ROLL OVER AND DIE: I Will Fight for an Ordinary Life with My Love and Cursed Sword!, Vol. 4

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.

So I am putting a content warning before this review, something I rarely do. This review will be talking about the plot of the 4th Roll Over and Die novel, and will be describing scenes of graphic horror involving children and infants. If this will upset you, I definitely recommend skipping the review, and the book.

You know, I’m beginning to get the sense that the cute relationship between Flum and Milkit is not really a priority in the mind of the author. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there’s a few cute scenes here. The two emotionally stunted young women are clearly in love with each other but lack the vocabulary or experience to do anything about it. We get a kiss on the cheek. Milkit gets a bit jealous. But really, if you want cute yuri there are so many other books you could read that are not this one. This book is here for one thing and only one thing: detailed descriptions of graphic horror. If you know what an Italian giallo film is, or enjoy the works of Herschell Gordon Lewis, this gore-spattered action novel might be for you. For the rest of us, it is a very long slog through endless pages of mutilated corpses, body possession, and towards the climax of the book infants literally rain from the sky and have to be butchered. It’s a lot.

The majority of this book deals with the rest of Mother’s second-generation children. Ink, the first-generation, is happy with Eterna (and, let’s face it, despite the age difference their relationship is clearly swinging romantic as well). Nekt, the child from the previous book, is dealing with her heel-face turn, and trying to get the other children in her group to join her in becoming human. Unfortunately, they’re far too tied to Mother, and would much rather perform this world’s version of “suicide by cop”, i.e. killing as many innocent people as they can before getting killed. Also unfortunately, the person who might be able to help them turn human also seems to be secretly evil. Honestly, everyone’s a little secretly evil in this book, except our main cast. Can Flum manage to save anyone? Or will the children have to be put out of their misery?

This book is not without its merits. As always, the author can write an excellent fight scene, and is very good at painting a picture of exactly what’s happening, for good and ill. The Hero’s Party (minus Jean, still deliberately left out of the plot except for one scene) are reunited, and falling over themselves to apologize to Flum, who is far more gracious about it than they perhaps deserve. There is an interesting revelation in this volume that suggests that, far from being a generic fantasy world, this world is closer to home than expected. Unfortunately,. I couldn’t enjoy any of this because I was drowning in blood and gore. Men die, women die, children die, babies die. Babies especially die, as Mother’s final battle tactic is to create babies that attack and try to possess our heroes, and have to be killed. They are butchered, hurled against walls, and blown up by magic. And by the end of the book I found it hard to really care about anyone.

There may be more in this series to come – this is the last book in Japan, and it came out 18 months ago, but there’s still lots of content from the webnovel left to go. But I think I’m done here. I prefer my yuri to not be drenched in so much blood that I can’t see the romance.

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  1. Erica Friedman says

    Thank you. I know it cannot have been easy. I am quite happy that the Hero’s Party has gotten together with Flum and really, that was why I kept reading. Milkit and Flum were never compelling enough for me, but the gore – which is clearly the point – and the gloating, were taking up so much space, I just could not.

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