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Pictures worth a thousand words — Characters, mangrove trees, and teen romance flourish in pictures and words

Here are my latest book recommendations for Northwest Asian Weekly:

The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya
By Nagaru Tanigawa
Little, Brown and Company, 2012

For the first time since Kyon met her, Haruhi Suzumiya seems content with her life. She’s not forcing the SOS Brigade (Save the World By Overloading It With Fun Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade) to participate in any dangerous or potentially criminal activities or taking on impossible-seeming projects.

Nope.

In this seventh installment of the Haruhi Suzumiya series, protagonist Kyon appears to be your typical high school student. That’s just fine with Kyon, but things get more confusing when he meets the brigade’s time traveler from eight days in the future, Mikuru Asahina. He learns that he is the one who sent her back.

With help from the brigade alien, Yuki Nagato, the three try to figure out why Mikiuru was sent back. We learn Haruhi’s unhappiness is not the only threat to the world. Yuki, Mikuru, and the brigade esper Itsuki Koizumi’s respective organizations work to keep Haruhi happy and the world safe. However, there are others who want the opposite.

This is a great twist in the series and will throw longtime fans for a loop. We begin to question not just who else in the world is aware of Haruhi’s powers, but also whether the brigade members we’ve come to know and love are really what they say they are.

Kyon begins to question the other brigade members’ actions as well. This is a refreshing change for him to realize Mikuru’s flaws, since he’s spent the last six books waxing poetic about her near perfection. There is still quite a bit of that in “Intrigues,” but Kyon is a teenage boy in high school. So I’ll give him that.

To read the rest of the recommendations, click here.

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