Saturday, July 8, 2017

Book Review: Sword Art Online: Progressive 4

Review:  #672
Title:  Sword Art Online:  Progressive 4
Series:  Sword Art Online:  Progressive - 4th volume
Author:  Reki Kawahara
Read Before:  no
Comments:  Taking on the milestone fifth floor of Sword Art Online, this retelling of the story keeps up the momentum of the previous novels.  Kirito and Asuna’s relationship is noticeably growing, as they set out and explore the fifth floor.  While not as significant as previous floors, new game mechanics are constantly revealed, detailing a complex game that is hard to fathom.  Surprisingly, Argo is a constant companion in this volume and we finally get to see some of her abilities and tricks.  While it is understandable that the author wanted to jig things up a bit, the scenario in which Kirito assembles his own team to confront the floor boss is a bit hard to accept.  Not only is it literally suicidal, it just does not seem that it was worthwhile.  Of course, the problem is resolved and Kirito wins the day once again, defeating the milestone floor boss with a record low number of party members.  Nevertheless, it has been a while since the author focused upon the unveiling and development of a boss battle, which made for a very interesting read when surprises came and the boss kept defying expectations.  The politics within the trapped players, in particular the two large guilds and then the PK members, can seem to be melodramatic at times.  There is a sense of pride and honour to Kirito’s and Asuna’s style of thinking that can be too cheesy.  Overall, Progressive 4 is an enjoyable read and can be more satisfying than earlier novels thanks to the detailed boss fight.
Rating:  7/10

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