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 August 10, 2004

Review: Travel Guide To Metru Nui
Mark: One year after The Official Guide To BIONICLE™, we have an official guide to Metru Nui in BIONICLE®: METRU NUI CITY OF LEGENDS by Greg "Ask Greg" Farshtey. Same dimensions, same number of pages, same price, different island.

Similarities aside, this guide to Metru Nui (hereafter MNG) is a better read than the previous guide. This is partly due to a reduced scope and partly due to an improved format. MNG is at its best when it takes the word "guide" literally, as in "travel guide". Anyone familiar with the format will enjoy the "Don't Miss " sidebars: "Macku's Canoes", "Matoro's Rahi", etc.

MNG is logically divided into the six Metru. Each Metru is described in general, and then specific areas of interest such as The Great Temple and The Moto Hub are described in detail. The descriptions are accompanied by full-color artwork which usually reflects the text, much of it quite possibly from the upcoming BIONICLE 2 DVD.

Along with the Metru themselves, the Metru's residents are profiled: the TOA METRU, the resident VAHKI, and select MATORAN. In addition, the Metru's resident creatures are also described.

The Coliseum gets its own section, and it is there you will find profiles for TURAGA DUME, Toa Lhikan, and the "Dark Hunters" NIDHIKI and KREKKA. The center of MNG features six full-page posters of the six individual TOA METRU and one page of six TOA METRU stickers.

The penultimate page offers a small spoiler and the promise of a new web site devoted to Metru Nui. When it is online, you will be able to enter in a special KANOKA code (previously unknown, but now also worth points at the KANOKA Club) to learn more about the city.

What's missing? About the only thing left wanting are individual maps of the various Metru. A full-page map of all of Metru Nui is provided at the back of the book, but I would have appreciated full-page maps of each Metru to begin each section of the book. And as long as I am wishing out loud, architectural diagrams of some of the buildings would have been nice. That kind of in-depth detail belongs in a much larger, coffee-table book though.

The back of the book, in typical book cover hyperbole, describes itself as "the ultimate must-have for BIONICLE fans." For the knowledgeable BIONICLE fan, I won't rank it as a "must-have". It is however a typically enjoyable BIONICLE book, well worth having.

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