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The Promised Neverland - Book Series Review

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published August 9th 2018
A terrible fate awaits the children at Grace Field House
The Promised Neverland
Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu. Viz Media.

The Promised Neverland is a serialised Japanese manga series written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu about three orphans called Emma, Ray and Norman who discover that the orphanage they grew up in is actually a farm that has been raising them as high-grade meat to sacrifice to demons. The series is suitable for teens and older and deals with a lot of fantasy and horror themes.

The Promised Neverland first appeared in print in August 2016 when the first chapter was published in a Japanese manga anthology called Weekly Shōnen Jump. Subsequent chapters continued to appear in the publication every week after that until in January 2018 when a Japanese book and video game publisher called Shueisha collected and released the first 61 chapters into seven published volumes.

The Promised Neverland
Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu. Viz Media.

The Promised Neverland has been a critical and commercial success. It has been nominated for a number of awards and critics have praised the manga for its tense pacing, story and artwork. On the 28th of May 2018, the series passed an impressive milestone when it hit 5 million copies in print. An anime adaption of the manga is due to premiere in January 2019.

The Promised Neverland
Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu. Viz Media.

The Promised Neverland was adapted into English by Viz Media and the first volume was released on December 5, 2017. The first five volumes are currently available in English with more volumes due for release in the future. This article will review the first five English volumes.

I got into the Promised Neverland after I finished the first four volumes of The Girl from the Other Side and wanted to find something to read to keep me occupied while I waited for the next book in that series to come out. After doing some research online, I stumbled across the Promised Neverland, and thought the premise sounded interesting so I bought the first book.

What an amazing manga! The Promised Neverland will hook you in very quickly. In the first opening pages, you will be introduced to Emma, Ray and Norman and the life they live within the Grace Field House orphanage.

The children are so close to each other they think of themselves as siblings and have grown up happy and healthy in the care of a woman named Isabella that they call Mom.

The children can live at Grace Field House until they either turn twelve years old or are chosen to be adopted. Once a child leaves the house and ventures into the outside world they are never seen or heard from again.

The Promised Neverland
Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu. Viz Media.

In the first volume of the book, we see a little girl called Connie get chosen to be adopted. Connie says goodbye to the rest of the kids and then heads with Mom to the front gate to meet her adoptive parents. Emma and Norman decide to follow Connie after they notice she left her favourite stuffed toy behind. When they reach the front gate they discover something horrible – Connie has been ritually murdered.

Hearing footsteps approach, Emma and Norman quickly find a place to hide. Mom appears and she is not alone, she is with some demons. The demons pick up Connie and place her corpse in a glass container. The demons discuss planning to eat her later. Emma and Norman have just witnessed a harvesting.

The Promised Neverland
Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu. Viz Media.

Sickened, the children run back home. Emma and Norman are now burdened with the weight of the truth and that is Grace Field House is not an orphanage it is a farm that is raising them as cattle to be brought to slaughter.

And this is when the manga takes a dark turn. Emma and Norman begin noticing details about their life in Grace Field House that they'd never noticed before, like how the windows are bolted shut and have fingernail scratch marks on them, they are forced to wear white clothes that immediately show when they're dirty, they're forbidden from ever going outside, all of the books available to them are decades out of date, and most disturbingly of all they are all branded with a number on the side of their necks.

Every aspect of their life within Grace Field House is controlled to ensure that they will grow up to become high-quality merchandise that the demons will appreciate.

And most heartbreakingly of all… Mom is in on it. The woman who raised them is cooperating with the demons to ship them off as food.

Emma and Norman let Ray know about the demons and the horrible fate that awaits them when their time comes to leave Grace Field House. The children vow to find a way to escape the farm before Mom decides to ship them off to be harvested.

The Promised Neverland has become one of my new favourite manga series. It was exciting, tense, and very well written. I enjoyed it so much I read the first four volumes in the space of a few days and the entire fifth one in just a few hours. Some scenes are a little graphic so I wouldn't recommend this series for younger readers. I am definitely looking forward to finding out how the whole thing is going to end.

If you would like to read the Promised Neverland it is available as a digital download and in paperback from your local bookstore.

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Why? Emma, Norman and Ray are three children living in an orphanage called Grace Field House who discover that they are actually living on a farm and are being raised as high grade meat to be fed to demons.
When: The Promised Neverland is suitable for teens and older
Where: Available from your local bookstore or online retailer
Cost: $12.99 - $14.99
Your Comment
I'd never heard of this series. I will have to check it out. :)
by Jennifer Muirhead (score: 3|1077) 167 days ago
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