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Final Fantasy VII: Lateral Biography TURKS ~The Kids Are Alright~

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A lot has changed the in two years since the Lifestream erupted, and a new city, Edge, has been born from the wreckage. There, a young man and woman run a private detective agency, but then they run into the infamous Turks of the Shinra Electric Power Company... The world of Final Fantasy VII expands with this prequel to the events of Advent Children!


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A lot has changed the in two years since the Lifestream erupted, and a new city, Edge, has been born from the wreckage. There, a young man and woman run a private detective agency, but then they run into the infamous Turks of the Shinra Electric Power Company... The world of Final Fantasy VII expands with this prequel to the events of Advent Children!

30 review for Final Fantasy VII: Lateral Biography TURKS ~The Kids Are Alright~

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    Oh my God where do I even begin. Well, first off, I need to say that I truly cannot believe that I have this book. I own it. It is physically in my hands. I never thought I'd see the day that this book got an official English translation and publication. I scoured the internet for years for even a fan translation of it with no luck. But now it's here. And Square Enix somehow got it out and published five months before I even knew about it. It's fine, though. It's fine. All is forgiven now, because Oh my God where do I even begin. Well, first off, I need to say that I truly cannot believe that I have this book. I own it. It is physically in my hands. I never thought I'd see the day that this book got an official English translation and publication. I scoured the internet for years for even a fan translation of it with no luck. But now it's here. And Square Enix somehow got it out and published five months before I even knew about it. It's fine, though. It's fine. All is forgiven now, because I read it and it was everything I wanted and more. But, anyway, I should talk about the book itself now, shouldn't I? I should say right off the bat that if you're super invested in the main Final Fantasy VII crew, this book won't be your cup of tea. Yeah Tifa, Cloud, and a few others make brief appearances—with the Turks taking up most of the known character page time—but they are by no means the main focus of the story. Our main characters are original characters to this book, pretty much just trying to get by in the crazy world that is the Final Fantasy VII universe. But, as someone who lives for this kind of shit, I was not only completely unbothered, but utterly delighted with this concept. So, who are these original characters? I shall tell you. The story follows Evan Townsend, a seventeen year old orphan eeking out a life in a post-Meteorfall world. He and his friends—Kyrie, Leslie, and Fabio—run a Private Investigation firm in the city of Edge, a newly formed city on the edge (get it?) of the remnants of the industrial metropolis of Midgar. The conditions of this basically post-apocalyptic world are as you'd expect. No electricity, little resources, and lots of survivors trying to make a life for themselves in this veritable wasteland. But poor Evan, after being presumably abandoned by his mother right around the beginning of the events in the main Final Fantasy VII game, winds up getting roped into a whole slew of shenanigans—mostly due to his own lack of self-awareness, but also the Turks. And a friend who decided to steal a special medication for his little brother suffering from the geostigma. Yeah, poor Evan gets the short end of the stick. Now, listen, I loved Evan. I adored him. He was all bark and no bite. He lied a bunch to make himself sound tougher to his friends (as they were originally from Midgar's slums, while Evan, though he lived a hard life, was from the Plate—the topside part, and more well-to-do area of Midgar), he suffered from indigestion whenever a stressful situation arose, and was just generally unsure of himself due to being presumably abandoned by his mother who may have run off to be with a lover. I genuinely loved him. His first person POV sections were fun, and, quite honestly, were I just a random citizen in the Final Fantasy VII universe, I'd probably be Evan. If I weren't already dead. Evan's interactions with the main Final Fantasy VII characters were an absolute joy. I literally busted out laughing when he described Tifa as having "curves in all the right places." Normally that description would make me roll my eyes hard enough to detach the retina, but it just felt entirely in character for this seventeen year old try