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「これは、ゲームであっても遊びではない」 クリアするまで脱出不可能、ゲームオーバーは本当の“死”を意味する──。謎の次世代MMO『ソードアート・オンライン(SAO)』の“真実”を知らずログインした約一万人のユーザーと共に、その過酷なデスバトルは幕を開けた。 SAOに参加した一人である主人公・キリトは、いち早くこのMMOの“真実”を受け入れる。そして、ゲームの舞台となる巨大浮遊城『アインクラッド』で、パーティを組まないソロプレイヤーとして頭角をあらわしていった。 クリア条件である最上階層到達を目指し、熾烈な冒険(クエスト)を単独で続けるキリトだったが、レイピアの名手・女流剣士アスナの強引な誘いによって彼女とコンビを組むことになってしまう。その出会いは、キリトに運命とも呼べる契機をもたらし……。果たして、キリトはこのゲームから抜け出すことができるのか 「これは、ゲームであっても遊びではない」 クリアするまで脱出不可能、ゲームオーバーは本当の“死”を意味する──。謎の次世代MMO『ソードアート・オンライン(SAO)』の“真実”を知らずログインした約一万人のユーザーと共に、その過酷なデスバトルは幕を開けた。 SAOに参加した一人である主人公・キリトは、いち早くこのMMOの“真実”を受け入れる。そして、ゲームの舞台となる巨大浮遊城『アインクラッド』で、パーティを組まないソロプレイヤーとして頭角をあらわしていった。 クリア条件である最上階層到達を目指し、熾烈な冒険(クエスト)を単独で続けるキリトだったが、レイピアの名手・女流剣士アスナの強引な誘いによって彼女とコンビを組むことになってしまう。その出会いは、キリトに運命とも呼べる契機をもたらし……。果たして、キリトはこのゲームから抜け出すことができるのか。


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「これは、ゲームであっても遊びではない」 クリアするまで脱出不可能、ゲームオーバーは本当の“死”を意味する──。謎の次世代MMO『ソードアート・オンライン(SAO)』の“真実”を知らずログインした約一万人のユーザーと共に、その過酷なデスバトルは幕を開けた。 SAOに参加した一人である主人公・キリトは、いち早くこのMMOの“真実”を受け入れる。そして、ゲームの舞台となる巨大浮遊城『アインクラッド』で、パーティを組まないソロプレイヤーとして頭角をあらわしていった。 クリア条件である最上階層到達を目指し、熾烈な冒険(クエスト)を単独で続けるキリトだったが、レイピアの名手・女流剣士アスナの強引な誘いによって彼女とコンビを組むことになってしまう。その出会いは、キリトに運命とも呼べる契機をもたらし……。果たして、キリトはこのゲームから抜け出すことができるのか 「これは、ゲームであっても遊びではない」 クリアするまで脱出不可能、ゲームオーバーは本当の“死”を意味する──。謎の次世代MMO『ソードアート・オンライン(SAO)』の“真実”を知らずログインした約一万人のユーザーと共に、その過酷なデスバトルは幕を開けた。 SAOに参加した一人である主人公・キリトは、いち早くこのMMOの“真実”を受け入れる。そして、ゲームの舞台となる巨大浮遊城『アインクラッド』で、パーティを組まないソロプレイヤーとして頭角をあらわしていった。 クリア条件である最上階層到達を目指し、熾烈な冒険(クエスト)を単独で続けるキリトだったが、レイピアの名手・女流剣士アスナの強引な誘いによって彼女とコンビを組むことになってしまう。その出会いは、キリトに運命とも呼べる契機をもたらし……。果たして、キリトはこのゲームから抜け出すことができるのか。

30 review for ソードアート・オンライン 1: アインクラッド [Sōdo āto onrain 1: Ainkuraddo]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wart Hill

    FUCK THIS SEXIST PIECE OF SHIT EDIT 12/9/2020 Greetings. If you are reading this you have found this review in or after the year 2020. If you're here to tell me off for thinking this book is a sexist piece of shit, you won't be the first and my opinion won't change so it's probably better for you if you move on. If you're here to ask why I thought that, I rage quite this in 2016 so aside from my brief notes as I was reading I cannot give you details. I am not going to try reading this book again ju FUCK THIS SEXIST PIECE OF SHIT EDIT 12/9/2020 Greetings. If you are reading this you have found this review in or after the year 2020. If you're here to tell me off for thinking this book is a sexist piece of shit, you won't be the first and my opinion won't change so it's probably better for you if you move on. If you're here to ask why I thought that, I rage quite this in 2016 so aside from my brief notes as I was reading I cannot give you details. I am not going to try reading this book again just to appease you. If you like this book, that's fine. I don't care. I didn't and found it to be egregiously sexist and awful and I said as much. If you disagree that is, again, fine but please move on and do something else with your time rather than comment here.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diane ϟ [ Lestrange ]

