Log Horizon vol. 1

Log Horizon, Vol. 1: The Beginning of Another World - Mamare Touno

I must say I picked this one because I had watched (and liked) the anime series, and I would recommend the latter overall. The book tells pretty much the same thing, only it's not as good, even though the themes themselves remain interesting: waking up in the world of your favourite MMORPG, having to make out what happened and to find out how to live from now on, being confronted to rules that make a lot of things redundant... How do you create a functional society in a world where you cannot die, and where going hungry and poor mostly won't happen, since just about anyone can kill a couple of monsters to earh their board and bed for the day? What happens to standard human rules, how do people keep their dignity and not devolve into doing anything they want, bad things included?

The concept and themes are definitely good. However, there isn't any definite plot (it read more as an introduction than as a real story for now), and while the rules of the "Elder Tales" video game are detailed, allowing the reader to easily discover this new world, they're also repeated a little too often. Granted, I'm familiar with MMORPGs, so I don't need their basic concepts to be explained, but I think even a reader who's never gamed doesn't need to be reminded three times how many magic-wielding classes there are, or that Character X is really tiny. It made me wonder if the story had been published as a serial first, with such means being used to, well, remind the reader of previous episodes. All in all, it felt a little repetitive and boring.

I still think "Log Horizon" makes for great world-building and story arcs. I'd however recommend watching the anime instead. It's much more interesting.