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on 28 January 2009
I agree with the previous reviewer that this is a
fully engrossing read. I managed to read it in a day as I couldn't get it out of my mind when I put the book down. It was incredibly edgy and I read the last half of the book on my own at night, which I probably wouldn't recommend. It's got to be the most exciting novel I've read in a long time, thoroughly absorbing. Fans of the novel "Out" by Natsuo Kirino should give this a go, I think they evoke a similar feel of involvement and emotion for the reader. I'm trying hard to find someone else I know that is a fan of exciting modern fiction who will give this a go now, so I'm not alone in reading this.
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on 2 February 2011
Any potential reader of this novel must satisfy the proviso that they are ok with some very disturbing, graphic horror of the psycho-killer variety.

Once over that hurdle, this begins as a shipwreck scenario of 9 or so unremarkable people that becomes a tense cat-and-mouse game that thunders on at breakneck speed to the end. It is set in the Australian outback. The peculiar environment makes for a great setting that is unpeeled to the characters, with the reader accompanying their every step.

The periodic messages on their 'game machines' make this a page turner for the reader, with the characters drip fed information that unravels the motives of the game and what lies in store for them!

The ending to the bizarre and horrifying story has been resplendently crafted by Kishi, and rewards the reader for getting to the end.
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on 28 July 2009
Hearing that this book was like battle royale was what swayed me into buying, expecting an entertaining but predicatable romp, i layed down before sleep to read! Big mistake! I was instantly hooked! Excellent descriptions of the surroundings and characters really make this exciting novel burrow into your mind, as the plot unfolds you get sucked deeper and deeper into the labyrinth. The characters are lively and undergo amazing changes. An amazingly written and horrifying story that grips with every page!
Buy this book!
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on 28 June 2010
I was intrigued by the concept of a book which seemed to be a cross between Big Brother, Lost, and Battle Royale, and am so glad I got it! Wasn't able to stop reading once I started - it begins fairly slow, but 20 pages in became so gripping I finished the rest in the same day.

There are no big reveals in the book, but a slow drip-feed of teasers and information, some of which is valuable, some of which is trivial. Like the characters, you find yourself trying to work out which pieces of information are relevant to what is actually going on. I've given it to my partner to read, but as soon as he is finished I want to reread it knowing what I do now!

All in all, very cleverly written, deeply involving book I enjoyed immensely - short enough to be a good weekend read. Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2010
I bought this one on the basis of the four 5 star reviews below - though they seem to refer to other reviews that are no longer visible...spooky.

It's an okay thriller: a group of Japanese people wake up in an alien landscape and are told they are taking part in a survival game. As is the way of things, the team disintegrates and the biggest challenges to survival are the other players - but who brought them there, and why?

The writing is very ordinary and unexceptional, though this maybe the problem of the translation rather than the original Japanese. However, the characters other than the hero are essentially ciphers, so some of the blame must rest with the author. I also read it in a few hours, and it does pull the reader along to the ending. Talking of which, there are no neatly tied loose ends or indeed any certainty about what exactly what was happening in the game - which was a bit of a cop out; it's not hauntingly ambiguous, or an expression of a paranoid zeitgeist, but is a let down after 280 pages.
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on 16 January 2013
hugely suspenseful and gripping story, disturbing at times, and truly terrifying. a very good read, i recommend it, not for the light hearted or squeamish.
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on 2 August 2011
Decided to get this book because of Amazon's 'other people bought this' section. Got some good reviews and a decent rating.
However, I found it to be a bit predictable and empty. Not sure if it was just the translation but it had no depth, no deeper feeling or sentiment.
Similar in premise to Battle Royale but infinitely inferior. That book didn't suffer in translation and didn't lack any depth.
The outcome was fairly standard. Wasn't really a horror story and not much if a thriller either. In my mind it was a bit of a waste of 280 pages and my 6 quid
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on 10 April 2008
Out of the 2 other reviews - I have to fully agree with the review by K.Rothrock, and not the other one that was full of Latin words (how pretentious) and said that Crimson Labyrinth was a ripoff of Battle Royale. Write something so atmospheric and haunting then you might be justified slandering!!!!!!!

(Also I would like point out that both books were first published in 1999, and Crimson Labyrinth was obviously not written in a few months)

The story follows the main character who is a 40 year old unemployed ex Securities Trader (the whole group of 9 people are all not or only temporarily employed, so will not soon be missed) who wakes up to find himself a part of the phantasy/ role play book the Mars Labyrinth. (Only in the book, when you made the wrong decision you can go back and try the other option which is certainly not a possibility here.)

Anyway - buy it, read it, I was up all night reading it (sometimes wondering what the funny vibrating noise was until I noticed that I was shaking.)
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