    "A huge castle made of stone and steel floating in an endless sky. That was all this world was. Above, there were 100 floors stacking straight upwards; its sheer size was unbelievable. It was impossible to even guess how much data it consisted of. Inside, there were a couple of large cities along with countless small scale towns and villages, forests and plains, and even lakes. Only one stairway linked each floor to another, and the stairways existed in dungeons where large numbers of monsters roam "A huge castle made of stone and steel floating in an endless sky. That was all this world was. Above, there were 100 floors stacking straight upwards; its sheer size was unbelievable. It was impossible to even guess how much data it consisted of. Inside, there were a couple of large cities along with countless small scale towns and villages, forests and plains, and even lakes. Only one stairway linked each floor to another, and the stairways existed in dungeons where large numbers of monsters roamed; so discovering and getting through was no easy matter. However, once someone made a breakthrough and arrived at a city of the upper floor, the «Teleport Gates» there and of every cities in the lower floors would be connected making it possible for anyone to move freely through these levels. With these conditions, the huge castle had been steadily conquered for a long time. The name of the castle was «Aincrad», a world of battles with swords that continued floating and had engulfed approximately six thousand people. Otherwise known as... «Sword Art Online» Have you ever played video games? (Yes, I know, silly question given my (theoretical) audience out there.) How about an MMO RPG, like World of Warcraft, Ragnarok, RAN Online or Lord Of The Rings Online or any of half a dozen others? If your answer is ‘yes’ to either of the above – or if you’ve been one of the much-enduring folk who’ve sat and watched someone play – then you’ll empathize with the initial premise of SWORD ART ONLINE. A new Virtual Reality MMORPG has just come out, and naturally thousands of people bought it and "Full Dive". Full Dive is when humans connect to a realistic virtual world, such as inside a game, by an innovation known as “Nervgear”, which revolutionized in the gaming industry in May, 2022. Nervgear enables people to see, hear, taste, smell and touch in a virtual environment, so everything they experience in a game will become realistic to them. Nervgear can block signals from the brain and the user’s body will be immobilized so they don’t act it out (kind of like when you’re dreaming, you’re paralyzed). Nervgear uses a helmet that covers most of a person’s face inside it. Inside, there are millions of signal unites stimulating the brain and creating this virtual environment. Only one small problem: the creator decided to play God, and has changed the program so that it’s impossible to log out. Die in the game, and the VR helmets send an electric shock through your brain so you die in real life as well. The only way out? Beat the game, all the way up to Level 100. SWORD ART ONLINE is based on a series of light novels by Reki Kawahara, the translations of which are available for free at Baka-Tsuki. I went to read them, both because I am enjoying the TV series and because my experience is that novels tend to have lovely little details that fall by the adaptation wayside. Result: primarily good! I can now testify that the series is remarkably faithful to the original, and that the original novels are interesting in their own right, although I’d say they’re even more audience-focused on people who are familiar with MMOs. It is, however, a very different experience. To pick the most obvious, the first book skips straight from the confusion and panic of the first day in SAO to a point nearly two years later – in anime terms, from Episode 1 to Episode 8. The result is that Kirito’s maturation from a self-declared ‘selfish’ solo player to the person who falls in love with Asuna and freely gives information to people is somewhat more abrupt, to the point where I was confusedly trying to figure out if he was meant to be an unreliable narrator. On the other hand, the anime was able to take advantage of the second book, which contains all sorts of side stories and character development. Better? Worse? It depends on what you’re looking for, and to a certain extent, which one you encounter first. The bright side is that the two do go together so closely, so either is worth checking out.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Trung Phạm

    It's 4:30 A.M now and that means I've waken up all night to complete this book. This is the second light novel I've read ( the first is 5cm/s and I dont like it ) and I totally love it! I'm a RPG player so I completely got into the idea of this book after several sentences. I love the way author developed the main story, love the bond between 2 main characters, love the ending and the world that author created. For a long time after reading Harry Potter that I have this feeling again. The desire fe It's 4:30 A.M now and that means I've waken up all night to complete this book. This is the second light novel I've read ( the first is 5cm/s and I dont like it ) and I totally love it! I'm a RPG player so I completely got into the idea of this book after several sentences. I love the way author developed the main story, love the bond between 2 main characters, love the ending and the world that author created. For a long time after reading Harry Potter that I have this feeling again. The desire feeling for an adventure.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alexandria Tale

    IT'S SUPER AWESOME! I watched the anime first, and I was instantly hooked. Thanks for my bro for showing me this awesome light novel, or more likely, the anime. The anime was well-made, with just a few scenes being omitted. I hope there would be second season of the anime! Anyway, the story is set in the future. On 2022, Japan had finally developed the first VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), with the technology of Full Dive, which allowed the player to fully IT'S SUPER AWESOME! I watched the anime first, and I was instantly hooked. Thanks for my bro for showing me this awesome light novel, or more likely, the anime. The anime was well-made, with just a few scenes being omitted. I hope there would be second season of the anime! Anyway, the story is set in the future. On 2022, Japan had finally developed the first VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), with the technology of Full Dive, which allowed the player to fully dive into the game as if it was reality. Sword Art Online, was the first VRMMORPG game. Aincrad, the floating castle inside SAO, had 100 floors with diameter of 10 km. The way to go up to the next floor was by defeating the boss in the current floor. Kirigaya Kazuto, known as Kirito as his ID, was one of the ten thousands of SAO players. At the first day, they were shocked by the ultimatum that they couldn't log out. Death in game, meant death in real life, since when you died (in game), the console would fried your brain (in real life). Removing the console was also unacceptable, since it would also triggered the program to fry your brain. The only way to be free was completing all 100 floors. With that, ten thousands people from all range of ages were imprisoned until someone completed the grand quest.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    I loved the anime when I first watched it and along with Ready Player One gave me a strong interest in LitRPG. So for me this was the starting path of that new genre, other much older books deal with similar subject matter but for me this is the best. 4 1/2 stars. I'm fortunate in that I have a copy of the audio book Peter Lucky, a professional voice actor released on Youtube before he forced to take it down. DreamstoryTheatre If you are a fan of the anime or just looking for a good solid advent I loved the anime when I first watched it and along with Ready Player One gave me a strong interest in LitRPG. So for me this was the starting path of that new genre, other much older books deal with similar subject matter but for me this is the best. 4 1/2 stars. I'm fortunate in that I have a copy of the audio book Peter Lucky, a professional voice actor released on Youtube before he forced to take it down. DreamstoryTheatre If you are a fan of the anime or just looking for a good solid adventure story you can't go wrong with this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Grace, Queen of Crows and Tomes

