’s a “secret” most readers have known since Book 1. And it means we get yet another flashback recap of those events, a scene at this point I was tired of seeing.

The art’s generic, with lots of tone and shading, and I’m no longer charmed by the dippy Iku. She means well, but that doesn’t make up for her general incompetence, and her strength is mostly portrayed as being able to take a slap in the face. Hearing others talk about how strong and dedicated she is just reads false, like the authorial voice can overcome what we see in the story for ourselves.

The most entertaining part of the book for me was when the Library Army finds out which particular vacant building the kidnappers are hiding in. The order goes out, “Purchase the building from the developer. Pay the asking price. We’ve got thirty minutes!” The idea that the forces would buy a building so they could legally storm it just struck me as immensely silly but with the potential to say a lot more about the organization than we realized. Only it’s not really explained or followed up.

The second half of the book is about how Iku has been lying to her parents (so they won’t know she’s in such a dangerous job), so when they come to visit, her co-workers have to help her cover it up. In other words, it’s the plot of various sitcom episodes. (The publisher provided a review copy.)

6 Comments

  1. I’m casually reading this series, but I don’t like it nearly as much as I thought I was going to. When I first pre-ordered volume 1 I actually had no idea it was shoujo, the whole concept of Library Wars just didn’t seem like it would be a romance. Also all the screenshots I had seen of the anime were pretty serious. I may make a switch to the anime.

  2. *EDIT* actually I think I did realize it was shoujo by the time I dropped it in my cart. But my initial impression before I read reviews was that it was more action.

  3. Interesting. I hadn’t contemplated the genre effect on what we’re getting. I would have preferred a more science fiction take myself, one that explored the changed society and the concepts behind a world with increased censorship and military defenders.

  4. [...] for this week, from Viz (all $9.99): Butterflies, Flowers 6 and Rasetsu 8. I’ve also reviewed Library Wars Love & War 4, and I’m curious to try Oresama Teacher 1. Vertical is releasing Twin Spica 6 ($10.95), but I [...]

  5. [...] from Book 4, Iku is trying to cope with her parents visiting her, since they don’t know the true scope [...]

  6. Don’t judge to quikly the Manga-ka is only trying to preserve the real laws and in forcement that are preasant in Japan to day but with a fictional twist. We must remember that America and Japan are very diffrent.

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