Light Yagami has taken the role of the second L after four years and continues his work as Kira in order to make the world his own, but in all this L's two protégés, Near and Mello after discovering the Death Note's existence, decide to set their sights on it and end Kira's reign over the world once and for all, but will they manage it in time?
Near suspects Light is Kira just as his predecessor, L did before. Light confesses as much to him, and the battle of wits continues.
Kira, unfortunately doesn’t see what he is doing as he has a feeling of invincibility most psychopaths possess. Now that everything is in the open it is only a matter of time before the two of them meet. Near's men are trying to find out who the new bodyguard for Kiyomi Takada is, and send one of their own to infiltrate in the form of former CIA Agent Hal Lidner to look after her. Light suspects she has been planted on purpose though retains his cool outer manner in the face of danger and thinks of a way he can use her or, if need be dispose of her if she gets too nosy.
Near finds out Teru Mikami is the one from the Kira's Kingdom video and is a man who agreed with Kira's ideals and has been carrying on his work in secret. As situations are not working as Light would have liked, he nevertheless decides on a much tighter back up plan to ensure his success as he knows he is being observed by many. And although Light sees Near as a thorn in his side he could do without, he enjoys the battle of wits he shares with him. He finds him courageous as well as foolish, but Near is young, younger than the original L, yet he has the original L’s calculating mind, daring personality and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He also sees his mentor hates to lose to anyone giving him a child-like personality complete with his high intelligence.
Teru Mikami on the other hand is a lone type, who relies on Light's instruction most of the time to accomplish tasks when Light cannot. His character has developed over the volumes, as has his maniacal devotion to the Kira cause for ridding the world of evil. Though his loyalty would be seen as admirable if not for the killing, his reverence to Light as God shows how far his self-indoctrination. There are moments in this novel where Light is able to easily deceive his comrades he works with as L. He is shown even delighting in this often during the volume.
Takeshi Obata has illustrated the characters brilliantly, giving the main ones an eerie nature about them, mostly Light and Teru whose facial expressions lean toward the insane on several occasions. Light and Near will be seen by readers as two of the best characters in manga history battling for first place, but is Light sure his dream of a brave new world will happen.
The intrigue, suspense and sheer excitement shall give the reader enough to compel him or her to continue it through to the last volume to see who the victor will be. The penultimate volume is here, the battle is nearly over.
Death Note is the ultimate in compelling suspense and tense drama.
Review by Sandra Scholes
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