    So, I watched the anime first and I liked it. It wasn't the greatest anime ever as people claimed it to be, but I enjoyed it. Then someone recommended the books to me and said that the books were better. Now that I have read this one, I gotta agree that the books are better!!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book plus I really liked finally having some of the game mechanics better explained! It also helped answer some questions that I had that the anime just kind of glossed over. I will probab So, I watched the anime first and I liked it. It wasn't the greatest anime ever as people claimed it to be, but I enjoyed it. Then someone recommended the books to me and said that the books were better. Now that I have read this one, I gotta agree that the books are better!!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book plus I really liked finally having some of the game mechanics better explained! It also helped answer some questions that I had that the anime just kind of glossed over. I will probably be reading the rest of this series eventually and since I already have the second one, I will be starting that one next!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Sword Art Online is one of those where I absolutely love the idea but am really disappointed by the execution. I probably should have known better because I didn’t really like the anime when I tried to watch that, but I thought maybe I’d get on better when the novel. The novel pretty much reads like a description of the anime (I know the novel came first), although I’ve not read anything Japanese before so I don’t know if that is the style to exaggeration emotions and psychical responses. I disl Sword Art Online is one of those where I absolutely love the idea but am really disappointed by the execution. I probably should have known better because I didn’t really like the anime when I tried to watch that, but I thought maybe I’d get on better when the novel. The novel pretty much reads like a description of the anime (I know the novel came first), although I’ve not read anything Japanese before so I don’t know if that is the style to exaggeration emotions and psychical responses. I dislike far more anime and JRPG games than I like (so far found two I only two I did like – Eternal Sonata and Tales of Vesperia) so I probably need accept that these are genres that aren’t for me! The idea of Sword Art Online is just brilliant! Gamers become trapped inside a virtual world (a VRMMORPG) by the insane creature of the programme, with their real life bodies held hostage in the outside world. The virtual world now becomes their reality as they must work to beat the game if they ever hope to escape alive. It’s just awesome, and the world of Aincrad is very well built as are all the mechanics of the game (which is pretty standard fantasy world just without magic). The author also does a good job of exploring the various reactions and emotions players experience as a result of being trapped in the game. The protagonist and narrator is Kiroto a sixteen year old gaming fanatic, he was a beta tester so had the advantage of prior knowledge of the game come release day (the day they got trapped) and he has trained to a very high level. He plays solo, not wanting to be part of a Guild or the Army. Then we also have Asuna, which is where things started to take a dive for me. Asuna is also a very high level player, incredibly skilled with a rapier sword (enough to earn her the moniker The Flash) and is supposedly a vice-commander in the best/biggest Guild in the game. So far so good… but then a lot of time is spent describing how beautiful she is, and how great her body is... and it is THIS that makes her special, not her skill. Apparently no attractive or thin girls play games (in fact hardly any girls, SOA is a bit of sausagefest), so as a pretty one in a sea of uglies she stands out is something of celebrity (I should point out that their avatars were turned off and their real life appearances revealed early on). Ok maybe I can see past the painful sexism in that… but then there are too many descriptions of her good looks, and coupled with the illustration of her in in underwear (actually the copy I have has two.. one in full colour. Note that all the illustrations of Kiroto show him being hero and fully clothed). She’s constantly sexualised and it makes me feel icky. I also don’t really understand her personality. I expected her to be a badass and as a vice-commander have ab it of authority, a bit of something about her. She seems to essentially be a trophy for the Guild, you don’t see her involved in it at all other than her wish to leave to be with Kiroto. She has armed escort all the time, and it seems like she is just kept locked away. When it comes down to it all she wants is to be Kirotos wife and live in a little cottage (she’s a master Cook too.. he loves her sandwiches *eyeroll*). They run off and give up the fight at one point to do this! I suppose Japanese society is still pretty male chauvinist, and this is fairly typical of the genre... but that doesn’t mean it didn’t deeply irritate me! This is a love story when it comes down to it... and once again one I didn’t believe in. They feel in love really fast, and ok yes they’re teenagers, but it was all a bit intense with very little foundation. It all comes to a bit of an abrupt end too which surprised me... I know this is series, so I don’t know how the timeline works on in further books. I think I’d rather have read about the early days than the two year leap forward that we get in this book. I also struggled a bit with the way it was written. Because it is an English translation of the original Japanese I found it overly descriptive, and often you get three or four words to describe something that if the original language would be conveyed with just one word. Everything is exaggerated too but I have a feeling that is part of the style. It is easy to read, but not to be personal taste. There are things to love about it but there as more I hated. Very disappointing because I am in love with the idea of being trapped in the VRMMORPG!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vilde

