By kiki and kinta. Released in Japan as “Omae Gotoki ga Maou ni Kateru to Omou na” to Gachizei ni Yuusha Party wo Tsuihou Sareta node, Outo de Kimama ni Kurashitai” by GC Novels. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Jason Muell. Adapted by Brock Wassman.
When I was younger I wrote stories, and a whole lot of them were what these days is referred to as “grimdark”. I killed off beloved supporting characters. I brought in cameos from other universes just to kill THEM off. I had the main couple become multiple murderers. But now I am older, and I gotta admit… I prefer happy endings, y’know? Grimdark can be exciting, and when you first create it you do feel sort of edgy and cool, but you run into the problem of how to top yourself, and before long, well, you’ve become an editor at DC Comics. (Zing!) All of this is a roundabout waty to say that, like the first volume, the second volume of Roll Over and Die has a Grimdark Problem. If you’re here for the lesbians, there’s about 10-15 pages for you. The book, however, is 299 pages.
As the second volume begins, our heroines are enjoying a relatively peaceful life while also trying to deal with the somewhat aggressive attacks from Dein, the “leader” of the section of town they’re in. Unfortunately, said peace is shattered when they come across a young girl with both eyes sewn shut, named Ink, who claims to have amnesia. She doesn’t, as they soon find out, and her origin is what drives this second volume, which ends up, once again, putting Flum through the ringer. She has more friends – both in the royal military and allies from the hero’s party who have now left it – but a lot of this book sees her suffering on her own, trying to avoid getting killed and finally being forced to go on a spree of killing just to defend herself. Can she uncover what the Church is up to while not sacrificing the lives of her friends?
Don’t get me wrong, the grimdark is compelling at times. This is a well-written book for walking up to the “too much horror” line, perhaps treading on top of it, but never quite going over it. (That said, there is a general eye and body horror warning for the whole book.) As noted above, Flum has a lot of allies this time around, but not only do they tend to get cut off from her just when she needs them most, but she is also reluctant to call for help in the first place. Having spent most of her life being treated as useless, it’s very hard for Flum to ask for any help at all, even now that she has her fantastic cursed sword and tendency to not die. The third quarter of the book reminded me very much of Sexiled, in that it’s a young woman beating the absolute crap out of a shitty man who won’t stop calling her insults, slurs and threats even up till his end. Still, it can be exhausting.
The author says in the afterword that the “slow life” part of the series is over, and honestly it didn’t last very long. I assume that we’re going to be focusing more on the Hero’s Party as we go along, which looks to be either falling apart of filled with evildoers. Till then, I will definitely be reading more, and I even enjoyed this for some factor of “enjoyed”, but man, Flum, hug a puppy or something.