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In order for Akira to save her younger brother, who suddenly loses consciousness in the middle of playing The World, she enters the online fantasy game as the Heavy Blade-wielding BlackRose. While heading toward the area where her brother's consciousness was stolen, BlackRose meets the Twin Blade fighter Kite. Written from BlackRose's perspective, this adaptation of the po In order for Akira to save her younger brother, who suddenly loses consciousness in the middle of playing The World, she enters the online fantasy game as the Heavy Blade-wielding BlackRose. While heading toward the area where her brother's consciousness was stolen, BlackRose meets the Twin Blade fighter Kite. Written from BlackRose's perspective, this adaptation of the popular .hack series of games is the first installment of yet another hit .hack novel series!


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In order for Akira to save her younger brother, who suddenly loses consciousness in the middle of playing The World, she enters the online fantasy game as the Heavy Blade-wielding BlackRose. While heading toward the area where her brother's consciousness was stolen, BlackRose meets the Twin Blade fighter Kite. Written from BlackRose's perspective, this adaptation of the po In order for Akira to save her younger brother, who suddenly loses consciousness in the middle of playing The World, she enters the online fantasy game as the Heavy Blade-wielding BlackRose. While heading toward the area where her brother's consciousness was stolen, BlackRose meets the Twin Blade fighter Kite. Written from BlackRose's perspective, this adaptation of the popular .hack series of games is the first installment of yet another hit .hack novel series!

30 review for Hack//Another Birth, Volume 1: Infection

  1. 4 out of 5

    Quartzen

    The first in a quartet of light novels retelling the story in the first set of .hack PS2 games, about an epidemic of comas among players of the popular VR MMORPG The World. Akira decides to start playing the game to investigate how and why it caused her brother to go into a coma, creating a warrior character she names BlackRose. It's nice to see her side of the story, and well balanced with her struggles with guilt and carrying on outside the game alongside the deepening mysteries inside. The first in a quartet of light novels retelling the story in the first set of .hack PS2 games, about an epidemic of comas among players of the popular VR MMORPG The World. Akira decides to start playing the game to investigate how and why it caused her brother to go into a coma, creating a warrior character she names BlackRose. It's nice to see her side of the story, and well balanced with her struggles with guilt and carrying on outside the game alongside the deepening mysteries inside.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    It reads like the cover. Poorly made and uninteresting. Not recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    I'm honestly a bit disappointed by this book. I know, i know, it is a video game adaptation, but you are allowed to have some hope in a franchise, right? I read .hack//AI Buster a few years ago and I absolutely loved it. Going back to it, I can totally see where AI Buster did succeed and Another Birth failed. The mystery. AI Buster was written with the author having close to no idea what the world and mystery that he had to set up was exactly, and this reads just so good. There is a genuine sense I'm honestly a bit disappointed by this book. I know, i know, it is a video game adaptation, but you are allowed to have some hope in a franchise, right? I read .hack//AI Buster a few years ago and I absolutely loved it. Going back to it, I can totally see where AI Buster did succeed and Another Birth failed. The mystery. AI Buster was written with the author having close to no idea what the world and mystery that he had to set up was exactly, and this reads just so good. There is a genuine sense of mystery, of secrets hidden in that world that you explore while reading; secrets that you cannot even start to unravel because the author doesn't have a clue what those secrets really are. And as frustrating as it does sound, I loved it. Another Birth is different. We are told that certain things are happening, but we don't really see them. THIS is frustrating. I guess this is what you get when moving the POV to a secondary character in a novel when the POV is on the main character in the video game. Exposition is given lackluster and most of times not focused enough to really be satisfying, and this reads more than a chain of game levels spliced together by a poorly written mystery and a very standard real life story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Carr

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I looooove this part of the .hack universe! Originally I read these around the time they came out but that's been like, 10+ years now haha. They came out after the games so it's a different experience to play the first game, then read the first novel. The character you play as in the game is Kite, while BlackRose is just a main companion of his. So it's fun getting to see her perspective, especially with her high school tennis team problems and bullying from upperclassmen, to her problems at hom I looooove this part of the .hack universe! Originally I read these around the time they came out but that's been like, 10+ years now haha. They came out after the games so it's a different experience to play the first game, then read the first novel. The character you play as in the game is Kite, while BlackRose is just a main companion of his. So it's fun getting to see her perspective, especially with her high school tennis team problems and bullying from upperclassmen, to her problems at home when her brother falls into a coma from playing the game. Anywho. Light novels are such fast reads. I guess that's why they call them light novels. People often suggest reading this novel series OR playing the game if you don't want to do both, which I guess you can get away with. It's a more fun experience if you dig into all of it though. It was fun trying to solve the mystery of The World way back when and it's fun going through it all again now knowing many of the mysteries already. Actually getting to read / play / watch all the material in chronological order has been a different trip than the confusing mess of information they threw at you sporadically originally hah.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ~Cyanide Latte~

