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TRANSITION AND RESTART

A solid light novel I couldn’t get into

By Chrysalis, author of Gift of Light

May 23, 2015: This is my first attempt at a review, and I have to admit I couldn’t get into the story. I read the prologue and half of the first chapter (which is very, very long compared to most serial updates) and realized it isn’t my cup of tea for a number of reasons.

BUT! It doesn’t have to be. This is by no means a bad story, and I’m sure that a younger audience of Anime fans / light novel readers will find it enjoyable. I’m just too old and too critical of common Anime tropes to fit into the target audience.

As someone whose first language isn’t English, I can’t judge the grammar, but compared to other stories I looked at I found this story to be quite well written. I spotted very few typos or anything like that. The site is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate.

I believe the author did a good job at creating an Anime in written form. The setting is believable, the characters are Japanese, and the usual Anime-flavored high school drama happens.

And, like many Anime series that cater to a younger audience, everything is a bit over the top. The cool guy character is so cool and popular that literally every girl either wants to date him or be like him. The beautiful new student from Sweden is so beautiful that not even the male teachers can resist her charm. That’s one reason I couldn’t get into it, I personally prefer more realistic settings.

The other reason I couldn’t get into it is the writing style, which felt choppy and sometimes hard to follow. People say things, and it often isn’t clear who exactly is saying those things. Quite often, character thoughts replace descriptions of what’s going on. I’m not a fan of elaborate, flowery descriptions, but sometimes it really wasn’t clear what was going on and how the POV character reached their internal conclusions.

For instance, in the prologue, the POV character crosses the school courtyard and hears muffled cries. In his thoughts, we learn that a girl is being bullied (and soon afterward, that a rape attempt is ongoing) and that several guys are involved. The character also concludes that this is all happening in the nearby park, but the reader is never shown exactly what information inspired the character’s thoughts. We just get the muffled cries and the already-made conclusions in his mind.

There were also some time, location and POV switches that I couldn’t quite follow, but I assume it will all come together in a meaningful way later on.

An example on the writing style:

Enter Christina.

Silence.

Exit any ‘usual way’.

“I’m Christina Agerman.”

Silence.

“I’m from Sweden, but have lived in Japan for a year.”

Silence.

“If you find my Japanese poor I’m grateful for help.”

Nuclear detonation.

Note that I’m giving this star rating with the target audience in mind. The story states quite clearly what it is, and that it is intended for younger readers. But it’s not something I could recommend to a broad audience.

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