Sword Art Online Progressive 01

Reki Kawahara
Sword Art Online Progressive 01 Cover

Sword Art Online Progressive 01


Sword Art Online Progressive

It's easy to say that this should be where Sword Art Online starts.

This is the game of death as it should be. The game, a VRMMORPG (Virtual, Reality, Massively, Multiplayer, Online, Role, Playing, Game) has trapped 10,000 people on it's first day of release and the only way out, is to beat the game. Death in the game equals death in life.

Kawahara has stated that SAO had it's start online, as a blog, where it garnered the right kinds of attention that editors, publishing houses, and the Japanese light novel fiction industry (re: think cranking out the pulps in the 40ies) took an interest, which lead to it's rushed completion for a contest.

If SAO is a pond, then the first novel which takes us all the way from the launch of the game and the entrapment of the players, to Kirito's victory and the release of the players, is like a rock, skipping over the water of SAO, hitting the high points from beginning to end.

Progressive is then a bucket full of SAO, scooped out at the very beginning, brimming with depth and concentrated on just the first two floors.

When I think about the two books, Sword Art Online1: Aincrad and Sword Art Online Progressive 1, it's obvious how much Kawahara has grown as a writer. He's slowed down the narrative pace and the richness in detail is outstanding. He's basically going back and back filling the story. The first book, which launched a major Japanese franchise, was just bones. This is the blood and guts and muscle.

SAO is pure The Matrix meets D&D (minus magic). It's like book-cocaine to the gamer set. A far off place, on a server. A quest, for freedom from the game. Full emersion virtual reality, which can be deadly. Heroes, villains, plots, battles, fighting enemies of all descriptions, trials, adventures, and love. You can't ask for much more from this genre of fiction.

Raise you hand if you're addicted yet. (I raise my hand.)