    I am a long-time dotHACK fan, having originally played the first game on the PS2 when it was released in America back in 2003. When Tokyopop would later publish the English translations of these light novels that told the story from the games through BlackRose's perspective, I didn't anticipate falling in love with them at all. I'm so happy that I finally have these, and I do recommend them for any fans of the franchise, especially the original games. I'll be posting my full review for this entir I am a long-time dotHACK fan, having originally played the first game on the PS2 when it was released in America back in 2003. When Tokyopop would later publish the English translations of these light novels that told the story from the games through BlackRose's perspective, I didn't anticipate falling in love with them at all. I'm so happy that I finally have these, and I do recommend them for any fans of the franchise, especially the original games. I'll be posting my full review for this entire quartet on the final book, but I will say that this first installment has its flaws. Dedicated game fans will notice that a lot of Kite and BlackRose's in-game dialogue is switched around, and besides that the writing in this book feels a bit...juvenile. It almost reads like a 12 y.o.'s fanfiction than a proper light novelization. I think part of that is just due to the style in which it was written when translated. The later books get better about that, so don't fret!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anya

    None of the Another Birth books are particularly great in a general sense, since the plot is every bit as fragmented (no pun intended) as those of the games on which they're based and the prose is lackluster at best. But, like the AI buster series, they're a valuable asset to those who truly love .hack and want to know more about its characters and especially the world they live in. None of the Another Birth books are particularly great in a general sense, since the plot is every bit as fragmented (no pun intended) as those of the games on which they're based and the prose is lackluster at best. But, like the AI buster series, they're a valuable asset to those who truly love .hack and want to know more about its characters and especially the world they live in.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Biddybuddy

    A well written story that wonderfully simulates the experience of playing an MMORPG as a teenager with hardships in life, with some fantasy sci-fi elements.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Interesting adaptation of a game I never played

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bekir Kilinc

    I don't think anyone that does not already enjoy the .hack universe would enjoy this. It's plot and structure feels like its really made as a complement to the base game. I don't think anyone that does not already enjoy the .hack universe would enjoy this. It's plot and structure feels like its really made as a complement to the base game.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nick LaGrassa

    Do you like the .Hack series? You will like this book. Is it perfect? Maybe not to you, but I had a hell of a ride seeing the story from another perspective.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mark L.

    This book is a little bit on the lighter side, however, that does not take away from the impact that the story and especially the setting of this book (along with all of the other aspects of the .Hack:// series, though more so the anime. In terms of what makes this book different than most, I would have to say it comes from the unique combination of real-life combined with the virtual game, known as "The World" and the obvious differences between the two. The true source of the interplay betwee This book is a little bit on the lighter side, however, that does not take away from the impact that the story and especially the setting of this book (along with all of the other aspects of the .Hack:// series, though more so the anime. In terms of what makes this book different than most, I would have to say it comes from the unique combination of real-life combined with the virtual game, known as "The World" and the obvious differences between the two. The true source of the interplay between these two settings is that the characters are recognized and shown to be in both places yet exist separately in each. Naturally, there are some characters that do not leave the setting of the game world due to their totally digital nature, these character usually defy the usual rules of what is allowed in the game. One such character is the mysterious and ever illusive spirit of The World known as Aura. This character along with the questions of possible hidden artificial intelligence that may lurk out there, uncontrolled by the forces that created it. This sort of vision of a free-willed AI, has been the main spark of why I became so interested in computers. This game also allows for a highly in-depth back drop in three layers. On the first layer, you have the world of the game as it is supposed to work and the rules that are laid out and enforced by the C.C. Corporation (CyberConnect Corporation). On the second layer, there is The World as it actually works including all of the hidden elements and purely computer-related phenomena. Invariably, there is always some sort of a force, a program or an artificial intelligence that neither the ordinary pieces of the game, nor the administrators of the company can handle. This is what bridges the reader into the third layer, that of the players and the real world (in the franchise at least.) With such a complex and well-developed world for the story's events to take place in, the possibilities for how things can take place, is increased exponentially. As a cost, the details of the rules and limitations of each layer (as well as the each one remaining distinct and interesting) all must be kept in order. This along with many other stories involving more than one plane or world has shown me how to better integrate such metaphysical aspects to my own stories and a little in when they are not appropriate. This is an especially difficult are of skill to master, and one that I admit I could still use much improvement in. This is also, one of the areas that is the most useful for a writer of supernatural high fantasy such as myself. I would recommend this book to anyone with any interest in computers, artificial intelligence,otherworldly fantasies, multilayer gaming, game worlds, and gaming in general, I would also recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of anime or the .Hack:// series. Also, I do not convey any approval with releasing a potentially uncontrollable super-human intelligent AI out into the Internet without the proper permits.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nick To