hard to say about the confident, pretty, twenty-five year old Tifa, that I accepted it. And then there were the Turks, the most prominent known characters in the book. The friendship he winds up having with Reno and Rude specifically was wonderful. Not to be your typical female Final Fantasy VII fan, but God I love Reno. Chaotic stupid redhead. An absolute idiot with a sort of thug mentality—but with a heart. Most of Evan's situation in the book is Reno's fault, honestly. But it came from a good place? I think that helps? Anyway, Evan's friends were pretty cool, too. I kinda loved that Leslie had a girlfriend that he decided to move in with to take care of because she's pregnant. I don't know why. It was just a nice detail to give this side character. But Kyrie in particular was so much fun, holy hell. A con artist from a family of con artists who is trying her best to go somewhat straight. I found her incredibly endearing, and her relationship with Evan was cute. You'll find no complaints from me on that front. Fabio and Bits were pretty good, too. But they mostly served as a way to get the plot moving, as they are both key in Evan's comfortable little niche in Edge falling to pieces. Whether that's for better or for worse? That's up for debate. But I'm beating around the bush. Namely, the entire reason why I literally screamed in utter glee upon discovering that this book was finally officially published in English: Kadaj. Now, I truly, completely, and unironically love Advent Children, the movie for which this book serves as bridge to the original game. The events of the book mostly take place two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII and about two weeks (I believe?) before Advent Children, leaving plenty of time for the author to have fun in this vast playground. And the fact that the author was given the ability to set up Kadaj's origins? OOOOooooohhohohohohohoooo boy. It was the fact that Kadaj serves as basically the main antagonist for the latter half of the book that had me desperate to get my hands on it. I love Kadaj. He is everything I love in a villain. He is completely unhinged, manipulative, unabashedly sadistic, and suffering from probably one of the worst instances of identity crisis in history. What more could I possibly hope for in a villain? Now, I pretty much had this book's detailed English synopsis memorized by the time I finally got to read this, and it still did not properly prepare me for what Kadaj is capable of. And the fact that Kadaj, Yazoo, and Loz's names are actually the names of Kyrie's dead childhood friends? The fact that Kadaj decided to just keep the name of a dead boy Kyrie loved as his own? Jesus Christ, that's cruel. I fucking love it. This book showcased abilities that Kadaj (and likely the other Remnants) possess that the movie does not. Kadaj can dip into people's minds and read their thoughts and memories, then use that information to shape shift into his target's loved ones—usually people who are already dead. And I just. Hoo buddy. Those are. Certainly things he did. He also either moves lightning fast or can teleport. I cannot remember if he did the latter in the movie, but I sure do know that he has the reflexes of a jungle cat. But still, the way it is utilized is a lot for my weak constitution having ass. I just. [clenches fist] This book did not disappoint, and far exceeded my expectations—both in regards to Kadaj content and writing. The writing! How could I forget to mention. The writing was so surprisingly good. It read like a straight English YA novel, not something that was translated from Japanese into English. Now, I don't know about you, but I've read a lot of translated Japanese content. It can be largely hit or miss. Sometimes the writing comes across as incredibly stiff—which is usually the case with literal translations that haven't gone through a lot of localization, or just haven't been edited to be read with English reading eyes. But that was not the case with this. Whoever the translator was, I tip my hat to you. They did such an incredibly good job. The prose was good, the dialogue felt natural, and the inner dialogue for each POV felt in tune with the characters. God. I just. Pacha.jpg. That's all I can possibly say. Anyway, there was a lot I didn't touch on here, mostly because I desperately want you guys to actually read the book for yourselves. Namely the select few friends who may be reading this review right now. Go buy this. I promise it's worth it. Especially if you're a fan of Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children, the Turks, or, my beacon of dark light, Kadaj. Please. It's lonely in this little corner. Read it. I beg.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melody Boggs

