Daybreak on Hyperion is an online novel written in English by Aorii. It can be read freely on Baka-Tsuki.
This title is a curious work, as it manages to make me consider a little more deeply what constitutes a light novel–or more specifically, an original English light novel. In this case, Daybreak on Hyperion reads much like a YA fantasy novel–but in the process manages to incorporate plot elements familiar to light novel readers, as well as world-building elements familiar to fans of role-playing games.
The story takes place in a medieval fantasy world, and begins with a young noble named Pascal, who studies and trains at a sort of magic military academy. Exceptionally gifted and intelligent, Pascal’s primary flaw is his accompanying arrogance, which has always kept him from making any friends. When it comes time for him to summon an animal familiar, he opts for a human companion instead–particularly one who could serve as a knowledgeable and reliable adviser… and while he’s at it, why not a cute girl? His spell proves effective, but as it turns out, the girl’s mind was summoned from Earth–and more specifically, from a high school boy named Kaede. While the general setup of Daybreak on Hyperion is certainly reminiscent of light novel series The Familiar of Zero, the gender flip twist for Kaede does a lot to add more unique conflicts and situations for the story to deal with.
Overall the story reads well, and I appreciated the level of depth given to the main characters and how they interacted with one another. The magic system is also quite engaging, as characters have to utilize a surprising amount of strategy when placed in combat situations. Some of it flew over my head at times, but I always got the sense the author had given all the mechanics of spell-casting a great deal of thought. The world-building was likewise rather in-depth–I’m not sure I followed all the countries and their histories closely enough, but in the end I was able to keep up with the main plot without much issue.
The first volume of Daybreak on Hyperion ultimately felt pretty introductory, but I liked how Pascal’s character arc was handled, and there was enough that happened to give the story some thematic resolution. I did feel the story could have used a more thorough editing at times, but my issues with spelling and grammar weren’t enough to slow down my reading. One thing I did wish the story had though, were illustrations. Granted, not every light novel has to have pictures, but I still would love to see some artwork for Pascal and Kaede at some point. The second volume is currently being written (and uploaded chapter-by-chapter), but I will likely wait for it to finish before giving it a look. In the meantime, I will suggest this first installment to anyone in the mood for a fantasy story with a high level of detail.
Cho’s Rating: Recommended