If you liked the first Ghost in the Shell book then this is not going to disappoint. It’s rammed with scantily clad clone babes connected to a complex network that exists both virtually and in the physical world – a rollercoaster ride of techno-babble and exposed female crotches.
Those who found the first book impenetrable, on the other hand, have got little hope with this. A good proportion of the story involves the main protagonist Motoko Aramaki floating naked through a virtual reality visualisation of cyberspace, barking orders at her digital assistants while interacting with the pop-ups, viruses and spyware equivalents of the year 2035. The plot, what little of it is fathomable, is lost in this miasma of glamour and techno-nonsense.
The artwork is little short of breathtaking – Shirowe Masamune’s technological future is fully realised and beautifully illustrated, while his slender women are attractive and prone to showing off their privates. However, unless you’re a hormonal pre-pubescent teenage boy, the constant onslaught of flesh is likely to grate well before you get to the end.
So in summary, there are too many pages for the plot, the techno-babble is far too dense, the author’s asides are distracting and the depiction of the female characters takes the concept of gratuitous and runs a marathon with it. Although it isn’t even a direct sequel to the first book, don’t even think about tackling it unless you’ve read the first one and loved it so hard you just can’t do without more.