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. .Hack based of an anime series is a very compelling book. Its full of mystery and a bit of drama to up you into it. The genre would be sci-fi and mystery. The reason i chose this book it because i played the game version of this book, but it wasnt as detailed as the book, so i wanted to read and find out what i missed. When playing a video game put her little brother into a coma, Akira is determined to find out why it happened and go into the game "The World" in search for answers. As well as .Hack based of an anime series is a very compelling book. Its full of mystery and a bit of drama to up you into it. The genre would be sci-fi and mystery. The reason i chose this book it because i played the game version of this book, but it wasnt as detailed as the book, so i wanted to read and find out what i missed. When playing a video game put her little brother into a coma, Akira is determined to find out why it happened and go into the game "The World" in search for answers. As well as balancing her real life at school and the drama her comatose brother brings to her family. Akira goes into the game as an avatar character known as BlackRose. There she meets "Kite" someone who told her that her brother is not the only one to become comatose, and together they search "The World" for answers to their problems and find some unexpected characters and mysteries. The conflicts are man vs man, man vs the supernatural, and man vs self. Akira must deal with her drama at school with her upperclassmen, as well as the strange phenomenon in "The World", as well as herself as she blames herself for all the things that happened. Two themes in this book are the importance of family because when her brother becomes comatose, her family becomes to fall apart, And that you must learn how to trust people because so many people see Akira suffering and shouldering a burden that is crushing her. I would totally recommend this book to anyone. It has a little bit of everything for everyone. Some romance, comedy , and action as well. The author is very good at bring "The World" to life because its a fantasy game and it feels like you are playing it through the eyes of BlackRose(Akira)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sean Mayeda

    Sean Mayeda P.3 11/21/11 Los Angels:Tokyo Pop Press.2006 pp.232 “.Hack//Another Birth Vol. 1//Infection” by Miu Kawasaki is the perfect book for lovers of Science fiction. The story takes place in Japan and in the online fantasy game called, “The World”, in 2010. A high school athlete, Akira Hayami, finds her brother, Fumikazu, who is sent into a deep coma, by a unknown cause while he was in “The World.” Akira makes a character named, Black Rose and looks for answers in-game about her brother’s coma Sean Mayeda P.3 11/21/11 Los Angels:Tokyo Pop Press.2006 pp.232 “.Hack//Another Birth Vol. 1//Infection” by Miu Kawasaki is the perfect book for lovers of Science fiction. The story takes place in Japan and in the online fantasy game called, “The World”, in 2010. A high school athlete, Akira Hayami, finds her brother, Fumikazu, who is sent into a deep coma, by a unknown cause while he was in “The World.” Akira makes a character named, Black Rose and looks for answers in-game about her brother’s coma. She meets Kite, a Twin Blade, or people who use two identical swords. Akira deals with bullies, who tease her for playing “The World” in real life.Struggles in the game and in real life intensify when Akira gets closer to what she was looking for. I will say that the common computer savvy public and those who are fans of books based on cyberspace will like this book, because the story shows real representation of computer errors and technical difficulties,in a entertaining story. Such examples of these problems have been commonly encountered, such as gamecrashes and images of degraded data. On a scale of 1-10, I rate this book an 11!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Good companion piece to the first game, although the material does seem to overlap slightly with the beginning of the second game. Interesting story outside the world of the The World video game, which is good because you don't get very much of that playing the PS2 game. The writing level is obviously very low because this is a light novel aimed at younger teenagers and meant to be short and easy. As such, it takes like an hour or two to read the entire thing. I'd say if you are, in 2010, looking Good companion piece to the first game, although the material does seem to overlap slightly with the beginning of the second game. Interesting story outside the world of the The World video game, which is good because you don't get very much of that playing the PS2 game. The writing level is obviously very low because this is a light novel aimed at younger teenagers and meant to be short and easy. As such, it takes like an hour or two to read the entire thing. I'd say if you are, in 2010, looking to play through the .hack games for the first time, that you'd do well to get these novels for cheap and read them after you finish each of the games in the series. The art in the book is not particularly good, but I think that mostly has to do with it being basically pencils (to use a comicbook term) without any ink finishing or colors. They're fine for giving you an idea of what the characters look like, but you're not going to want to collect the series for the art.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    This "light novel," as they call novelizations of manga and anime, is a good story, but not a complete one. It doesn't stand alone as a book, and there is no resolution. At best, there might have been a slightly climactic battle scene, but even that is a little vague. I had trouble with the main character, who constantly flips between guilt about possibly helping cause her brother's injury and worrying about simple real-world high school matters, all while trying to solve the mystery of the game This "light novel," as they call novelizations of manga and anime, is a good story, but not a complete one. It doesn't stand alone as a book, and there is no resolution. At best, there might have been a slightly climactic battle scene, but even that is a little vague. I had trouble with the main character, who constantly flips between guilt about possibly helping cause her brother's injury and worrying about simple real-world high school matters, all while trying to solve the mystery of the game that triggered her brother's coma. As a result, her personality is superficial and unconvincing, and none of the other family members are more than cardboard. If the story resolves in the later volumes, that's great, but the author is asking a lot of the reader to make this leap of faith. The game parts of the story are the redeeming aspect, since they are the most convincingly like the manga and anime versions.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Stadel

