Issui Ogawa | The Lord of the Sands of Time (VIZ Media/Haikasoru)

lordofsands-header.jpgMore than just your average science fiction story, it’s the story of a relationship between a human and an AI Messenger, a queen fighting for her country, and the battle between the future and the past to stop the inevitable.

 

 

Fans of love-torn manga series, science fiction, and futuristic-based adventures alike will find Issui Ogawa’s The Lord of the Sands of Time a wonderful piece of sci-fi heaven. At just under two-hundred pages, this installment crams cyborgs, artificial intelligence messengers, mononokes, time shifting, and bittersweet love in one short novel. 

(The Lord of the Sands of Time © 2007 Issui Ogawa)It’s been sixty-two years since life on Earth has ended, and Orville, also known as Messenger O, has been sent back in time with his fellow messengers to fight the ETs. The ETs, extraterrestrials, have succeeded in destroying Earth and are now taking over the multiverse. They have found a way to time warp between Jupiter and Saturn’s pull and return to the past where they are now attacking humans in record numbers, numbers much higher than the first time around. With the help of Messenger O and his crew, the future is traveling back to Japan to warn humans of what is about to happen and help them prepare for what is to come in hopes of saving the planet. In order to change the future, the Messengers realize they must rewrite history, thus inevitably changing the world they knew back in the future.

As a lover of the Japanese culture and all things manga, I have to say I enjoyed this book. More than just your average science fiction story, it’s the story of a relationship between a human and an AI Messenger, a queen fighting for her country, and the battle between the future and the past to stop the inevitable. Like most stories that are out of sequence, Time requires readers to think on their feet, expand their creativity, and think outside the box. The most important detail surrounding this book is its ability to require the reader to interact and open their minds to the possible inside the impossible, like science-fiction is known to do. 

When my eyes came across the words ‘cyborg’ and ‘mononoke,’ part of me hesitated as to whether this book would truly be for me. As I pushed on, I began to realize just how lovable the characters were through the love-story that ensues during the second chapter. Even though half of the characters in this story are AI (Artificial Intelligence) Messengers, their level of intelligence is such that they have learned to love and read emotions within themselves and their human counterparts. In the futuristic scenes, they have been integrated into society so well that only a slim few in society take issue with human/messenger relationships. Without the love-story, the characters would really have appeared one-dimensional, but because of their emotional capabilities you forget the fact they’re not human and focus on the more important issues the characters are facing. 

If you’re a fan of such out-of-sequence story-lines like Pulp Fiction or Lost most likely you’ll enjoy this short novel and what it has to offer. As cliché as it may sound, my only qualm lay in how short the novel was. After building such an emotional relationship between the reader and the characters, particularly Sayaka and Orville, I really found it hard to stop reading where it ended. Part of me wasn’t satisfied where it left off. All in all, Ogawa does the novel justice and just as one would suspect out of a good novel, leaves you wanting more. Without a doubt, reading Time has opened my eyes to the more entertaining and creative story-line science fiction can have in books like these, manga, and anime as well. | Jennifer Manjarez

 

To read an excerpt from The Lord of the Sands of Time, visit http://www.haikasoru.com/lord-of-the-sands-of-time/.

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