    Hi, I love Evan Townshend and Kyrie Canaan so much. They are magnificent and share only one brain cell. I would die for these two dumbasses. Also sharing just one brain cell are the Turks, and omg, I love them. I love them so much. "We kind of want to be your friend, but we're also the Mafia." *shoots a guy in the background* "No hard feelings, right?" But seriously, I loved seeing further into the Turks' way of doing things. It's already so hot that they're the muscle and undercover mission speci Hi, I love Evan Townshend and Kyrie Canaan so much. They are magnificent and share only one brain cell. I would die for these two dumbasses. Also sharing just one brain cell are the Turks, and omg, I love them. I love them so much. "We kind of want to be your friend, but we're also the Mafia." *shoots a guy in the background* "No hard feelings, right?" But seriously, I loved seeing further into the Turks' way of doing things. It's already so hot that they're the muscle and undercover mission specialists for the Shinra Electric Power Company, but any time I can see them individually as people. Pachameme.png Tseng is still as cool-headed and attractive as ever. I did not know how hardcore and ready to kill a man at any time Elena was, but I'm so glad I know that now. Then, there's Reno and Rude, these beautiful idiots, these absolute buffoons. Them: [does everything wrong] Me: You have never done anything wrong in your life ever. I know this, and I love you. Having these guys be partners is absolute poetic cinema; I could watch their interactions for hours. Would I climb Rude like a tree? Best believe it. And omg, I love Reno so much. I truly didn't think I could love him or be more attracted to him than I already was, but this book proved me absolutely wrong, wow. "And whose fault is it that we're here?" said Kyrie, and we each pointed at Reno just as he pointed with both hands at us. See? Who wouldn't fall for this absolute ridiculous disaster of a moron? Okay, might as well go ahead and put all my cards on the table. Thanks to the Advent Children movie, I've always felt a tingling of something for Rufus Shinra. It never went much of anywhere because here he is, ~mysteriously robed~ for most of the movie, face covered, armed mostly with a hot voice, and there are Reno and Vincent standing right there, then Kadaj happened to me, and then Sephiroth appeared. It's just a lot to measure up to, y'know? Rufus didn't stand a chance. Well, thanks to this book, now he fucking does, and I hate it. I hate that if Shinra ever got back on its feet, I would be That Bitch applying for Doofus Shinra's secretary position because I, too, am an absolute moron. I could've been free from this basicness, but no. Rufus had to go and be in top form here, with wry dialogue, obvious chemistry between him and the Turks, and an absolutely endearing relationship with Evan. And then, he had to go and be unflappable and manipulative and In Control at all times, like Whomst the Fuck? And then there's Kadaj. Okay. How dare... the film hold back so much of what he could do, ability-wise? Like okay, I get it. The film came out first and maybe we didn't even know. The book came later, and Kadaj in the film was already cranked up to fucking 100, absolutely batshit crazy, but, look, hear me out. Hear me out. Why not crank him up to 101 and let him be even more batshit crazy? There's still room! We have plenty of time and space to do this, so let's see it. Let's see him be able to remove and give back people's pain, to absorb their feeling and memories with a touch, to appear as the people you love most, even if they're dead. I just got gut-punched if Kadaj had done this to, say, Cloud and had actually appeared as either Aerith or Zack to mess with him while he was at his lowest point. The nerve. Also, wow, Hot. I'm also feeling Some Typa Way--and maybe I'm reading this wrong--but I feel Some Typa Way about Kadaj assuming at least the partial identity of an old flame of Kyrie's. It's just Wow. Okay. Cool cool cool cool. It's just good writing. Also, I'm laughing so much at how briefly Kadaj had contact with Sephiroth in the Lifestream and is all, "I didn't care for him." Absolutely perfect. I also, of course, enjoyed all the cameos of other Final Fantasy VII characters I received. Cloud. Tifa. Nanaki. Even if they weren't there for very long, this translation was so true to who they are as characters. You feel them living on the page. What also tended to help was Evan's unusual narration; there's a lot of character work that went into this, and I absolutely loved the entire thing. And yeah, if I wasn't already vibrating out of my skin for the Final Fantasy VII remake, I would be after reading this. As it is, I think I've transcended into some other plane where time is meaningless and yet it means everything. Good Lord, is it March 2020 yet?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matisse

