As I type up this review I am suffering from a terrible stomach ache. I shouldn't have eaten that whole plate of cookies and ice cream. Bad idea, Ashely. Way bad, but I will try to ignore this and write a good review.
I found this book at a library several years ago, but I remember it well enough to do a review about it. I only ever was able to find the first book however, so this review will be on volume one.
Story: Kino's Journey has one of the most orginal story lines I have ever seen from a light novel. A young eleven year old girl who lives with her family in the land of grownups is soon due to have an operation to "remove" the child inside of her. While on the day of her operation, she meets a young man named Kino who is repairing a broken motorcycle. He questions her villages rituals and when she questions this to her father. He tries to kill her. Kino steps in between her father and is killed instead so she uses the bike her repairs and begins to call herself "Kino" and she and her talking motorcycles Hermes go through a different village in every chapter learning of the customs and their way of life.
This story was incredibly well written and often times heart strikingly beautiful. The writing style was not anything adventurous but the highly detailed descriptions of Kino's world still made us feel like we were right there. This book had a story that the younger version of myself found to be unput downable. And this book is really one of the highlights of the light novels that was ever put out in the states.
Art: Since this was a light novel, we didn't get to see many illustrations from it. But what we saw was breath taking in its clarity. The drawing style was traditional but the old style art worked incredibly well with the past feeling of the book. Some of the best parts of the novel were those scenes with pictures. Simply because they were so easy on the eyes you could look at them for more than a few minutes at a time.
Characters: What good would a whole novel be without good characters? I adored Kino as I read this book. She was a great role model, especially for women because she was so independent and fearless. Hermes was the comic relief section of the story but also could be the voice of reason at the same time. Both characters were highly enjoyable and made the book move much more smoothly.
Overall: One of the best light novels to ever come to the states. I regret not being able to read the rest of these because I got into too late. But it you should ever come across it please check it out. You really won't be disappointed.