I’m pretty sure I’m only going to finish this series because the premise had potential at the beginning and several of the side characters were interesting. I’m kind of glad that the main storyline ends with the next installment which apparently just came out. I saw that novel may not be the end of the story, but I mostly don’t care anymore.
So, in The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life (part 4), we get a new character who I was excited to meet, Mariela’s teacher/Master. I was a bit disappointed in how cliché the character turned out to be, basically care-free trouble-maker with untold power and knowledge beneath. I also was annoyed by the pointless backstory given to another character; sure it gives a little more personality to a side character but otherwise added nothing to the main story. It’s like that part was just there to fill pages. Looking back, in terms of plot and character narratives, really this series only needs to be about half as long as it is. I think it would probably be a lot more interesting, especially now with the final conflict finally set up.
Mariela, who is the titular alchemist, has barely developed as a character at all this whole time and remains a annoyingly naïve teen who acts much younger than she should, and Sieg isn’t a lot better, although with the addition of his backstory and some of the resolution provided in this part of the story, on the one hand he’s not as irritating, but on the other it’s a total chosen one set up that you could have seen a mile away.
Even the big “reveal” about the Labyrinth, which does tie a lot of threads together, is not especially inventive, and given that this whole time the world of the story is really basic dungeon crawl adventure, it really could have used something more creative.
Even the nature of the alchemy isn’t nearly as interesting as it could be, given the level of detail included about the processes. Part of this is the writing style (or translation), and part of it is how basically everything is basic chemistry or physics with a lot of italics and slight vocabulary adjustments.
One more, and then that’s it.