All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on April 29, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, War & Recovery
Length: 5 hours 25 minutes
Narrated by Mike Martindale
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There’s one thing worse than dying. It’s coming back to do it again and again… When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known as the Bitch of War. Is the Bitch the key to Keiji’s escape, or to his final death?
I decided to read All You Need Is Kill after I watched Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise. I really enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow and wanted to see what the source material was like.
Well, they changed A LOT. I know they always do but the changes are pretty interesting and unnecessary. The title character – Tom Cruise – could have stayed the same recruit instead of becoming an officer. I rather enjoyed Keiji Kiriya as a character. The narration was rather dry but Keiji’s personality shone through – making me wish that the movie had have starred Keiji Kiriya instead of “Major William Cage.” I also wish the movie had more of the Japanese and other diverse characters that appear in the novel. The novel’s diversity makes sense as the entire world was trying to push back and/or stop the Mimics.
Another change that I’ve been pondering was the title change to Edge of Tomorrow from All You Need Is Kill. I’ve always thought of the title All You Need Is Kill as a twist on that Beatles hit, “All You Need Is Love.” Every time I see the title I’m reminded of the movie The Yellow Submarine and how the Beatles were able to win a similar type of war with only love and music. But in this book/movie the bad guys can’t be chased away with music and love – they have to kill them so… “All You Need Is Kill.”
I have to admit, All You Need Is Kill is much…grimmer than Edge of Tomorrow. Edge of Tomorrow is a pretty classic Tom Cruise flick – lots of action and violence but removed from the general public. All You Need Is Kill shows the grimness of the Mimic War being fought. The war has been going on for 20-30 years, a lot of the planet has been consumed/destroyed by the Mimics (who eat our soil, destroying it) and it has the deaths of unsuspecting civilians.
I started reading All You Need Is Kill and I was enjoying myself even though I did not expect the grimness of the storyline (after seeing Edge of Tomorrow). I decided to DNF All You Need Is Kill because of the grimness of the storyline. This was 100% a personal thing as a couple of tragedies occurred in my family during this read. After the tragedies happened, I asked my husband what the ending was like. “Sad and unresolved,” he told me. I realized immediately that I couldn’t handle that so I DNF’d All You Need Is Kill. I do have a trade paperback edition of All You Need Is Kill so I flipped to the end to see the ending. God. So sad. I made a good decision in not continuing.
I do recommend All You Need Is Kill. The writing was rather nice – at times almost lyrical. There were many moments that I wished I was reading the print edition so I could take notes, my favorite being the way Sakurazaka seemed to reference Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.