Daniel X: The Manga Vol. 1 (Manga)
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: October 2010
Price: $11.99
Creator(s): James Patterson with Michael Ledwidge.  Art by Seunghui Kye.
Format: 260 pgs.; B&W; Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-3160-7764-4
Age Rating: Teen+
ICv2 Rating: 2 Stars out of 5

This adaptation of Patterson’s Daniel X was created in an effort to appeal to manga and manhwa readers.  With artwork by Korean artist Seunghui Kye, it passes the “look and feel” test admirably.  The art, especially the alien creatures, is good for an adventure story of this kind.  The only weaknesses are inherent in the story itself.

In this story, young Daniel is on Earth with the goal of hunting down hostile aliens who seem to have quietly invaded.  There is no one single faction of aliens, but instead a variety of bad guys, each with a separate agenda.  After the death of his parents at the hands of such an alien, he has chosen to hunt them down and dispose of them.  Oh, one other thing: Daniel has super powers.  He can manifest realistic, solid people or objects out of his memory or imagination.  Think of him as a Green Lantern who can also shapeshift, to a limited degree.  Plus, maybe other things... and that’s where the story begins to have problems.

His powers are vague, and he is too overconfident to survive.  Based on events in the story, he only survives this book because the author said so.  He has supposedly been hunting aliens since he was a small child, even though there is no evidence given that he could have done this successfully.  In addition, since many of the “human” characters don’t really exist, it’s hard to empathize with them, leaving the focus too narrowly on Daniel and his flaws.

Overall, this work has a popular author but is a disappointing adaptation.  For teens and up, due to language and violence.

--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.