BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Attack on Titan (vols. 11-14) by Hajime Isayama, translated by Ko Ransom

Attack on Titan 11-14If this is the first time you’re hearing about this worldwide phenomenon that is Attack on Titan, please pause and take the time to catch up. Trust me when I warn you that this is not a series that you can pick up midway; you’ll need and want to follow the available numbers carefully, 1 through 14. Before you delve into these final four (thus far; Volume 15 arrives next spring), get familiar with the fantastical plot, unpredictable action, and surprisingly multi-dimensional characters. You can click here for an overview of volumes 1-10, but – of course – the best plan of action is to shut down your screen, visit your favorite indie bookstore or library, and get reading asap.

Okay, so man vs. oversized beasts continue. The body count continues to rise, while the Survey Corps can only shrink. The odds (or size) are not in humanity’s favor, that’s for sure.

Volume 11 opens with Titan Eren fighting for the safety of the 104th – and, uh, his own life – against the onslaught of the Colossus Titan, “humanity’s greatest enemy.” The battle rages for most the installment, and in between the ‘Krak! Whoom! Gah!’s, more is revealed via backstory about Eren (of course), Annie, Reiner, and others of the elite squad – you’re going to need to pay especially close attention because this volume is especially rife with big reveals!

Missing body parts are quickly regenerating as Volume 12 finds a tattered foursome up in the trees: Eren and Ymir resting in one, Bertolt and Reiner perched in another. Accusations, recriminations, confessions, demands, promises fly back and forth from limb to limb, while the rest of the 104th struggle to figure out a rescue plot – but of whom …?

What’s left of the Survey Corps has made it back to Wall Rose in Volume 13: some 100 went out, maybe 40 survived. Mikasa is in bad shape, as are many of the others. But at least Eren is back among the troops. Krista Lenz is gone as she reclaims her true identity as Historia Reiss – even if that means giving in to her horrific childhood memories. With the number of sentient, powerful Titans on the rise, the Survey Corps are desperate to learn more, which means subjecting Eren through dangerous experiments so grueling he barely remembers them. Meanwhile, the public is growing wearier as society falls apart – provisions dwindle, protection disappears, peace seems hopeless – and what becomes quickly apparent is that the Titans are actually not man’s worst enemy …

Volume 14 – your last fix until next April, egads! – begins with a horrific realization: “So you’re saying human beings … will finally spill each other’s blood inside these cramped walls.” The only way to save what’s left of the human population will be to replace the leadership … by any means necessary. Failure means certain death, and not just for the Survey Corps who will be executed as traitors. Do nothing, and current regime will implode all of humanity sooner than later. Even if they haven’t figured out the specifics, Eren and Historia just might somehow have the answers to all. The world awaits …

Corruption in the government, church, and corporations. Discontent of the masses, with the lesser classes deemed utterly disposable. The 1% with their 99% and holding tight. Uh-oh … sound just a wee bit familiar? No wonder these installments can’t hit shelves fast enough!

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2013-2014 (Japan), 2014 (United States)


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