    I'm a huge fan of Sword Art Online having seen the anime (both SAO and SAO II and SAO Ordinal Scale), and having read parts of the SAO manga. I still find it a bit difficult to navigate between the manga and light novels of SAO. I love the concept (regardless of how horrible it is) of SAO, seriously, it is so interesting. My favourite arc is definitely the Aincrad arc, as that arc is the most intriguing for me. I do want to acknowledge the criticism that SAO have received, a lot of it I agree wi I'm a huge fan of Sword Art Online having seen the anime (both SAO and SAO II and SAO Ordinal Scale), and having read parts of the SAO manga. I still find it a bit difficult to navigate between the manga and light novels of SAO. I love the concept (regardless of how horrible it is) of SAO, seriously, it is so interesting. My favourite arc is definitely the Aincrad arc, as that arc is the most intriguing for me. I do want to acknowledge the criticism that SAO have received, a lot of it I agree with; like how the characters are, the writing and pacing. But nonetheless, the concept of SAO and the Aincrad arc is just so fascinating, although it could have been executed in a better way. Having seen the anime, I pretty much knew everything happening, although the timeline to the anime makes more sense then the numbering of the light novel volumes. But, I will give the light novels the benefit that they provide more depth and background, although there are errors in the continuity (as the author is now backtracking SAO through SAO: Progressive). But those are minor when you look at the Sword Art Online light novels. However, if you're looking towards the Sword Art Online: Progressive light novels (expands the Aincrad arc), you should be prepared for a lot differences betweeen the "original" SAO and the expanded version of the Aincrad arc.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    I really like the premise of this story. I am really loving the anime so far (my impatience to see more episodes is what led me do finding the light novel). I was surprised by how well done the translation seemed - for the most part reading this in English seemed really natural. For some reason that I just can't quite put my finger on, I can't give this more than two stars. The way Kirito and Asuna's relationship developed kind of annoyed me. It seemed a little rushed and forced. Perhaps it was I really like the premise of this story. I am really loving the anime so far (my impatience to see more episodes is what led me do finding the light novel). I was surprised by how well done the translation seemed - for the most part reading this in English seemed really natural. For some reason that I just can't quite put my finger on, I can't give this more than two stars. The way Kirito and Asuna's relationship developed kind of annoyed me. It seemed a little rushed and forced. Perhaps it was the order of events. We don't learn until the very end of the book why Kirito is so important to Asuna. In the anime we see these same events playing out chronologically and we see them drawing together. I think that works a little better. I also thought Asuna's character seemed a little forced at times - some of the things she said and did didn't actually seem to match her personality. The ending was really surprising and not what I expected at all. The beginning and end of the book were the best - the middle is what drops my rating down to two stars. I'm interested to see what happens next so I might skip volume 2 and go straight onto #3.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sammi

    Absolutely LOVED this light novel! If i could give more stars i would. What i like most about this story is it wasnt even written to be a published title. But it was written with 100% heart and imagination. Beautiful and sad tale of a large group of people being stuck together in a virtual reality world where they have to fight for their lives. It shows compassion, fear and love. The main characters are both very likable and all you can do is wish and hope that they escape the virtual living hell t Absolutely LOVED this light novel! If i could give more stars i would. What i like most about this story is it wasnt even written to be a published title. But it was written with 100% heart and imagination. Beautiful and sad tale of a large group of people being stuck together in a virtual reality world where they have to fight for their lives. It shows compassion, fear and love. The main characters are both very likable and all you can do is wish and hope that they escape the virtual living hell to be together back in real japan. Would recommend this even to people who havent read the shoddy manga version and the anime. Infact, i would urge people to read this first. I wish i had. *thumbs up* You can also find my reviews here: http://lilythenovelnerd.wordpress.com/ (tho they are alot more colourful)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ilias

    The start of this series is really 5 stars. I really had high hopes for it, but as it goes on it really gets poor. That being said, I still enjoy it. Worth reading & watching

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shayan Kh

    3.5 stars. Like many others, I watched the anime first. I didn't even know there were such things as light novels. I thought there are manga and anime. And anime takes a lot of time, and I don't really like reading graphical novels, in fact, I didn't count any of the manga series I read in my "read" group on this site. But light novels are great in my opinion. So after I found out about this light novel, it only took me a couple of hours to start it. It was good. Nice characters, beautiful wo 3.5 stars. Like many others, I watched the anime first. I didn't even know there were such things as light novels. I thought there are manga and anime. And anime takes a lot of time, and I don't really like reading graphical novels, in fact, I didn't count any of the manga series I read in my "read" group on this site. But light novels are great in my opinion. So after I found out about this light novel, it only took me a couple of hours to start it. It was good. Nice characters, beautiful worlds, thought-provoking premise... I only had issues with romance in this story which felt a bit forced. It was better in the anime, it was more developed. But other than that, I have no complaints. This was a good read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    Went into this expecting very little - I was only reading it because of Cole’s love of the anime. But oh my God, I actually really liked it! Cole’s bought me the second book for Christmas!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    My recommendation would be to watch the anime first. I was surprised to find that this two volume story arc was really just one volume of the overall arc and then another volume of side stories and character development. So, this book covers the first episode, but then jumps to the 74th floor and finishes at the end. Kirito and Asuna already know each other and characters such as Silica and Lisbeth don't make any appearance in this volume. The most startling absence was Yui. It seemed strange fo My recommendation would be to watch the anime first. I was surprised to find that this two volume story arc was really just one volume of the overall arc and then another volume of side stories and character development. So, this book covers the first episode, but then jumps to the 74th floor and finishes at the end. Kirito and Asuna already know each other and characters such as Silica and Lisbeth don't make any appearance in this volume. The most startling absence was Yui. It seemed strange for her not to be introduced or on the minds of the main characters. Basically, this introduces and ends the main, interesting story, but lacks in the character development from all the other things going on in the world, which aren't covered until the next volume, so it's a bit disjointed. The anime combines them, so it makes more sense. Overall, since I've seen the show, I did enjoy reading this since I already knew the characters, it just wouldn't be what I'd recommend as a starting point for this story, even if this came first.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sean O'Hara

