Recently I’ve had a bit of time in the evenings to read a few light novels and work my way through my to-be-read stack. Here are my thoughts on the latest books I’ve finished.
Light Novel: The World’s Fines Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World As An Aristocrat
I’m going to be honest, this light novel definitely decided to dump pretty much its entire premise into the title. The only bit that needed to be added is: As An Aristocrat Where The Family’s Secret Job Is Also Assassination.
Be that as it may, I kind of enjoyed this first volume by Rui Tsukiyo. Our reborn protagonist, Lugh, has a pretty clear goal as he’s been offered a chance at rebirth to complete the task of killing the hero but only after the hero defeats the demon lord. It isn’t an easy task and Lugh, having been an excellent assassin in his first life knows this.
The entire first volume is very much Lugh preparing his skills and supports for the task that I guess will eventually be upon him and so action is sporadic and it relies on the characters to carry the story.
While Lugh isn’t exceptional as a protagonist in a light novel about a reincarnated kid in a fantasy world, he’s pleasant enough and I actually liked seeing him succeed and grow.
What was less thrilling is the repetition in the narration. I don’t know if originally this was written in an online format where there were time gaps between chapter releases but information that we’ve been told in one chapter is almost always reiterated again in the next chapter. Character growth is summarised for us as if the author was worried we somehow forgot why that character was around and what they’d just done.
By the end of the book, I was getting a little annoyed as it felt like the writer didn’t trust me to remember anything and every character motivation needed to be written out before any action just to make sure we understood why they were acting the way they did.
Basically, its an interesting concept on display in The World’s Finest Assassin, some of the powers are cool, the magic and the ability of the main character to write new magic could be awesome, and I’d love to see the eventual assassin vs hero conflict but I’m not sure I want to deal with the way the story is narrated to get there.
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Light Novel: Three Days of Happiness
I’ll give Three Days of Happiness points for being a little bit different from the usual type of story I read. This one came up as recommended reading on the Book Depository and I had a discount coupon so I decided why not.
The basic concept in Sugaru Miaki’s light novel is the question of what life is worth. There’s a shop where you can sell all manner of thing including time and life and our main character, short on cash and then realising how worthless his life is, sells quite the chunk.
Compared to the usual isekai story I binge read while working, Three Days of Happiness is quite heavy reading and forces quite a bit of contemplation from its reader. It’s described as dark and moody and that isn’t wrong. While not a perfect story by any means and with a protagonist who frequently feels self-destructive and aimless it isn’t exactly uplifting.
But nor is it really supposed to be.
I really loved the character journey undertaken by Kusunoki throughout the novel and while I never much liked him as a character, that wasn’t really a problem.
Three Days of Happiness leaves you really just still and taking stock of your own life and while I probably would have preferred to read it over a break from work (hard to focus on your job when you are in the midst of an existential crisis) I certainly did enjoy the read.
Warning though that it does contain some themes such as suicide that may not sit well with all readers.
Light Novel: Solo Leveling Volume 2
Volume 2 of Chugong’s story pushes Jinwoo even further as he continues to level up and come across situations that put his skills to the test. New characters are introduced and we learn more about the hunters and their guilds.
I’m not going to give much away but if volume one worked for you and you liked the game like mechanics and the grinding upgrade story then you’ll continue to enjoy it here. Jinwoo is really finding himself now that he has power and at times he isn’t the nicest guy but he also isn’t a complete jerk.
Those who spy on him or cross him get a rebuke but it is more a playful warning than anything else. Like when Jinwoo sells gates he was never planning on entering at extreme prices early in this volume to the guild that was spying on him in the last book.
The danger continues to feel very real with threats increasing as Jinwoo’s level does (a little plot convenient but it keeps the tension real). Also there’s a definite sense that this is all leading somewhere even if we’re a little vague on where.
And yes, I did pre-order volume 3 already.
I like how this story details action, I like the sense of danger and I’m enjoying Jinwoo’s character enough that I want to see where he ends up. And for as long as the story keeps exciting me I will keep reading.
What have you been reading recently and if you’ve read any of the books above, what did you think of them?
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