    This book is something of a well-kept, well-earned secret. To understand it, you need to have played all of Final Fantasy VII--a 20-year-old RPG--and then watched Advent Children, the film sequel from 2005. And yes, this book was brought to the US in this, our year 2019. So, it's not what you'd call 'accessible' to everyone. But if you're familiar with the material, this book is a must-read. This story is an interquel between FFVII and Advent Children, and the blurb will tell you that it focuses This book is something of a well-kept, well-earned secret. To understand it, you need to have played all of Final Fantasy VII--a 20-year-old RPG--and then watched Advent Children, the film sequel from 2005. And yes, this book was brought to the US in this, our year 2019. So, it's not what you'd call 'accessible' to everyone. But if you're familiar with the material, this book is a must-read. This story is an interquel between FFVII and Advent Children, and the blurb will tell you that it focuses on the Turks--the FFVII world's equivalent of Team Rocket--but that's not entirely true. We focus on a band of new college-age kids with attitude, and while their tale begins as a simple mission to swindle some people for chump change, it ends as....well, it's still a Final Fantasy story. They tend to get weird and philosophical toward the end. = ) The Turks weave in and out of the narrative, as do the heroes of FFVII, but the focus remains on the new kids. It's a bit like Kingdom Hearts in that way. I haven't read 'On the Way to a Smile' yet, but I'm thinking this will be my favorite piece of FFVII media for a while. We as an audience are familiar with Cloud and his AVALANCHE buddies, so while seeing them in their own interquel will be nice, it's sort of...expected. I loved the Turks when I played through FFVII, and their development in Advent Children is fantastic. This book goes so far as to make them heroes in their own bizarre, bureaucratic way. A note about the translation: this is one of the best-translated light novels I've come across. It reads more like someone set out to write a novel and use Anime-esque tropes and dialogue, rather than someone badly translated something in another language.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hello

    Excellent writing! If there's more of this for the world of FF I'd love to read it. Keep em coming!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Not too bad. It felt a bit meandering and there's a lot of characters to keep track of, but overall the two leads are pretty great and it did have a satisfying ending.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Luis

    Este libro pertenece a esa serie de complementos que expandieron el universo de FFVII, cronológicamente se ubica entre el final del juego original y el inicio de la película FFVII: advent children. El protagonista es Evan Townshend un hombre joven que trabaja en una agencia de investigación privada con Kyrie Canaan, Leslie Kyle, entre otros. El atractivo de esta agencia que se ha vuelto popular después de la caída de meteoro es que Kyrie parece ser que puede comunicarse con el planeta, ¿cómo es Este libro pertenece a esa serie de complementos que expandieron el universo de FFVII, cronológicamente se ubica entre el final del juego original y el inicio de la película FFVII: advent children. El protagonista es Evan Townshend un hombre joven que trabaja en una agencia de investigación privada con Kyrie Canaan, Leslie Kyle, entre otros. El atractivo de esta agencia que se ha vuelto popular después de la caída de meteoro es que Kyrie parece ser que puede comunicarse con el planeta, ¿cómo es eso posible? Son cosas que deberán descubrir al leer el libro al menos de que quieran spoilers. El libro se divide en 2 partes y tiene dos estilos narrativos desde la perspectiva de Evan y desde tercera persona, en los momentos protagonisados por el resto de personajes. Hablando de personajes, la historia de una u otra forma conecta a los personajes del juego original, todo el equipo original tiene una participación dentro de la historia (demasiadas casualidades) algunos con más peso que otros, narrando su vida después de vencer a sephiroth y antes de advent children. Por mencionar un ejemplo, Cloud y su servicio de mensajería tienen una participación casual durante la historia. Además del equipo protagonico, la historia se centra en los Turks y Rufus; Rude y Reno tienen muchas apariciones en la primer parte y una relación muy interesante con Evan, dando la primer conexión directa con el juego original y como Evan tiene conexión con Shinra. Tseng y Elena también aparecen en menor medida y durante la segunda parte se revela como los turks logran dar con la ubicación de las partes de Jenova siendo uno de los detalles más interesantes e importantes de la trama. El libro también presenta otros personajes secundarios del juego y del contenido adicional, así que al leerlo notarán muchos guiños de la franquicia y en más de una ocasión los dejara sorprendidos. La historia conecta lugares y personajes desde perspectiva diferente a las que ya hemos conocido con el juego, pero su punto más fuerte son Evan y Kyrie, sus personalidades ajustan bien en el universo de FF, Evan es un personaje noble que pretende ser rudo y distante, siempre autocuestiona sus propias decisiones y tiene esos pequeños momentos de reflexión en sus acciones, por otro ladoKyrie es una chica que no tiene miedo de decir las cosas, es extrovertida y es la que tiene más conexión con la historia original de FFVII (incluso aparece en el último trailer). Pero siendo sincero, aunque la historia me gustó tuvo ciertos detalles que debilitan la experiencia narrativa y como lector puede ser o muy confuso o muy predecible, la primera que mencionaré son las casualidades, claro que como fan me encanta saber que fue de cloud, tifa, red XIII, entre otros pero aunque unos entran a escena adecuadamente otros son una casualidad demasiado fortuita, ¿cuanta es la probabilidad de que te topes específicamente a cada uno en un lapso tan corto?, el otro punto es que en toda la historia siempre había una advertencia constantemente y es "cuidate de los monstruos", si esperan oír de alguna bestia de FFVII, esta historia no es la adecuada, fue algo muy decepcionante. Si tuviera que enumerar las razones por las que deben conocer este libro son por la resolución de los misterios principales que estuvo excelente, mostrando el preámbulo para una nueva amenaza al mundo, y el misterio que involucra 3 cosas: la madre de evan, Shinra y la reunión. Y la otra es que Kyrie y Leslie aparecerán en el remake, Lesli es un personaje secundario pero en el libro se da a entender su relación con Don Corneo, es algo imperdible. Final fantasy VII: the kids are alright: a turks side story es una lectura amena, interesante y altamente recomendable para aquellos que jugaron el juego y vieron la película, dale una oportunidad a expandir el mundo de FFVII y que sus personajes y acontecimientos sean parte de tus recuerdos. Es importante aclarar que el libro solo es recomendable si se conoce el juego, porque no se tomará molestias en explicar quiénes son los personajes presentados.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hazel