    Sword Art Online: Aincrad (available in English through Baka Tsuki) Imagine that there's a revolutionary new VR game platform -- not one of those lame things from the '90s where you strapped a low-res LCD over your eyes and used a primitive motion controller to play. No, this is the real thing, a helmet that taps directly into your brain, giving you a fully immersive experience in a virtual world that stimulates all your senses. Now imagine that all the games for the platform suck -- it's a new sy Sword Art Online: Aincrad (available in English through Baka Tsuki) Imagine that there's a revolutionary new VR game platform -- not one of those lame things from the '90s where you strapped a low-res LCD over your eyes and used a primitive motion controller to play. No, this is the real thing, a helmet that taps directly into your brain, giving you a fully immersive experience in a virtual world that stimulates all your senses. Now imagine that all the games for the platform suck -- it's a new system, radically different from anything else on the market, so developers haven't had a chance to create any decent games. It's the Wii all over again. But then one developer announces that they're working on an VRMMORPG called Sword Art Online. The beta-testers rave about the game, saying it makes WoW look like Pac-Man. And so on the day of release, you skip work and stand in line to get a copy. You race home, pop it in the machine, and log on. Congratulations! You've just been screwed. After playing for a couple hours, learning how the game works and earning a few XP, you open the main menu and try to log-off -- but the log-off icon is missing. You consult other players but none of them can exit the game either and PMs to the sysadmins go unanswered. And because the machine paralyzes you while playing to prevent you from injuring yourself, you have no way of physically disconnecting yourself. Turns out the company that designed the game is owned by the next generation of Bond villain. Instead of hijacking nuclear missiles, he's decided to hold gamers hostage in this virtual world. Any attempt by outsiders to disconnect a player will result in the machine frying the player's brain. Luckily the machines have their own built in UPS which should be sufficient for players to be moved to hospitals for long term care. Because they're going to be here a while -- the only way out of SAO is for someone to defeat the final boss on the 100th level. And if you die on the way, the machine will fry your brain. Sword Art Online started as an online novel. After Reki Kawahara won the Dengeki Bunko Novel Award for Accel World (set in the same universe several decades later), his publisher decided to put SAO out as well and it quickly became a mega-hit, rising through the ranks of the "This Light Novel is Amazing" poll until it took the top spot last year, beating out perennial favorites like Haruhi Suzumiya, Baka and Test, and Index. Both SAO and Accel World have anime adaptations airing this year. The story isn't without its problem. In particular, the villain -- who is essentially committing a terrorist act greater than everything al Qaeda has ever done put together -- has no motivation beyond the lulz and exists mainly as an excuse for the story to take place, while the hero, who is of course the best player in the game, is a bit of a Mary Sue. However, it's easy to ignore these problems since they're coated over with sheer awesome.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Not very well-written and it got confusing at times who was speaking. But I can forgive that; it's not meant to be great literature. The writing style was quickly put to the back of my mind with my main issue of the book: the sexism in how the ONE female character in the book was portrayed. 1, of the very few illustrations included in the book, of course two of them had to be her drawn bashful in her underwear. 2, she is supposedly a badass, high level fighter in the game, including being the vic Not very well-written and it got confusing at times who was speaking. But I can forgive that; it's not meant to be great literature. The writing style was quickly put to the back of my mind with my main issue of the book: the sexism in how the ONE female character in the book was portrayed. 1, of the very few illustrations included in the book, of course two of them had to be her drawn bashful in her underwear. 2, she is supposedly a badass, high level fighter in the game, including being the vice president of a very powerful guild. Yet she is constantly assigned suffocating guards and not allowed to take a personal leave of absence from work until the males in her life come to an agreement on her behalf. 3, the book explains how there are next to no female characters because OBVIOUSLY female gamers are pretty much unheard of, right boys? 4, 75% of scenes she is in, the inner monologue of the main character is only commenting about her "beautiful appearance", and how remarkable it is that she's even in this game since she's so beautiful. I say again, c'mon guys, female gamers don't exist! But ESPECIALLY not any attractive ones! As IF! 5, I really wanted to like her and respect her. But it honestly doesn't make sense to me that she achieved her role as guild vice president. She was a great fighter when she actually fought something. But otherwise and in regular everyday times, a switch was flipped in her personality and she became timid to the point of literally swooning a few times, unable to lead with her own voice to those who were supposedly subject to her, only concerned about her love interest and his desires and, I kid you not, COOKING AND CLEANING FOR HIM WHILE HE JUST READ THE NEWSPAPER. And fine, maybe that's what she loves to do. But all in all her character and how she was able to achieve her career (which didn't actually hold any power that it should have) just didn't add up to me. Yes she could use a weapon. Otherwise she didn't even seem to WANT anything except her love interest. Lawd. Apologies for the long review that turned into a rant. 2 stars, because I love the concept. Didn't care for the execution.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Overall The prologue was good in centering the reader in this YA/shonen world, but the explanations of in-game mechanics--which were for the most part basic for anyone who's played RPGs--could've been left out or shunted to an appendix. Lots of lackluster, static description of the game world. Great poetic description of (view spoiler)[Kirito's (hide spoiler)] game death, but overall there is not much characterization nor character background. Kawahara could've put Kirito's motivation for not joi Overall The prologue was good in centering the reader in this YA/shonen world, but the explanations of in-game mechanics--which were for the most part basic for anyone who's played RPGs--could've been left out or shunted to an appendix. Lots of lackluster, static description of the game world. Great poetic description of (view spoiler)[Kirito's (hide spoiler)] game death, but overall there is not much characterization nor character background. Kawahara could've put Kirito's motivation for not joining a guild earlier in the story--that was a really moving and important character motivation. Furthermore, the narrative is too dense w/minor emotions and mannerisms that interfere with the flow. Personal Notes This book was probably spoiled by the fact that I already watched the anime. On the other hand, maybe the characters are too young and the characterization is too shallow. I haven't yet found a light novel that I like out of the around 4 or so that I've read. Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime is next. Apparently, Kawahara's アクセル・ワールド 1 -黒雪姫の帰還- Akuseru Wārudo 1: Kuroyukihime no Kikan won the Dengeki Novel Prize grand prize for $1M ¥ in 2008, but I'm a little reluctant since to read it because I watched that anime too.

