As somebody who is a big fan of both the Kingdom Hearts video game and manga series, when I heard they were releasing a light novel summary of Birth By Sleep, I was ecstatic. Birth By Sleep is my favorite game in the series and features some of my very favorite characters, so of course, I was excited to review it.
However, upon receiving the book and seeing the rating of ages “10 & up” my enthusiasm slowly waned. This book is very straight-forward, and I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s just definitely a book intended for elementary school-aged kids. In fact, I find myself entirely at fault here. Being a long time Kingdom Hearts fan, I should have known that the story itself wouldn’t be anything groundbreaking, but I loved these characters and I wanted to experience their stories again. It just, unfortunately, wasn’t enough. Where the manga adaptation lacks in words, it makes up with charming artwork. I think this is where my fault lies with this light novel.
Nowhere in the first half of this book is the “hook” I needed to continue reading. It quickly became evident that this was for a younger audience, even more so than the game and the manga. Where even past KH light novels have done a pretty good job at explaining what a character is thinking and their motivations behind their actions, I feel like the Birth By Sleep novel does not go deeper than face value.
In the end, the book does exactly what it sets out to do. The novel recounts the adventures of Terra, Aqua, and Ventus to find their way back to each other. It does a good job establishing the dynamic of the main trio and pulling in loveable Disney characters along the way.
If you were a newcomer to the Kingdom Hearts series and wanted a faster recap without having to purchase the game, I definitely think this novel could be an alternative. If you’re an absolute die-hard fan, I’ve probably made you pretty upset already, so please pick this up if you’re wanting to experience this story one more time. I also think this book would be a wonderful addition to the library of any young video game fan, or maybe a parent who is trying to entice their child into reading more.
Overall, I recommend this book to series newcomers who want a quick summary of the story, die-hard fans, or for younger audiences. Unfortunately, a lot of the charm of Kingdom Hearts is lost in translation in this light novel adaptation.
Ten years before Sora fought to save the worlds, three young Keyblade wielders named Terra, Aqua, and Ventus trained in the hopes of becoming Masters one day. But on the day of Terra and Aqua's Mark of Mastery exam, everything changed forever, and the three each set off on their own journey...Add to CartLearn More