Book Review: Spice & Wolf Volume 17

July 26, 2017

Spice & Wolf Volume 17 cover

I hope that everyone is doing well, whether it is back to
the monotony of the daily grind or going back to.

Things are going pretty well, especially because I am going
to get a chance to see a movie that I was interested in, but was not too sure I
could see because of everything that piled up, and it is even better that I can
still do the things that I like.

A little while ago, I had gotten four books from Amazon and
I have been able to cover each of those titles one at a time until only two
remain.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those titles, which is
called Spice & Wolf Volume 17 by Isuna
Hasekura.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier
post
, I will not go over it again.

A little over half a decade has past since Holo and
Lawrence's journey concluded and they are finally nearing the grand opening of
their new establishment, but there are still a few more stories to tell in this
collection in five stories.

While I have enjoyed the journey that Spice & Wolf
had taken me on, that does not mean that I would be able to enjoy everything in
the series.

And, after reading this, I can safely say that this was one
of those times where I was rather unimpressed.

Unfortunately, while I would like to give some praises, as I
would prefer talking about what was done right and what was done wrong, I have
no choice but to what I did in my
review
of the Yu Yu Hakusho movie and skip right into what I hated.

Unlike many of the volumes in this series, I found myself
rather bored to the point where I would have easily put this book, but I did
not, because I was hoping that Isuna would turn things around eventually,
because I knew that Spice & Wolf was slower paced than the fiction
typically published here today.

Reading is supposed to be one of the things that can us to
relax after a stressful day, as well as help us escape into another world for
only a short while, but when neither a casual nor avid reader cannot be sucked
into the world of the story, or, in this case, stories, there is absolutely no
way that they can enjoy themselves.

Isuna Hasekura was able to provide this pull so well in
previous installments of this series, with only a few exceptions, that he
seemed to be a competent writer, as he wrote things in a way that everything
was interesting, whether it had to do with the plot or not, and even provided
interesting characters.

Here, however, there did not seem to be anything that was
able to give me reason to just continue on with reading through the book right
then and there.

The worst offender in this whole mess was the actual
epilogue story that took up the bulk of the pages in this book.

Now, I am not expecting that there be any development of the
characters or anything major to happen, since the main journey concluded back
in the previous
volume
, but I still expected to be engrossed in what was happening, as many
of the side story collection released before this were actually fairly
enjoyable.

Unfortunately, Isuna Hasekura wrote things in a way that it seemed
like he was just done with the series, much like I feel like I am practically
done with it, even though I have all the way up to volume 18 right now, and
will probably read it to finally finish things off, as opposed to reading it
because I want to.

This is not something a writer should ever do because
readers do not like it and they can tell how much a writer invested themselves
in a work, beyond any research material that they could provide, and Isuna
should be ashamed of himself.

Right now, this installment just seems like it is milking a
series that some many people, including myself enjoyed, much like how Toei
Animation tried to milk the Dragon Ball series by making Dragon Ball
GT
.

If things are just going to be like this, I hope that Yen
Press will never translate volume 19, because this is an excellent illustration
of why things should not be stretched out beyond where a series ended
perfectly.

Hopefully, the next volume drastically improves things from
here, because it just feel like I wasted my time.

I also hated how there did not seem to be anything all that
funny.

While the humor found in the Spice & Wolf series
is present enough that it would grow reasonably stale, seeing as it is not that
unique compared to anime and manga in general, aside from the fact that there
is not that much fan service, Isuna Hasekura executed things well enough that
it helped make the world feel much more lively and likable, as well as generate
a few chuckles.

Here, however, nothing felt remotely funny to me, whether it
was the usual teasing or bantering or something else. In fact, it felt more
like it was, as Mark Twain in chapter
16
of Roughing It called
the well known religious text that my church believes came from God,
“chloroform in print.”

The anime adaptations of this series may not have been that
funny, in spite of including some of the same scenes the books had, but the
humor is supposed to be one of the biggest draws for this series, and seeing
that the epilogue for the series itself lacks this makes me really disappointed
to the point where I feel like doing what Kuwabara did during Yusuke's wake in Yu
Yu Hakusho
.

What is going on, Isuna? Not only have you failed to deliver
in one aspect that made this series so great, but you even failed deliver the
other thing that made this series so good to begin with?

Seriously, it is no wonder that I did not like the World
End Economica
series if this is how Spice & Wolf will officially
end, because it makes Isuna look like a joke, when I actually thought he was
good.

Please, Isuna, do not deliver something as terrible this in Wolf
& Parchment
, because I do not want to believe you have already reached
your peak in the course of only one series, even if I do have to remind myself
that Nobuhiro Watsuki did not seem to make anything decent after completing Rurouni
Kenshin
.

The thing that I hated the most though was how reading this
felt more like a chore.

When a person reads a story, they expect to have fun more
than anything else, which is probably why fiction today is so awful in the
story department, and when they have fun, that encourages them to read more and
helps to lower the amount of stress they have.

This fun factor is created when everything that Spice
& Wolf
had in the beginning, or, in the case of fast paced series, an
interesting plot and having more focus on the plot, in addition to some
humorous moments, which makes the reader feel like they the time they spent was
worth it.

However, when readers do not feel like they are having fun,
it feels like the book is just more work, and it helps make the problem of
people not reading enough much worse, seeing as we are trying to get our youth
to read more books, which ultimately leads to publishers and writers losing
money.

After all, would anybody buy a book from a writer whose work
did not entertain them? I sure would not.

If this is really going to be what Isuna delivers in future
works, then Isuna should not be earning a dime, because he is not delivering
what readers want, and he should feel more ashamed for what he delivered here.

Thankfully, these were the only things that bothered me,
aside from things too minor to talk about, such as typos, and one thing that
was only an issue in a few stories, so I do not have to continue my tirade on a
series that I grew to like because of the books.

Because the book failed to capture my attention and hold it
all the way through, the humor was absent, and it just was not a fun read, this
was one of the worse installments of the Spice & Wolf series I have
read, if not one of the worse books I have ever read.

Considering that there was so much wrong with this book,
even though I wanted to like it, this was a complete waste of time.

I recommend everyone, regardless of whether they are Spice
& Wolf
fans or not, avoid this book like the plague, as the heart of
the series just does not seem to be there and Isuna Hasekura did not appear to
put in any effort, but you are certainly free to try it and make a decision for
yourself.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon
or, if you want to check out it for yourself, to see whether I was right about
it or not, buying the reviewed title from Amazon,
so that I can find more worthwhile reads for you guys.

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