Title: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! #4
Author: Satoru Yamaguchi
Format: Light Novel
Keith has gone missing, and Katarina is convinced it’s all her fault. Rallying together a small team to go in search of him, she, Maria, Sora (Rufus), Jeord, and Larna set off to pursue him. To those who know the truth, this is more serious—Keith has been kidnapped, and with no demand for a ransom, it doesn’t look like his captors mean to return him . . .
This book is significantly darker than any of the previous. Although I feel compelled to point out this is the third book in a row that uses kidnapping as a major plot point (please do something different next time), it also differs in that the kidnappers this time are determined to hurt him significantly. So the stakes are higher.
Moments of comedy do surface fairly regularly, though, as Katarina is still prone to doing whatever catches her fancy. I also appreciated Raphael’s distressed office work segments (and how he makes a certain someone take responsibility for his actions).
Once again, Katarina’s potential love interests spend most of their time trying to sabotage each other. I’m warming up to Jeord more, as he feels less about cutting everyone else down and more about pursuing Katarina on his own and trying to win her heart (unlike some of the others who form alliances to spy on him to intercept him). He’s still not my favorite suitor but I respect the way he does things a lot more than many of the others.
This volume sets up what looks like a new arc, with a villain who is much more evil than anyone we’ve seen so far. I’m looking forward to more stupid shenanigans from Katarina, but maybe there’s also a better plot about to surface. I rate this book Recommended.