  18. 4 out of 5

    James F. Evans

    First off, have to say, that the Anime brought me here... anyone who wasn't draw to the light novels after the anime is either lazy/dumb or both... SAO #1 follows the story of Kirito inside a futuristic virtual game in which a person becomes the avatar in the game and is fully set inside the game, to the point in which a few software modifications can leave you trapped inside, without any way out, except the game's developer overwriting the code... *wink* The story develops beautifully and takes y First off, have to say, that the Anime brought me here... anyone who wasn't draw to the light novels after the anime is either lazy/dumb or both... SAO #1 follows the story of Kirito inside a futuristic virtual game in which a person becomes the avatar in the game and is fully set inside the game, to the point in which a few software modifications can leave you trapped inside, without any way out, except the game's developer overwriting the code... *wink* The story develops beautifully and takes you through the journey of Kirito as he meets friends and struggles with his own personality and decisions. We get to see as he encounters Asuna and thereafter develops a romantic relationship with her and at the same time fights for the survival of the one he loves, Asuna. Fighting for Asuna gives new light to Kirito, as before he fought... well... to fight... SAO give us everything from a great world and setting, to a great plot and back-story, to great characters and interactions, to an amazing adventure and romantic story. Fights, adventure, love, death, mind-blowing, human nature, human dream, and sex. (Chapter 16.5 might not be included in all version of this light novel.) All in all, SAO #1 is one of the best light novels I have read in my life and the reset of the series is also amazing!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nerdish Mum

    I had watched the anime first earlier this year and I wasn't aware that it was based on a book as I'm fairly new to the manga and anime scene. When I found out there was a book I needed to check it out to see if the anime had done it justice. Though the anime is absolutely excellent, I definitely preffeed the book. I feel that the whole story developed better and in a more natural way than it did in the show. The character development was more detailed and you learnt extra snippets of informatio I had watched the anime first earlier this year and I wasn't aware that it was based on a book as I'm fairly new to the manga and anime scene. When I found out there was a book I needed to check it out to see if the anime had done it justice. Though the anime is absolutely excellent, I definitely preffeed the book. I feel that the whole story developed better and in a more natural way than it did in the show. The character development was more detailed and you learnt extra snippets of information about the world and the characters in it. The idea of the story is both genius and terrifying as we are getting closer and closer to VMMORPG's being a reality. I do love the characters of Kirito and Asuna and I also love Klein and Agil, I feel this story is full of great and interesting people. I think the love story is also done very well and though yes it may happen faster than for some people in real life, this isn't a real life situation, it's a life and death situation. I really enjoyed this and I will be picking up the rest of the books to carry on with the adventure.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    OMG, what a great story, it made me yell! I love how Japanese people are always so drastic with their stories, this is about a virtual game where people log in, and then they get stuck in there, no log out function... and the worst pad is that if they die in the game, they die in real life. Only way out is clearing out all 100 floors. It seems simple enough of a story, but I gotta give it to the author, it's an amazing story, with enough twists that kept me interested, made me yell and didn't se OMG, what a great story, it made me yell! I love how Japanese people are always so drastic with their stories, this is about a virtual game where people log in, and then they get stuck in there, no log out function... and the worst pad is that if they die in the game, they die in real life. Only way out is clearing out all 100 floors. It seems simple enough of a story, but I gotta give it to the author, it's an amazing story, with enough twists that kept me interested, made me yell and didn't see coming at all. I want more books!!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sir Sorrow

    As a fan of the anime I was worried about reading it (I know the novel came first) in case my opinion changed and it did while its still mu favourite anime the book is intense and gives a broader scope of the story and world. The love story in the book is deeper and is explained well. The fights are intense and is funny all at the same time I cant wait for book 2!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elspeth

    I enjoyed the ending, but I enjoyed the anime much more. I will probably pick up book two because I hear it's better than this one, and it contains some of my favorite arcs from the anime. I enjoyed the ending, but I enjoyed the anime much more. I will probably pick up book two because I hear it's better than this one, and it contains some of my favorite arcs from the anime.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angel 一匹狼

