I’ve gone through a ton of physics classes while in school and have been a sci-fi fan for a good portion of my life, so this was an interesting topic for me. I have seen the “Manga Guide” series around for a while now, though have mostly ignored them thinking that they were going to be either so high-level that they would be almost useless or so cartoonish that they would miss facts or misrepresent facts. I was wrong.
The Manga Guide to Relativity starts out as a typical Manga story – big eyes, small mouths, odd plot, strange characters. It quickly moves from the opening premise into actually teaching about relativity and the concepts behind it. The illustrations really help grasp key points about relativity, even if they don’t go very deep. The end of chapter summaries go into more detail about each chapter’s topic to understand more of the facts.
As this book is in the Manga style, I probably wouldn’t recommend it for younger kids. Of course, most younger kids aren’t all that interested in Relativity in the first place so this likely won’t be an issue except for the comics portion. Some of the illustrations may be a bit inappropriate for younger children.
Personally, I enjoyed the book. The PDF read well on my Nook Color. The Manga style worked well to communicate the concepts of relativity and was interesting, if a really strange story. However, strange stories are part of the appeal of Manga in the first place. I’d definitely recommend it to an older student trying to come to grips with relativity – not as a replacement text, but as something to help grasp the basic concepts.
Disclosure – I was provided with a complimentary PDF of this book by O’Reilly in return for an unbiased review. The opinions and thoughts here are my own and were in no way influences by O’Reilly.
Please visit O’Reilly to obtain a copy of The Manga Guide to Relativity.