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A Certain Magical Index, Vol. 3 by Kazuma…
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I think this will be the last of this series I read, because it turns out not to be what I expected.

When I started reading, the series seemed to promise a relatively light-hearted science-and-paranormal adventure story. The protagonist's special gift, Imagine Breaker, lets him get mixed up in grand events without being particularly powerful in most respects. He's a bit hopeless and slowly collects a group of friends. The events of the first book seemed to support this idea, with no real harm done and things working out amicably.

Things have rapidly changed. The second book features a great deal of bloodshed and drama, while dispensing with the more playful elements. This volume takes things even further, abandoning both the lighter plot points and the character the whole series is named after (she gets about three paragraphs of pagetime) in favour of a dystopian conspiracy plot featuring the deliberate murder of twenty thousand slaves. There's plenty of graphic on-screen violence and the whole thing feels pointlessly brutal and grim. Unlike book two, there's no release at the end, and I didn't feel it dispelled the tension or offered a satisfying resolution to the villain's arc, nor that of the other characters.

I no longer feel like I have any idea what this series is doing, other than apparently depicting increasingly unpleasant situations full of murder. And I'm not interested in reading that. ( )
  Shimmin | Sep 27, 2016 |
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This is the light novel. Please do not combine it with the manga adaptation.
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Twenty thousand clones
must die to reach level six,
but that is murder.
(yoyogod)

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