    Warning: This book is mostly for girls. This story is about Akira, an average girl who isn’t really into video games and such. But her brother Fumikazu is a big time gamer playing this game called “The World” and he tries to convince his sister to play. When Akira went down stairs the loud boom, like something hit the ground she runs upstairs to find Fumikazu on the floor in a coma. Her things that it has something to do with this game so she dices to create a character, which she names “Blackro Warning: This book is mostly for girls. This story is about Akira, an average girl who isn’t really into video games and such. But her brother Fumikazu is a big time gamer playing this game called “The World” and he tries to convince his sister to play. When Akira went down stairs the loud boom, like something hit the ground she runs upstairs to find Fumikazu on the floor in a coma. Her things that it has something to do with this game so she dices to create a character, which she names “Blackrose” and she meets many other players. But when she meets one with the username “Kite” she finds out his friend was in a coma like her brother and the both agree to find out what caused this. Read .hack// Another Birth to find out what happens next.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kodi H

    This book is an amazing form of detective fiction but it is some graphic novel. Blackrose has to go into the world to see what has happened to him. blackrose entered the world and met another character that had a freind named orca. his friend's name was kite. he told her what had happened to his friend. they try to find the thing that makes people go comatose. kite winds up getting a bracelet that gives him the power to do a datadrain. datadrain is what takes out what is taking the players out. This book is an amazing form of detective fiction but it is some graphic novel. Blackrose has to go into the world to see what has happened to him. blackrose entered the world and met another character that had a freind named orca. his friend's name was kite. he told her what had happened to his friend. they try to find the thing that makes people go comatose. kite winds up getting a bracelet that gives him the power to do a datadrain. datadrain is what takes out what is taking the players out. if you read the book you can find out what happened how many monsters and how they solve the problem

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sharmaine Mckeown

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I've never played any of the games on the PS2, so I find it quite odd that I've read this. Still, I'm not in the least disappointed that I did. At first, the concept of a story centered on an online gaming world where an avatar can resemble the user in some sort, struck me to find it dull. As I progressed through the story I became oblivious to the fact that their in a video game, since Blackrose and Kite's relationship somewhat builds, like the feeling of compassion for each other since they bo I've never played any of the games on the PS2, so I find it quite odd that I've read this. Still, I'm not in the least disappointed that I did. At first, the concept of a story centered on an online gaming world where an avatar can resemble the user in some sort, struck me to find it dull. As I progressed through the story I became oblivious to the fact that their in a video game, since Blackrose and Kite's relationship somewhat builds, like the feeling of compassion for each other since they both have the same desire to help their friends who fell victim to a virus caused b hackers. Overall I liked it, can't wait to read the rest of the novels in this series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I think this book could have been much better. I wonder if there is a manga version of the story that I must have over-looked? The story-line kept me going and I'll of course go on to read the rest of the series (can't go on without knowing the end, now! xD) but at the current point in time, I really didn't much like it from a general perspective. It lacked much-needed detail and if it weren't for the few illustrations in the book I would have been lost as to what the people and places looked li I think this book could have been much better. I wonder if there is a manga version of the story that I must have over-looked? The story-line kept me going and I'll of course go on to read the rest of the series (can't go on without knowing the end, now! xD) but at the current point in time, I really didn't much like it from a general perspective. It lacked much-needed detail and if it weren't for the few illustrations in the book I would have been lost as to what the people and places looked like. The author kept it simple, and it sort of dissapointed me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    The origin of all .Hack series, told from the secondary character's view point. Akira is a young girl in japan doing every day things, she goes to school, and she plays tennis. Until one day her little brother, nearly addicted to a video game called "The World" goes into a coma after playing. Determined to save her brother, and find out the mysteries of this game, she creates a character, BlackRose, and meets up with another young player who goes by the player name Kite. First book in the series. The origin of all .Hack series, told from the secondary character's view point. Akira is a young girl in japan doing every day things, she goes to school, and she plays tennis. Until one day her little brother, nearly addicted to a video game called "The World" goes into a coma after playing. Determined to save her brother, and find out the mysteries of this game, she creates a character, BlackRose, and meets up with another young player who goes by the player name Kite. First book in the series. :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Micah

