Alright. First off, this review is only for the first novel. Back in December, I ordered the novel from Amazon, and decided to read it due to the fact it didn't have an anime yet, and I wouldn't know the story. It was a really good read, and I finished it within the month.
The story is a tad unusual, mixing real-life and game elements together. The characters are not in a video game, yet they "level up," and gain strength. Once they level up, they gain skills, etc., etc., like an RPG game. This concept confused me for most of the novel, due to the
fact I thought they were in a video game for the longest. Other than this minor hiccup, the story was easy to digest and understand, and kept me interested throughout the complete novel.
Any art by Suzuhito Yasuda is amazing, in my opinion. The illustrations are seen throughout the novel, and are easy on the eyes. The art isn't too edgy, and sometimes, they're even hilarious. Beware, however, as there is a lot of fan-service illustrations in the novel.
The characters are cliche, however, they are also unique in their own way. The character growth, is strong even within the first novel. Bell, the main protagonist of the series, is a good example of this. At first, he is a spineless coward during the first few chapters, but after some goading by a few members of another's family, he starts to man up immensely.
I was nearly unable to put this book down, for the first few days. After that though, I was able to pace myself, since the next set of light novels by Yen Press wouldn't come out for a few months. I was excited to read the next chapter, day after day, that the novel pretty much flew by, truth be told. Seeing as it didn't have an anime, at the time, it was new material, which helped a lot in keeping me interested.
Overall, this is a good novel series, and I would recommend them to a friend. Like I said, though, beware of the fan-service. It's plentiful in these books. You can order the first novel from amazon, and pre-order the second novel now. I highly recommend this series, as you will be unable to put the book down for a good while.