    "ソードアート・オンライン" is probably the most famous (or at least one of the most) series of light novels to have come out of Japan. 10000 players get stuck into a virtual reality role playing game after its creator decides to go all evil and make the game into just more than a pastime. If you die in the game you die in real life, you cannot disconnect, and till someone passes the game, everyone is stuck there. Our hero, a loner, is Kirito, your run-of-the-mill hero in Japanese novels for boys: on top of "ソードアート・オンライン" is probably the most famous (or at least one of the most) series of light novels to have come out of Japan. 10000 players get stuck into a virtual reality role playing game after its creator decides to go all evil and make the game into just more than a pastime. If you die in the game you die in real life, you cannot disconnect, and till someone passes the game, everyone is stuck there. Our hero, a loner, is Kirito, your run-of-the-mill hero in Japanese novels for boys: on top of being a loner, he has problems talking with girls, he always feels like sacrificing himself, and is, by some strange reason, supermega-powerful and special. But well, all those heroes of YA are also special, cool, handsome and so and so. If Kawahara had just stuck to the ramifications of the set up, with a look into what makes humans tick, and how they change when they are stuck in a game that replicates, but not totally, real life, this could have been a masterpiece (or close to). And, in particular at the beginning, you can see what he could have done with the job, with Kirito being more than a cardboard-cut character and some interesting situations. However, Kawahara wants to sell us a love story and here comes Asuna, your run-of-the-mill female character in this kind of novels: shy-but-not-shy, secretly in love with Kirito, seemingly strong but always hiding herself behind the hero and, more importantly, desiring to be cute and please our Kirito. It reeks, sorry, Kawahara. At least it is way better than in the first volume of his other series "アクセル・ワールド1-黒雪姫の帰還ー". But if having a female character just wanting to please our hero, be a housewife for, be cute and funny for, and to cook things for, is bad, and having our hero 'protect'/'show possession of' her on silly situations takes from the story (the duel is just risible), Kawahara also fails to deliver on his fantasy world, just deciding to rush things on the third part, going from nothing happening to an ending that destroys much of the good work he had done in creating this fantasy world. Too bad. Because this could be really entertaining. The best: the world, which feels alive and it is attractive The worst: it is rushed; Kawahara gender politics Alternatives: why, but oh, why, have all of those light novels have a problem around gender, sexuality and gender relations? Probably the best is a spin-off from this very same series of novels: "ソードアート・オンライン オルタナティブ クローバーズ・リグレット". Or maybe some of the "バッカーノ!" series. From YA, "The Hunger Games" would be a good option. 5.5/10 (Original Japanese)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dimitri Gomes

    Let me preface this by saying I was a big fan of SAO's anime adaptation. Because of that, I wanted to delve into its original source material and see what other adventures awaited Kirito and Asuna. Unfortunately, there wasn't much on offer. To be clear, this book is not badly written. In fact, I thought some of its descriptive moments were very enjoyable for such a narrative-focused book. The structure of the light novel is different from the anime in that it starts off further into Kirito's time Let me preface this by saying I was a big fan of SAO's anime adaptation. Because of that, I wanted to delve into its original source material and see what other adventures awaited Kirito and Asuna. Unfortunately, there wasn't much on offer. To be clear, this book is not badly written. In fact, I thought some of its descriptive moments were very enjoyable for such a narrative-focused book. The structure of the light novel is different from the anime in that it starts off further into Kirito's time in Aincrad. This was good, in the sense that it kept things interesting to me as a familiar fan of the series; however, it also had a major drawback (which I'll get to in a second). The main negative aspect of this book is its portrayal of Asuna. In the anime, Asuna is a strong character who fights alongside Kirito on numerous occasions. Their love story is so endearing and entrancing, because we see it grow from their first meeting together on the early floors of Aincrad. The novel, however, doesn't feature any of that. Kirito only befriends Asuna much later in the written canon, so all of the development of their relationship feels rushed and contrived as it lacks the steady progression featured in the anime. Asuna's character is also heavily stereotypical of ideal Japanese female charactereristics of her time e.g. being intrinsically beautiful, traditionally feminine, a good cook and completely reliant on Kirito (despite Kirito's emphasising remarks of how 'strong' she is). On the whole, this novel's characters suffer from aged ideals which are no longer encouraged in modern society. I don't want to sound like I'm preaching about representation, but I do feel Asuna deserved to have been portrayed as a stronger character. That being said, if you're just looking for a light narrative read, maybe you'll still enjoy this. However, objectively, I would recommend its anime instead.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andreas

