Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Light Novel: Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Vol 1

Death March Vol 1 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

29 year old programmer Ichirou Suzuki is on a time crunch to finish a colleagues work on a buggy game, in order to complete it all....he goes on a 'Death March' and he was way more of an aptitude for all nighters than I do these days! When it's all over he finally gets to take a nap....but wakes up in another world. As would we all, he assumes he's dreaming...but this dream is....strange. It would appear he's in a kind of game..similar to the one he was working on before his nap, and so he throws himself in to 'playing the game' using Meteor Shower to give himself a head start on the riches and titles. But it soon becomes apparent that everything is a little...too real. Too authentic. Perhaps he's not dreaming after all....

And so he begins his adventurous journey. There's dragons, knights, heroes, and labyrinths....and the odd moment of seriousness! 

First things first, this is my first time reviewing a Light Novel for you guys, so in case you're wondering what exactly that is..... a light novel is a Japanese YA book of sorts. The books are targeted at teens and they're typically no longer than 40k to 50k words! They usually have illustrations too, and I do love the manga type illustrations in these! 

So, this caught my eye because of the synopsis...I was so intrigued and curious and so I threw myself in to reading this, nearly as soon as I received it! I read this in one sitting, which actually isn't that hard for LN's, but I became completely engrossed in the world of this book! The opening paragraph was intriguing and pulled me in to the story immediately. Death March is fast paced, moving from one event to the next, although during the labyrinth portion of the novel, I was kinda disappointed that we skipped some scenes! Sure there isn't much action during some parts, as our adventurer gets his bearings in this new world and learns how everything works, but set up is necessary and I'd rather that than be completely confused! I think the balance between that and action for a first novel was well struck. Plus it's intriguing enough that it keeps you reading during the slower parts. 

I loved the world of this book, it was vivid and engaging, and I completely slipped in to this world and got lost in it. It was a bit of a jolt when I finished the book and came blinking back in to reality. I'm so intrigued by the world, and I'm hoping we'll get to explore a lot more of it! There's hints that previous Japanese people, like our MC, have visited this world before and at the end we're left with the proof that he's at least not the only one! The world is very fantasy, with elements to it from other places, and Satou interacts with it like it's a game..with a map and storage and so on. 

I loved the characters, Satou reacted exactly how anyone would....keep telling yourself it's just a dream until the last possible moment when you then have to question what the hell is going on. Seriously, I don't know about you guys but if I was in his position...I'd be milking the dream theory for as long as possible to avoid fully freaking out and losing my s***. His commentary was entertaining, especially as you know it isn't a dream and he's like "well this is a dream" a lot in the beginning. I liked that he just wants to keep his head down and doesn't want to reveal his level, and I really liked how he took the beast girls under his wing! 

Speaking of, I loved Tama, Pochi and Liza and how they bonded with Satou and his relationship with them. He's like a big brother/father to them, which is kind of adorable. I'm intrigued to see more of them, and hopefully with Satou taking care of them, we'll see them and their personalities develop as they become more their own people, we kind of started to see that happening as they gained some confidence around him and he taught them to defend themselves. 

While I enjoyed the opening, and getting to know the world, I think my favourite part was towards the end. The first two thirds of the book are setting up and building up to the next phase as it where. Then for the final third we have the Labyrinth which I really enjoyed as we got some action, and got to see some character bonding and it added another layer to the world of the book as well as setting up some intrigue for the possible bad guy and given Satou a title that might come in handy! The very end also set up for an intriguing second volume as we become aware that Satou might not be the only person from back home in this strange world! 

Overall Death March volume 1 is entertaining and engaging, and at times it's a little bit silly but it also has it's serious moments. Satou provides an entertaining narrative as well as a bit wry and sarcastic at points. The world pulls you in and is built up around you very vividly. For a first volume, it worked perfectly! Bring on volume 2! 


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