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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2005
For anyone who doesn't already know .hack is a huge project that consists of a series of 4 PS2 Games an Anime Series, a manga, an OVA and now this.
A.I. Buster Takes place before the events of the Anime .hack//sign and follows a character called Alberio as he becomes entangled in an in game event involving a young girl called Lycoris.
The book is a fairly light read but gives you some interesting insight into the .hack world including how Orca and Balmung got to be called "The Descendants Of Fianna". Its well written although very short. It doesnt require you to have seen the Series of played the games either.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2005
This novel is a prequel to the .hack anime, games, and manga. It is set shortly before the anime, Sign, and tells the story of Albireo, a player in very popular online role-playing game The World, and the mysterious AI girl he encounters in a dungeon.
Albireo is a solo adventurer in The World -- he is proud to have gotten his character to a high level playing on his own. One day while playing the game, he encounters a silent little girl in red, Lycoris, who is a NPC (non-player character, or AI). Meeting her activates an event that he is determined to finish. Shortly after, he runs into an annoying newbie player, Hokuto, who knows nothing about the right way to play the game. Alibreo is desperate to get rid of Hokuto, but she blackmails him into playing with her. So Albireo is forced to try to complete the Lycoris event with annoying Hokuto following him around. Along the way he uncovers some surprising truths about how The World really works.
As a fan of the other .hack stories (the games, animes, and manga), I was very glad to see this novel translated into English. It gives a more detailed backstory for the creation of The World and helps set the scene for the events that take place in the later stories. I'd highly recommend this novel to all .hack fans, and if you're new to The World, this is a great book to start with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2011
Where to start? I loved this book.

It doesn't matter if you've not watched any of the .hack// series previously or read the manga. I hadn't before this, and I understood the .hack//sign series more for it, because it is a prequel to all the series. I find that this book explains the origins of a lot of things for existing fans, and is also a great introduction to new ones.

The book is well written, following the life of character Albierio and his encounter with vagrant AI Lycoris. The book makes a lot more sense if you know some basic computer and mmorpg language, but does also touch upon the teaching of it for those who don't.

It's a fantasy story with the added twist of it being set in this virtual world. Highly reccomended.
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on 4 September 2008
The .Hack franchise absorbs the novel format, as well as Manga, anime and video games. The books are very short, but concise and interesting. The stories can be found elsewhere on Amazon, so I'll skip to the review:

The writing is fairly standard for young adult audiences, clear and fast-moving and not too complex. Those who play MMORPGs a lot might get fractionally frustrated with the constant explanation of gaming terms and phrases, but they don't get in the way or slow the story down too much - the flipside is it means those who have never played MMORPGs can enjoy the .Hack franchise thoroughly without getting lost.

I'd recommend the books to any fan of the anime series, or as a great starting point for young adults hoping to the wonderful .Hack universe and its absorbing, philosophical realms.
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