One of the things I was most excited to learn at Book Expo America 2014 was the launch of Yen On, a light novel initiative from Yen Press. Yen Press publishes a lot of my favorite manga series — including Soul Eater, Soul Eater NOT!, and the Madoka*Magica franchise — and the titles they’ve announced for Yen On are all really exciting.
A light novel is a style of book in Japan designed to appeal to manga and anime consumers. Often science fiction or fantasy and very plot-centric, light novels are sometimes serialized in magazines the way manga chapters are, and many light novels have been adapted into anime. A few of these include Toradora!, Sword Art Online, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Spice & Wolf, and Durarara!!.
Six light novel titles to be published in 2014 were announced this year, with two from a single series (Sword Art Online) in addition to four additional titles I’ll talk about here. You may have noticed I’ve included links to IndieBound (print books) and Bookish (digital books) instead of Amazon — currently, many titles from Hachette Book Group, which owns Yen Press/Yen On, are not available due to the Amazon-Hachette feud. Independent bookstores as well as large chains like Barnes & Noble and Books A Million continue to keep Hachette titles in stock, which is why I’ve linked to those vendors in this article.