    Let me begin by saying I watched the anime first. Anyone who has seen the anime but hasn't read the light novels is obliged to start reading them now, in my opinion. The first light novel of SAO is all about the life of a player, Kirito, in a virtual world. The game is called Sword Art Online and it's a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). An impossibly huge castle of rock and iron, floating in an endless expanse of sky. That is the entirety of this world. That Let me begin by saying I watched the anime first. Anyone who has seen the anime but hasn't read the light novels is obliged to start reading them now, in my opinion. The first light novel of SAO is all about the life of a player, Kirito, in a virtual world. The game is called Sword Art Online and it's a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). An impossibly huge castle of rock and iron, floating in an endless expanse of sky. That is the entirety of this world. That's how the book starts, and that is essentially the world of SAO, called Aincrad. The problem is that the players are trapped inside the world, and if they die in this world, they die in the real world as well. The story is beautifully written and it shows the development of Kirito. He is struggling with decisions all the way through, but he is also still in the process of discovering his own personality. He wants to face SAO alone - but can he really do this? He meets new people, new friends on his way - and gets into a romantic relationship as well. This gives him a new power, a new will to fight. He has someone to fight for. I think the development that this book shows is simply magnificent. I loved it. The world that is described amazingly, the characters and their traits and quirks, the conversations, the developments - I loved every single word in this book. You might think some decisions are a bit strange, a bit hastily, but when you consider it's a life or death situation it is very logical and understandable. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to people who've already seen the anime, but also to people who haven't heard of this before.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    Welcome to Aincrad, a fantasy world in the video game Sword Art Online. Kirito, a teenage guy who loves gaming, was excited to play SAO, the first ever VRMMO. But soon after he puts on the headgear and begins playing the game, he and his new friend Klein realize that there is no log out button. Oh, no! There is no escape unless a player clears every level of SAO. Kirito is up to the challenge! Two years later, Kirito is now 16 years old and still stuck in Sword Art Online. He is cold and distant Welcome to Aincrad, a fantasy world in the video game Sword Art Online. Kirito, a teenage guy who loves gaming, was excited to play SAO, the first ever VRMMO. But soon after he puts on the headgear and begins playing the game, he and his new friend Klein realize that there is no log out button. Oh, no! There is no escape unless a player clears every level of SAO. Kirito is up to the challenge! Two years later, Kirito is now 16 years old and still stuck in Sword Art Online. He is cold and distant from the other players, hanging out alone and focusing exclusively on battles. Enter Asuna, a beautiful 17-year-old girl who is the best female player in the game. She and Kirito become friends and later a couple. Kirito wants the best for his girlfriend Asuna, and will do anything to protect her and ensure her safe return to the real world. Kirito and Asuna’s love for each other is strong, and opens a new door in both of their lives. I enjoyed this novel! I wasn’t a huge fan of the battle scenes, and the characters felt a little bland at times, but it was pretty good. It was definitely interesting. I liked the romance/ relationship Kirito and Asuna. It was cute how they got married and had a honeymoon! Asuna was portrayed as perfect in every way. I thought the author could have given her a few flaws to make her more realistic. I still liked her, though. She was smart, brave, kind, and good at cooking. Kirito seemed older than he actually was, and I admired his dedication and bravery. My favorite character was probably Klein; I don’t know why, but I liked him. The twist at the end surprised me! I didn’t see it coming. The end is quite sad, but there is hope that Kirito and Asuna will have a happy life together.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Khari

    Well, that was fun. Quite enjoyable. This book was my reward for being faithful to track my calories and exercise for a week. It was a good reward, especially seeing as how it got me through almost a whole week of doing the same thing. On to the story. Hmm. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong. It was cute...but...I think I like the Progressive series better! This was just a tad too fast paced for me. The sequence of Asuna and Kirito falling in love was...well...unbelievable. There wasn't enough cont Well, that was fun. Quite enjoyable. This book was my reward for being faithful to track my calories and exercise for a week. It was a good reward, especially seeing as how it got me through almost a whole week of doing the same thing. On to the story. Hmm. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong. It was cute...but...I think I like the Progressive series better! This was just a tad too fast paced for me. The sequence of Asuna and Kirito falling in love was...well...unbelievable. There wasn't enough context or background, it just kind of happened out of thin air. While I can understand that happening on his part. I can't really get around Asuna just being so forward and going after him like that. But...a desperate situation I suppose could do that. I just didn't think so. I enjoyed Progressive more because it was much more gradual, and it gives a lot of background too. I'm glad that the anime combined bits of Progressive and bits of the original series, I think it made the love story flow much better. All in all, I thought it was too short! The story has just barely begun! I suppose I will have to purchase the next book for my next reward...but books 2-4 are at my local library...if only they would open again!!! Even if they only allowed people in by appointment and each person had only 30 minutes in the library that would be better than this forced fast from books! I want to read the next ones! And I don't want to purchase them!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 4/5..hard to say I am a huge lover and supporter of Sword Art Online so it was great to read the light novel that started it all. In the book you get to see a bit more behind the scenes, but not as much as I was hoping (the anime is such a faithful rendering that there wasn't much extra even in the way of dialogue.) The five stars is mainly because I couldn't rate something SAO less than 5/5 and also I'm glad to have read it, but I don't know how much I would love it if I wasn't already obsessed 4/5..hard to say I am a huge lover and supporter of Sword Art Online so it was great to read the light novel that started it all. In the book you get to see a bit more behind the scenes, but not as much as I was hoping (the anime is such a faithful rendering that there wasn't much extra even in the way of dialogue.) The five stars is mainly because I couldn't rate something SAO less than 5/5 and also I'm glad to have read it, but I don't know how much I would love it if I wasn't already obsessed with the anime. I'm most excited to keep reading to when the books go beyond where the show leaves off so that I can get all new adventures.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Francesca

    I've had this on my shelf for about 3 years because it was bought for me when I watched the anime. Reading the book brought back all the warm fuzzy feelings about Kirito and Asuna and I'm so glad I finally got around to it. The book is a bit light on the details and I would love to see more of Aincrad because it's my dream game but I'm looking forward to the next book and the next game. I've had this on my shelf for about 3 years because it was bought for me when I watched the anime. Reading the book brought back all the warm fuzzy feelings about Kirito and Asuna and I'm so glad I finally got around to it. The book is a bit light on the details and I would love to see more of Aincrad because it's my dream game but I'm looking forward to the next book and the next game.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Never really gave the anime much of a chance, but this light novel was great. I'm definitely going to be getting more volumes. Never really gave the anime much of a chance, but this light novel was great. I'm definitely going to be getting more volumes.

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