Summer Reading 2019 — How Was June?

How is your LN summer reading going this year? Keeping up with your goals?

Hopefully you’re all doing better than I am… I’m in the middle of volume 2 of Kieli, when I should be working on 4! Well, we’ll see if I can catch up somewhat in July. To my credit, I did have a couple other (non-LN) books I needed to finish earlier in the month, along with the volume of Ao Oni that I wanted to wrap up.

In regards to Kieli, I don’t have much to add beyond what I wrote in this post. The first volume was a great read overall, with some exciting twists and turns leading up to a grand finale on a train. I had forgotten just how intense everything got at the end there. Great read! I’m currently seeing how well subsequent volumes hold up. I’ll let you know in the reviews I end up throwing together, should I actually find the time. I have a lot of work to do on this blog in general. >_> I’ll hopefully get a news post put together in the next few days at least.

Now’s the time for you to share your thoughts on the books you’ve been reading! Everyone wants to hear your thoughts on any and all LNs you read in June, so please leave a comment. :)

6 thoughts on “Summer Reading 2019 — How Was June?

  1. I was actually just about to post this comment on the other Summer Reading post, when I saw the notification for this one. I actually managed to read 7 novels this month, and I hope I also manage to hit my goal for next month, which should be at around twelve volumes. But here have a long-ass comment about everything I read this month xD

    First is the first Volume of “The Hero is Overpowered But Overly Cautiors.” I was actually really surprised how much I enjoyed this one. It is an Isekai about a goddess who ends up transporting a “overly cautious” boy named Seiya to save a fantasy world from it’s demise. For me it kind of read like a deconstruction of the isekai genre, being told from the perspective of the summoning goddess Rista, we get a lot of … let’s call it behind the scenes footage as to how this whole other world summoning process might actually work, and apart from the Gods’ world there are actually some really nice idea thrown into the world Seiya is supposed to save.
    Seiya himself is an interesting character, of course his cautiousness results in a lot of funny situations and the dynamic between him and Rista often reminded me of that of Kazuma and Aqua from “KonoSuba”. There is also a lot of other characters, who’s reaction to Seiya OPness and … distinct personality vary from admiration to being creeped out to outright inferiority complexes, and so this book makes for a really fun read. What also helped was that at 28 chapters this Novel is on the lighter side when it comes to page count per chapter, the longest chapter being at maybe around 12 pages.
    All in all I had expected this to be much more of a generic Isekai story, but I had a really fun time and I’m looking forward to volume two as well as the upcoming anime.

    Next up is the fourth volume of “How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord”. Oh man, I love this series, and I’m so glad that the story beyond what the anime covered doesn’t disappoint. Lumachina is a really fun character that fits well into Diablo’s team (or harem if you insist) and we also got some really nice world-building, since this is the first time we really left the city of Faltra. I am so excited for what the end of this volume teased to be happening in volume five, and I hope that this volume will be a bit longer than volume four with it’s 236 pages.

    The next read is a series that so far is only available in Germany (at least outside Japan) and that’s the fourth volume of “Gamers!”. Wow, this series I also love. At so many points it had me saying out loud “That’s so stupid, I love it.” I can’t really say much other than that I really hope an English publisher licenses this one, because I just love this series so much, the adorkableness of the characters just gets me every time, and the ridiculous thought processes are just to much for me to handle.

    Next up is the first volume of “Division Maneuver”. I actually was really surprised by this series. If it wasn’t for the fan service and the subpar translation I would have enjoyed it a lot. It is the first of a two-part Sci-Fi/Fantasy Light Novel, about a hero who dies in battle but gets reincarnated in a significantly weaker body who tries to nonetheless join the battlefront a second time. What surprised me was that even though it borrows the reincarnation trope that is prevalent in a lot of Light Novels, it actually uses it to it’s advantage better than most novels do. Both the hero and his main love interest are actually pretty well written and three-dimensional and I couldn’t help but be really invested in their relationship (even though their age gap is … interesting). They both have a good amount of development, especially the protagonist, which is something you really don’t have in a lot of Light Novels, sadly. The climax of this novel also was really gripping and fulfilling, but now I’m asking myself what is going to happen in volume two since volume one seems to be rather self-contained.

    “Another World’s Zombie Apocalypse Is Not My Problem!” is exactly what the title makes it seems, an Isekai set in a Fantasy World over-run by Zombie’s and a protagonist that just doesn’t have any of it. This one-shot was incredibly funny and had a couple of really engaging main characters. Protagonist Mizuha finds herself attacked by a Zombie after waking up in another world, and when she slaps it, it actually turns back into a human. But not only that with the help of that human, Lex who turns out to be a royal knight she finds out that not only has she the power to “purify” those zombies, she also can use her spit to clean poisonous waters, make plants grow and help this world be restored to its original state … which Mizuha finds really, really gross.
    A while ago I had an intense nostalgia burst for HOTD and I really wanted to read something similar in Light Novel form. Sadly, this seems to be one of the only zombie apocalypse novels out there but it did definitely deliver. Not only was it really fun it had it’s fair share of really exciting and intense moments and the way the … let’s call it “effects” of Mizuhas powers were explored went beyond my expectations.
    I also liked the dynamic between Not-taking-anyone’s-shit-Mizuha, and He’s-so-stupid-but-would-do-anything-for-her-Lex, and I have to say that I really started shipping those two.
    While the novel as a oneshot is self-contained it does leave room for a sequel, and boy would I be glad to read one.

