(pb; 1999, 2006. Translated from Japanese by Masami Isetani and Camellia Nieh.)
From the back cover:
"When an unemployed former math major wakes up one day, he wonders if he's somehow ended up on the red planet. The good-looking young woman with aid-she says her name is Ai and that she draws erotic comics for a living-seems to have no clue either as to their whereabouts. Their only leads are cryptic instructions beamed to a portable device. Has the game begun?
"There is no reset button, no saving and no continue-make the wrong move and it's really GAME OVER. In the cruel world of THE MARS LABYRINTH, mercy and compassion are only for the weak or the very, very strong. The stakes are nothing less than your life-and apparently a lot of money."
Crimson is an excellent, clever, mood-effective thriller. Its plot, action and twists are not always unexpected, but they are well-executed and the characters are well-sketched out. It is fast-paced, hard to set down and worth owning.