It seems a shame given this series has now been adapted into an anime (though so far not well) and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, but the second book kind of felt plotless to an extent and now this third book has jettisoned the idea of a plot altogether.
Individual moments in the book are still interesting. Learning how to make vials for potions, the witches and the whole subplot about Satou helping them fulfill their contract (which was used as the climax of the book but isn’t exactly a main storyline), and even just the different villages and cities they visit are nice and all. However there’s no central drive. There is still the whole suspicious infusion of Japanese culture and the possibility of other people trapped in this parallel world from our world, but to be honest Satou as the protagonist isn’t doing much about that and it doesn’t really seem like the reader should care either.
So what we get instead are endless descriptions of food preparation and random magical experiments, snippets of conversation and lots and lots of Satou comforting his various slaves and travel companions as they all vie for his attention (nothing lewd mind you given Satou continuously reminds us of the age of most of them and he genuinely does seem to be looking out for them).
Part of me is still curious as to where this story might go given there are literally endless possibilities, and the other part of me realises that this volume took me the better part of a week to actually finish reading because I would get to the end of a chapter, realise nothing had happened and would put the book down. That’s really not exactly what I look for in a book.
I’m not ruling out trying the next book in the series but for now at least it’s on hold while I check out some other books that have been in my reading list.
If you’re interested in reading Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Volume 3 it is available on the Book Depository.