There have been about 2 light novel series that have been adapted into other formats that I’ve liked all versions of roughly equally. Drrrr!! (ie Durarara!!) is one. I’ve just finished volume 9, and I think there’s only a few more to go to finished the story; this novel is also a good bit past where the anime and manga versions that I’ve gotten through are at. One of things about this particular story is that there are a lot of characters to keep track of, and a lot of threads going on at the same time. This gets a little irritating when someone comes back or gets mentioned after being absent a while, and I don’t really remember who they are.
This volume really focuses on the character Izaya Orihara, who is the sometimes evil/always amoral trouble maker who tries to manipulate everyone and everything behind the scenes. At least half of the other characters know this, and still get pulled into things, although often it’s to try and keep Izaya’s plots from hurting innocent people.
There’s a thread about Izaya and his twin younger sisters, considering his influence on them and the family dynamic; there’s a thread about Izaya and Celty in the now where they have some business awhile both realizing he’s got something she has spent a long time looking for; there’s a thread about Izaya and Shinra’s past as schoolmates and how-why Shinra got a scar and Izaya’s part in the whole thing; there’s a little about Akane and Izaya’s potential plans for using her; there’ a little about Masaomi and Anri, Shizuo basically has a walk on then off bit, and there’s the main plotline which involves a kidnapping potentially of Izaya but exactly who was actually take and how much Izaya knew about the whole thing isn’t clear until the end. There’a few bits and piece of some of the other characters too, like a scene that is probably trying to humanize Aoba when he gets flustered by Kururi and Mairu (Izaya’s sisters).
This is not a story you can read out of order because you need to be able to keep track of who’s who, how everyone is connected (and they are or probably will be) and how several larger plot thread s are developing. There’s a few hints about big things to come, but this installment seemed a more about some character development as well as setting up suspense for later. That’s fine with me for now, although admittedly I’m still not sure why no one besides Shizuo seems to just flat out dislike Izaya, even with all the backstory etc.