    For the last novels I’m going to spice things up a bit by featuring novels not by japanese authors. One I read last month was actually a original German Light Novel I bought at this years Manga-Comic-Con, called “Triple Light”. It is set in a pretty much generic medieval fantasy world and is about … well actually I don’t really know myself. Problem with this first volume was that it was really really short, if it wasn’t for the formatting that pushed this novel just above 200 pages it would probably only have had around 120 pages. The story is told from 6 different PoV of which only two are connected to each other making it four plotlines to follow, and with that there isn’t much room for greater development.
    The main story seems to revolve around some weird demon attacks that happen all over a continent divided into three kingdoms and how each of the protagonists get confronted with those. The split up plotlines actually work in this novels favor as we get a lot of decent world-building, and each of the characters have a well-developed personality.
    Also among the Light Novels by German authors I’ve read so far it is among the most competently and best written and I’m really looking forward to reading volume two.

    The next Light Novel is and original polish one that actually was published by a manga publisher called Waneko and it is the first volume of “Kawaii Scotland”. This is the spin-off of the original polish manga of the same name, but other than the world it is set in it doesn’t share a lot of elements with the manga.
    In a world where Scotland has gained independence and managed to banish all feminists after a long war, there is one man who dares to defy the very concept of nature … by finding a number bigger than 100.
    Yeah that really is the plot. It is so incredibly stupid but I love it. This is a full-blown yaoi parody novel, about a Scottish mathematician who is tasked by the king to find a number bigger than hundred, because the contents of his vault are close to reaching that number and him needing a way to know how rich he is, if that happens.
    There is a lot of stupid jokes in here and you’ll need a lot of surrogate brain cells, just in case you lose to many reading this, and I really can’t find a logical explanation how the authors came up with such a dumb, yet incredibly funny idea. While the plot does seem to take more serious turns sometimes, the way everything is written with that extra touch of … extra just reminds you how not serious you should take it, and the sarcastic comments interspersed by the narrative always remind you that maybe you should have wasted your time and money a better way.
    Anyway, it’s really a bummer that this is a polish Light Novel, because it’ll probably never be released outside of Poland. There are actually two sequels planned called “Sugoi Ireland” and “Kowai England” and I am really not sure whether I want to explore those. (Though I probably will xD)

    I really went overboard with this one, I hope I’ll manage to cut the next comment a bit shorter ^^

    1. Quite the extensive comment, SleepyDave! It was fun to read your thoughts on all these books. That’s great how you’re able to read light novels in both English and German, it sounds like.

      I can’t say I ever expected to read about a story called “Kawaii Scotland,” but here we are!

      I’m a bit surprised Gamers still hasn’t been licensed in English yet. The anime seemed to have a good following, and I do suspect a lot of light novel readers are also into video games.

      I’m considering checking out Zombie Isekai at some point… Cross Infinite World has released a few comedy titles, but I’m not sure which one would really click with me. I’m pretty particular when it comes to comedy.

      If Overpowered/Cautious is a bit like Konosuba, I’m sure it’ll win over a lot of readers. Riffs on RPG fantasy adventures have become quite popular lately.

    2. How is the German version of Gamers? I only know anime and light novel as their English counterpart. I read the test version on amazon and reading words like “Sandkastenfreundin” was irritating. Was that also the case for you?

      1. As I am a native german speaker I can’t really comment on that. Though Sandkastenfreundin is what is usually used for childhood friend … in Manga Translations that is xD I haven’t really seen anyone use that word outside of german manga lol
        But so far I’ve really enjoyed it. I feel like most german light novel translation are a lot smoother than what was normal in english before JNC times.

  2. @SleepyDave: I wouldn’t say you went overboard, but I’m amazed how much you managed to read, though. Holy moly, I only read the first volume of 86 so far.^^

    86 is told at a good pace and with many details. Basically the story is based on World War II (actually there are quite a bit similarities) so it doesn’t exactly feel original, but it still offers enough twists to keep the plot fresh. Towards the end the story drifts off into the bizarre for a bit, but the overall tone is a realistic one. At the end of the story there is a rather big time jump, which completely changes the story’s premise. Honestly, I didn’t like that decision, because it came off as too convenient and felt kinda forced (like to give the story a new direction for the following volumes). I wish the author would have tried to continue the story with the initial setting, but oh well. In any case the characters are interesting enough to keep the story going, though I wouldn’t say there was anyone special who grabbed my attention. The two main characters are the most fleshed out and certainly have interesting background stories, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that they were missing something. I probably won’t read the second volume, but I still enjoyed this one. The story feels conclusive and could very well be a stand-alone novel. So if you like a war setting with mechas, you can’t really go wrong with this one.

    Next in line is “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas.” I’ll share my impressions once I’ve read it. Good luck with your goals, everyone!

    1. Everyone seems to be liking 86 a lot. I’m not really in the mood for more World War military fiction at the moment, but from everything I’ve heard it sounds a lot like the game “Valkyria Chronicles.” I’m continually curious how much Japanese authors like to write about past eras in Europe specifically.

      I really want to read the Pancreas novel at some point. The anime film was nice, but I had the feeling it would work better as a book, to get the main character’s thoughts on everything. It wasn’t a story that had all that much going on; it generally felt introspective.

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