    The book .Hack:// is awesome and i believe it is the only book by Tokyo Pop that is not a manga. the game that game out before the book itself left many cliff hangers and so on the main character of the book was a high school girl named Akira who suddenly becomes interested in a game after her brother falls into a coma while playing it. while playing she meets a another person who has had the same experience but with a good friend. The two of them become friends and fight for their common goal t The book .Hack:// is awesome and i believe it is the only book by Tokyo Pop that is not a manga. the game that game out before the book itself left many cliff hangers and so on the main character of the book was a high school girl named Akira who suddenly becomes interested in a game after her brother falls into a coma while playing it. while playing she meets a another person who has had the same experience but with a good friend. The two of them become friends and fight for their common goal together.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chasity Z

    I rated this book a two because i didnt really like the book. I didnt like it because I am not really into gameing and reading about it. IT was pretty boring because i didn't get how she was going to figure anything about why her brother was in a coma. By playing a video game that put him in a coma in the first place. I like how they include other things she did other then when she played the video game. I rated this book a two because i didnt really like the book. I didnt like it because I am not really into gameing and reading about it. IT was pretty boring because i didn't get how she was going to figure anything about why her brother was in a coma. By playing a video game that put him in a coma in the first place. I like how they include other things she did other then when she played the video game.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Selena

    I really enjoyed this series. It was fun to see the game through Black Rose's point of view. The offline bits were rather nice, and the fact that it revealed more than just her view of Kite's actions was refreshing. Seeing her with other friends and knowing she doesn't just stalk Kite was definitely a good idea on the author's part. I really enjoyed this series. It was fun to see the game through Black Rose's point of view. The offline bits were rather nice, and the fact that it revealed more than just her view of Kite's actions was refreshing. Seeing her with other friends and knowing she doesn't just stalk Kite was definitely a good idea on the author's part.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jerome Brizeno

    It's a verry interesting story based on a best selling videogame frome Japan. It has exiting action seans, misterys, and interesting charicters. Told throu the perspective of the secondary charicter frome the original .Hack game searies. I recamend this for anyone who likes games, adventure, manga, mystery or science fiction. It's a verry interesting story based on a best selling videogame frome Japan. It has exiting action seans, misterys, and interesting charicters. Told throu the perspective of the secondary charicter frome the original .Hack game searies. I recamend this for anyone who likes games, adventure, manga, mystery or science fiction.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Kay

    As a fan of the anime .hack//SIGN and had played the games a bit, I knew I wanted this book. It was great seeing the events of the game from BlackRose's perspective! I did originally want to buy the rest of the books (I still do), but I guess life happened. Also, I feel proud to say I read my first light novel, haha. As a fan of the anime .hack//SIGN and had played the games a bit, I knew I wanted this book. It was great seeing the events of the game from BlackRose's perspective! I did originally want to buy the rest of the books (I still do), but I guess life happened. Also, I feel proud to say I read my first light novel, haha.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    Intresting book. it has an addictive detailed first person perspective that tells you broken bits of a story in the begining but progresses into a big mystery that not only affected her story bt expands into a more serious problem.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Greatbanks

    I really enjoyed the video game series, and although I'm a bit disappointed that this book is retelling the events of the video game, I think it was nice to have a different perspective and a little more explanation on the situation. I really enjoyed the video game series, and although I'm a bit disappointed that this book is retelling the events of the video game, I think it was nice to have a different perspective and a little more explanation on the situation.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tree

    Reads like fanfiction.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chance K

    i found kinda sad wat happened to her littl bro

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael (Mai)

    It's an easy read and good if you like .hack. I do so I liked it. It's an easy read and good if you like .hack. I do so I liked it.

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