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ICO: Castle in the Mist Paperback – August 16, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Miyuki Miyabe's first novel was published in 1987, and since that time she has become one of Japan's most popular and best-selling authors. Miyabe's 2007 novel "Brave Story" won The Batchelder Award for best chldren's book in translation from the American Library Association. "ICO: Castle in the Mist" is her seventh novel to be translated in English.
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Product Details

  • Series: ICO: Castle in the Mist
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Haikasoru (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421540630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421540634
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're reading this, you are most likely away that "Ico: Castle in the Mist" is a novelization of the acclaimed 2001 PlayStation 2 classic video game, "ICO." The story can be summarized thusly: A young boy with horns, named Ico, is sacrificed by his people to a mysterious castle. After being escorted to the castle by a priest and a pair of guards, he is locked in a sarcophagus and left alone inside. The sarcophagus, however, fails to contain young Ico. He wanders about the castle before quickly running into a strange but beautiful girl locked in an iron cage. She is mysterious, garbed in white and holding some kind of power over the castle. Though she does not seem to speak his language, they work together seeking an escape from the castle's ever present entrapment.

The game relied on stunning visuals and touching physical interaction between Ico and the mysterious girl Yorda to illustrate it's world and touch the player. However, novels have no such luxury. Therefore, Miyuki Miyabe therefore took it upon herself to flesh out the details. Where does Ico come from? Why was he sacrificed to the Castle in the Mist? What is so special about him? Miyabe was given permission from the creators of the game to answer these questions herself, filling in the questions and gaps left by the game. That is not to say, however, that this novelization is accurate to the world created by Fumito Ueda and the other creators of the Team Ico games. Rather, the story presented here can be viewed as one possible version of the world. It is, in Miyabe's words, a "variation on the world of 'ICO'" and is a "novelization of the story found in the PlayStation 2 game.... Sort of.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is written with the assumption that the reader has played the video game ICO. While the book can easily be enjoyed by someone who hasn't, it's likely that your love of the game brought you here so I address the book in that way. Some very small spoilers will be contained, but nothing that will ruin the story. I hate spoilers with a passion so I avoid them when I can.

Castle in the Mist is an adaptation of the popular PS2 game ICO. The book was originally written in Japanese but you wouldn't know it, as the translation to English is on the mark with no noticeable mistakes in spelling or word usage. The author, Miyaki Miyubi, has said that while the book follows the game for the most part, it isn't intended to be a "strategy guide" for it, as she took some liberties with the subject matter. While noticeable, the story follows the game very closely. A good portion of the novel takes place before the game, so understandably, that is where she takes the majority of her freedom with it.

If you're a big ICO fan you won't want to pass this book up. While its unmistakably "ICO", the book gives new perspectives to the story that will have you looking at the game in another light. It's a shame Castle in the Mist isn't considered canon since its so beautifully written but that shouldn't make fans pass on it. Canon or not, the book captures the essence of ICO to the core and I felt like it deepened my emotional involvement with the characters even more than my experience with the game. For example, the first seventy pages take place immediately before the start of the game and are dedicated to giving the reader a deeper understanding of the events that need to take place without fully giving the why...
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Format: Paperback
Read the book play the game read the book again. Yes, it's that good. "Ico (the video game) weaves the tale of a young boy trying to escape his imprisonment in a large, vacant castle. Along the way, he discovers another captive--a beautiful princess named Yorda. In the game Players control Ico with the goal of escaping the castle with the princess safely in hand." --Raymond M. Padilla

The book is still very much the same but also so much more. As you read you grow very attached to Ico and Yorda and their wanderings in the caslte but that's not all. The author does a wonderful job of exploring Ico's village and it's people and you get a good sense of what's at stake in the world. However what got to me and hopefully will you the same is Yorda's tale of how the Castle in the Mist came to be. This story is about facing your fears and not always doing what is easy but what is right and friendship - the bond we make with friends and how they leave imprints on our hearts and minds that are never forgotten.

If you've heard of the game, played it or are just a fan of fantasy stories do not pass this one up. It truly is something magical.
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Format: Paperback
I had pre-ordered this book as soon as I heard it was getting an English translation. I gotta say, glad I did! This book was great! I have never read any of the novels by Miyabe, but her style of writing - or, at least the translation of it - is very engaging. She manages to create a world on paper, giving you the feeling of the atmosphere. Honestly, the writing style very well suited the world originally created by Fumito Ueda.

There were only two things that sort of threw me in a loop: firstly, the construction of the book itself is a bit odd. The main chapters are separated as thus: Before the game - the beginning of the game - a complete background of the castle and Yorda - end of the game. I'm not sure how else she could have done it to make it better, but I was so engaged in the third chapter that I felt like falling off a cliff when it cut off. Not a big deal as it wasn't so distracting as I was finishing the book. Secondly, there's a lot of inner dialogue that repeats the things that were just said. I suppose that this creates deeper impacts to a point, but sometimes I just go "Duh". Then again, she still did a pretty good job considering she wrote for a game with little to no dialogue and made it convincing.

One last note here: To anyone who has played both ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, this book was written before the release of SoTC. Therefore, some continuity between the two games is lost in the back story, but it's not a big deal.

Overall, this novel was great. Much better than other game-based novels I have read. ("The Infernal City" anyone?) The language flows through the pages and really embraces the world it ha created for the reader.

This book would be great for any fan of the game or anyone into fantasy novels. Anyone will enjoy this without missing anything from not playing the game.

Happy reading!
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