Gr 8 Up-This book takes place in that fragile phase "between war and peace." The cease-fire in the war between the Empire and the Republic of Frost was called three years earlier. Now, instead of one big war, there are countless little battles for survival. Some former soldiers are living like warlords, terrorizing villages with their remaining ammunition. Other soldiers, like the mysterious Randel Oland, are just trying to lead normal lives again. When the Pumpkin Scissors "war relief and reconstruction" platoon arrives in a village being terrorized by a unit called the Grey Wolf, Randel helps it and reveals his secret strength. As a former member of an elite antitank unit, he carries a lantern that gives off an eerie blue light. Whenever the lantern is activated, he has supernatural abilities, making him invulnerable until his enemy is destroyed. After Randel joins Pumpkin Scissors, they go on other missions, including taking down a nobleman who hunts villagers for sport and rebuilding a collapsed tunnel with the help of the community. The black-and-white artwork is fairly standard for manga, but the battle scenes are especially well done. Pumpkin Scissors has already been adapted into an anime that was recently released on DVD in America, so the graphic novels are likely to have a built-in audience.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.