Excess Weight of Light Novels

So, as I said, I’ve been reading a lot to pass the time. Sadly, not all of it is good writing. Actually, a lot of it isn’t. So, in the vein of “I read this crap so you don’t have to,” I thought I’d warn you about the dreck out there in my usual snarky fashion. One thing about the Japanese invasion of light novels, now we’ve got Western authors imitating the genre, and some of it’s just as bad. I shouldn’t insult the writers; I did read (sometimes multiple releases) of these series…

So, without further ado, the list of books I shouldn’t admit to reading, and why:

I’m a Behemoth, and S-Ranked Monster But Mistaken For a Cat – our first entry in the “books with titles that are too long” is pretty much the bottom of the heap. Accomplished Knight is reborn as a tiny, but powerful cat. He’s adopted by a busty hawt elf adventurer babe who has a bestiality fetish and can’t wait for him to grow up. The book drops hints a light as 16-ton blocks of steel about them eventually producing cross-breeds. Beginnings of a harem forming. Aside from that, it’s all sunbeams and lots of ecchi. Not bothering with book 2.

A Most Unlikely Hero – by one of the American imitators, Brandon Varnell. Blatant rip-off of To Love-Ru (which he admits as much), only with a bit more active and powerful MC. Same set-up (galactic empire princess runaway/marriage candidate), though it’s set 200 years in the future on Mars He’s still dense, but doesn’t quite have Rikko’s powers of lucky accidents. However, he shares the princess’ power to make disastrous inventions that go awry. With two of them at work… boom. A lot of booms.

The World’s Strongest Rearguard – I’m isekai, you’re isekai, everybody’s isekai! Corporate wage-slave from modern-day Japan ends up in an alternate LitRPG world with his cute former boss. Lots of people from Earth are reborn here, and for some odd reason have to explore dungeons in this city. Rife with stats and game mechanics; too many of them, in fact. Due to a misunderstanding, he selects a broken cheat class with unusual powers, resulting in his collecting a party of teenage to mature girls. Did I say party? I meant harem, of course.

Mapping: The Trash-Tier Skill That Got Me Into A Top-Tier Party – Another entry in the “books with titles that are too long” list. Fortunately, it’s a little better than the first entry in this list. I actually liked this one, though the world-building needs a bit more work. Failed adventurer gets scouted for the top guild when its leader actually reads the job description. While it’s not great art, the high point of the books are the female characterizations. One’s a throwaway character, another is undeveloped (as yet), but the other two and their (eventual) attraction to the MC (and rivalry) happen organically in the story and are well done. Decent humor too.

Wiedergeburt: Legend of the Reincarnated Warrior – another Brandon Varnell story, and probably his best. Written in a semi-Wuxia style, it splits narratives between the original life, and the second life of a hero. A freak circumstance sends the MC back to the very beginning of his story, with some of his powers and all of his knowledge intact. He sets out to re-win his wife-to-be and save his country and family from the fate that awaits them. Only he seems to end up collecting extra girls during the process…and attracting the attention of the foe who killed them all. It’s kind of obvious who the snake girl is though.

Why Shouldn’t a Detestable Demon Lord Fall in Love? Another entry in the “maous are just misunderstood” category. The Demon lord gets transferred into the far future of the world, and falls in love with the first woman he sees. He marries her and moves in with their daughter. They finally share a kiss in the second book. One word summary: boring.

A Fox’s Love – First in the American Kitsune series. Another Brandon Varnell series? His longest, and frankly, worst. I’m almost ashamed to admit I read ten of these before finally giving up. I can barely buy that a normal teenage boy wouldn’t immediately jump in bed with a willing, drop-dead gorgeous foxgirl in the first novel, but after TEN they’re just into heavy petting? Despite that, what it finally took to blow me out was that the author didn’t know the difference between an assault rifle and a machine gun. Yeah, I’m embarrassed.

The Greatest Demon Lord is Reborn as a Typical Nobody – Another misunderstood, reincarnated maou. OP protagonist, cute elf childhood friend. I confess I remember next to nothing about this novel, which suggests another one-word summary is in order: forgettable.

Well, until I get in the mood to write again. Hopefully sooner than six months, this time.

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