This is my first manga read and review and apart from knowing illustrations accompany the text I didn't have any idea what constitutes manga. A Google search told me it's exactly that: illustrations accompanying text. But anime-style illustrations. And my hat is doffed to Alexia Centeno, the illustrator of Trapped on Draconica, because they are first class.
There's plenty I liked about this book and plenty I didn't.
The likes: firstly it's a big book, and I like books that take a bit of time to get through. Secondly the illustrations are great. My e-copy is in black and white but I've seen the colour cover on Amazon and I loved it.
Then there's the story itself. Ben, a 15 year old boy fast heading into a life of dole bludging and petty crime, finds himself on another world - why isn't revealed until almost the end. He's the main character but he doesn't start out a hero and he doesn't become one. It's the people he teams up with - or to be exact, the people who befriend and protect him - who are the heroes, battling against an evil emperor intent on subjugating the world. It's very entertaining.
What didn't I like?
The writing could be called amateurish at times. It reads as I would imagine a 15 year old boy would write. There's no subtlety and little depth. The dialogue often reads like peeved teenagers not getting their way.
The characters remain one-dimensional although Ben develops to the extent that he sees the error of his ways. But if the audience is teenage boys it's perhaps exactly what they would like and in that case the author has been clever.
However, if that's not the audience then this very entertaining tale could do with some rewriting and tightening.
A small point but one I'm mentioning by way of illustration is that towards the end a new character is introduced and disposed of on the same page. He wasn't essential to the plot and was therefore totally unnecessary.