All You Need is Kill

Hiroshi Sakurazaka
All You Need is Kill Cover

All You Need is Kill


All You Need Is Kill is a very short book. Though military in nature, the actual battle scenes are not as frequent. The story is mostly told from the point of view of Keiji, starting at the end of his first loop. I quite like his description of the memories built up as the OS for his brain. His growth in understanding of the time loops is also well done.

The beginning portion of a chapter is from the viewpoint of Rita Vrataski, American special forces soldier and previous time looper. I like her description of what the time loops mean and how they work. She is the end result of 200 earlier loops, a killing machine. In this chapter we also get an omnipotent back story of how and why the aliens arrived.

When the perspective shifts back to Keiji, the story starts to break down. The last chapter is all in a rush. The time loops is radically altered, throwing poor Keiji off balance. These radical changes in the first day can't really result in the major changes of the second day, and a lot of that really doesn't make sense. Without spoiling anything, I am left wondering if the two characters have different solutions (and only one is right), if the author wanted to make a point about Japanese vs American politics, or if he was just in a hurry to finish.

It has been a while since I saw the movie, but I recall the ending was different than this and not particularly good either. Will have to check it out soon to compare, though.