Happy Friday 13th folks! 🙂
Spiral is the second book in the original Ring trilogy from Koji Suzuki.
…possible spoiler warning for those who haven’t read book 1, Ring…
The story begins somewhere around the same timeframe in which Ring concluded, with Ryuji Takayama’s death. Twelve hours after the body is discovered, Mitsuo Ando is completing the autopsy on his old school friend, only to uncover a strange encoded message protruding from the newspaper stuffed body. Is the message just an odd coincidence, or is there hidden meaning behind Ryuji’s unusual coded news clipping?
I confess that I struggled a bit with this book, while Ring was fast-flowing and engaging, I found Spiral to be quite the opposite. It took a long, long time for the story to become interesting, instead just plodding along in a repetitive manner.
The main component of Spiral – and the reason for the book’s title – is a simple biology lesson on the propagation of viruses. This methodology is linked to the VHS tape, after Kazayuki Asakawa deduces that the ‘charm’ is to make a copy of the tape and show it to another person. However, despite the in-depth lesson on virology, Asakawa’s wife and daughter still die, meaning the ‘charm’ must therefore be something entirely different. Can Ando succeed where Asakawa failed? Or has the situation mutated too far out of control?
I enjoyed the cryptography aspect with the secret codes, but then I like maths so that’s understandable. Also, a lot of the science makes sense, with basic biology lessons on DNA and RNA. However, I feel that certain aspects become a little hard to believe towards the end, and overall at just 2 out of 5 stars, I didn’t really enjoy the conclusion. How Ryuji conspires with Sadako in order to bring about the events of Spiral is something I’m still struggling to comprehend, and I’m not sure it was really necessary for the story as a whole.
I’ve recently discovered that during the intervening years since I read this trilogy originally, and now, that there have been further sequels produced. Having now struggled my way through book 2 and finding very little in the way of any real horror, I’m not sure how much further through the series I’m willing to go. Therefore, I’ll probably finish off the original trilogy with Loop, since I have that book already and then end the series there. However, if anyone has read any of the other sequels, then I’m interested to know your thoughts on them in the comments.