    The English teacher in me is really irked at the title. All right: two words! Perhaps it's a lost cause, maybe alright is now acceptable.....or in fact, all right. Moving on from my complaint, this was a terrific book! Once again, if you are not familiar with the Final Fantasy and Advent Children stories, this book won't mean much. But if you do know the stories, this is a wonderful bridge between the two. I thought it would be similar to On the Way to a Smile, which was a collection of short st The English teacher in me is really irked at the title. All right: two words! Perhaps it's a lost cause, maybe alright is now acceptable.....or in fact, all right. Moving on from my complaint, this was a terrific book! Once again, if you are not familiar with the Final Fantasy and Advent Children stories, this book won't mean much. But if you do know the stories, this is a wonderful bridge between the two. I thought it would be similar to On the Way to a Smile, which was a collection of short stories; but this is in fact a short novel and it tells a good story. The main character Evan has no father and was abandoned by his mother shortly before Meteorfall. After the disaster he tries to find her as he picks his way through the debris. As his hope fades, he makes friends in the remains of the slum and tries to build a new life in a hardscrabble world. He works with Kyrie, a former con artist who has started an investigation agency specializing in looking for missing people. A mysterious quest, a mysterious photograph...soon Evan and Kyrie become entangled with the Turks and travel from Midgar to some familiar landmarks. There are wonderful details: the main characters we know are there at the peripheries; some of the new characters appear in the FFVII remake; we see a lot more of the Turks and appreciate their rather indeterminate status: are they bad guys who sometimes do good, or are they good guys who sometimes do bad? We also see a bit of fleshing out of some of the main story details, bits of background which clarify points from the original story, and there are direct ties with the story and characters of Advent Children. Needless to say, the story of a man searching for his mother has a very deep resonance for the broader tale.

