By KAYA and Naru. Released in Japan as “Tensei Shōjo wa Mazu Ippo kara Hajimetai: Mamono ga Iru toka Kiitenai!” by MF Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Amy Osteraas.
It can sometimes be difficult, when a series is told entirely from one person’s point of view, to remind ourselves that they may not necessarily be the best narrator for the job. Sara tells the entire story in these books, and for the most part that’s fine, but there is a good deal of snark, apathy and general grouchiness to her entire character that makes the narration fun but also reminds us that everyone else doesn’t necessarily adore her. That said, the people she’s grouchiest to (Ted, the knights) generally deserve it. As the series goes on, I’m hoping that we get more of her joyful delight at seeing the ocean, which we get at the end of this book, and a bit less of her “whatever, I don’t care” attitude when people try to railroad her into annoying things. Though she’s right, she really should settle on figuring out what to do with her life soon.
Sara and Nelly head back to Rosa to do some shopping for clothes, but end up getting sidelined by a ton of plot. The other Invited we met in the capital last time, Haruto, has arrived in the town, and is acting like a 10-year-old kid – which, to be fair, is about when he died in Japan, so Sara has a big leg up on him. More dangerously, the knights are returning to get Sara and forcibly have a noble adopt her and get her working for the state. She really does not want to do that, so after letting Haruto and fellow Invited Bradley handle the cottage on the mountain, she, Allen and Nelly join Chris is a trip to a town two weeks away that is trying to train new apothecaries. Unfortunately, when they get there it turns out almost every single apothecary has in fact left the town. Oh yes, also frogs. LOTS of frogs.
Because Sara has for the most part been living on a mountain with a mentor who does not really care about much of anything, or else in a town that is very clearly the “last dungeon” town in this fantasy world, she has not really had a normal isekai reincarnation like everyone else in this series. That’s clearly for the good, as it turns out that while reincarnates are coddled, they’re also pretty much used as government-sponsored slaves, with a name change. You can see why – Sara is really, REALLY powerful, and we see more of that here, though at last we seem to have finally hit a magic thing that makes her feel tired rather than just being easy as pie. The next book is set up by Nelly suggesting they go to her hometown to get her family (who are nobility) to adopt Sara, which should stop the knights from trying to abduct her. I’m fairly certain it will not be that simple.
So yeah, Sara’s not sure what she wants to do with her life here yet, but till she’s safe and can relax, I don’t really blame her. Also, the gimmick is that Sara attracts monsters, right? I think we all get that by now, even if the cast don’t yet. She’s a Monster Magnet.