  8. 4 out of 5

    szara

    2.5/5 This was an overall bittersweet read - on one hand getting new canon Turks content was great, on the other I found the main character irritating and didn't come to like him until the very end. I'm used to Final Fantasy VII stories to be a bit ridiculous at times so that didn't deter me from giving this book a higher rating even though the ending felt a bit rushed - the closure of some plot points deserved more attention and exposure, especially considering how much of useless messing around 2.5/5 This was an overall bittersweet read - on one hand getting new canon Turks content was great, on the other I found the main character irritating and didn't come to like him until the very end. I'm used to Final Fantasy VII stories to be a bit ridiculous at times so that didn't deter me from giving this book a higher rating even though the ending felt a bit rushed - the closure of some plot points deserved more attention and exposure, especially considering how much of useless messing around Edge we get at the beginning. And then there's Evan - our main hero and the only character to get first person narration. I wanted him to grow on me but unfortunately his internal monologue repeatedly prevented me from getting to cheer him on. I also wished to like Kyrie more but I think Evan's narration was to blame why I didn't after all. I don't recommend to read it if your main motivation is the presence Cloud and Tifa - they're listed among main characters at the beginning of the book but there's not nearly enough content with them to be worth getting through all of Evan's adventures. My fuel to get through this was Turks content and it was given regularly but I still wish it was more of it - but that's a given considering I didn't like Evan. Well, at least it was some new FF VII content.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heather L

    Just read this it's worth it. I recommend reading On the Way to a Smile first though because it might be hard to understand what Rufus and the Turks(Reno, Rude, Tseng, Elena) are working on if you haven't picked that up. This book takes place years after Meteor and the Lifestream fallout. Geostigma is in full swing and people are taking medication to stave off the infection. Evan Townshend brings to the table a similar upbringing to Denzel, he's been raised on the upper plate and now he is trying Just read this it's worth it. I recommend reading On the Way to a Smile first though because it might be hard to understand what Rufus and the Turks(Reno, Rude, Tseng, Elena) are working on if you haven't picked that up. This book takes place years after Meteor and the Lifestream fallout. Geostigma is in full swing and people are taking medication to stave off the infection. Evan Townshend brings to the table a similar upbringing to Denzel, he's been raised on the upper plate and now he is trying to make it in Edge in the slums working with Leslie, Kyrie and crew in the Mireille Investigative Services helping people finding missing relatives. Unlike Denzel's parents though Evan never knew who his father was(which comes to light and whoa was I surprised) and his mother has been missing since the plate fell having run off with some guy (he desperately wants to find her). After Fabio steals Geostigma meds from the Turks Evan finds his life twisted up with the Turks at every corner, don't underestimate Reno my friend. The turks are in this plenty each with their quirks. All the main characters make brief appearances Cloud, Tifa, Red XIII (others are mentioned). Get the first glimpse of Kadaj from Advent Children. He has history with Kyrie. Corneo has pictures...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fatima Alsuwaidi

    This book started as Meh and developed into an excellent four-star book. The story is robust and full of details and characters with a lot of depth and presence. Except for Evan, he is not a good protagonist, I mean he's GOOD, but doesn't have much to him, he's always confused, not sure of what he should do, and his train of thought is all over the place. But other than that, the story is beautiful.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne Nelson

    An interesting book to read after playing FF7R, since a lot of new minor characters appear in this book. Also it's quite funny to see that Shinra, the iconic evil corp, is handling a pandemic better than most countries around. It does a good job tying the game with Advent Children, and while our protagonist is not much of a FF hero, he's still fun to follow as a "regular guy" in this world.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    With the remake already out, I had to grab a copy of this. This book was very fun and sets you in the place of Final Fantasy VII. The characters that are returning are written so well its like watching another spin-off of this series. I love this!!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jule

    This novel is absolutly awesome!! I love Final Fantasy!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Raymond

    If you are a fan of 7 I would highly recommend this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Noel Armando

    Oh, man... This story... It's beautiful! Estuve como a dos párrafos de abandonarlo, pero menos mal que no lo hice. Recomendado.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Even if the English Translation of this book were better, the story would still suck. It's awful.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Blake Farron

  18. 4 out of 5

    Theodore James

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kai

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Lancaster

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rei Hanabi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Becca

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cassian Eaves

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alantie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Filipa

  29. 4 out of 5

    KayLeigh Hyman

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carl Near

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