Title: Solo Leveling Vol. 4
Author: Dubu (Redice Studio), Chugong (Original Story)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Fantasy, Action
Publication Date: May 10, 2022
Volume four of Solo Leveling deals with the appearance of A Red Gate. It is said that when a high-ranking gate spawns, there is a chance that it could change to a Red Gate, meaning that it will link you not to a dungeon but to another world that functions like a dungeon. Before Jinwoo heads in, there is a bit of a side story here his sister’s friend Songyi has been skipping school in order to become a hunter. They want her to graduate high school before making that decision so Jinah (Jinwoo’s sister) asks him to intervene.
Rather than talk her out of becoming a hunter, he felt that if he took her to a high-level dungeon, she would get scared and quit. Now, they’re trapped inside of a Red Gate. The only way to leave a Red Gate is to die, kill the boss, or wait for the dungeon break which could take months. Chul, an A-Rank Hunter who is quite full of himself, divides the group into highly-skilled hunters and… well… the leftovers. Since Jinwoo is E-Rank, he’s in the leftovers. Songyi tags along with Jinwoo for obvious reasons; however, Chul’s party is the one that ends up getting wiped out. In the middle of a boss battle, Chul attacks Jinwoo; however, he was prepared for the attack.
Jinwoo did some massive leveling before the Red Gate an, thanks to that, was able to take down Barca, the boss of the Red Gate, although it wasn’t easy. Once out, is unaware that during his time in the Red Gate, Dongsoo made it to Korea with the intent to kill him to get his revenge for his brother; however, he should count himself lucky because once Dongsoo discovered that Jinwoo was trapped in a Red Gate, he lost interest and went back home.
After the Red Gate, Jinwoo decided to use the key he received earlier within The System and it opened up a new quest to collect 10,000 Demon Souls. There are 100 floors in this hellscape with each one increasing in difficulty. Meanwhile, while he’s inside doing that, guilds from all over the world are learning about JInwoo Sung and the Hunter’s Association is doing their best to cover it up. Jinwoo is the top suspect of being the “Helper” in the Red Gate and this has made him one of the most interesting Hunters in the world right now.
After Jinwoo completes his quest, he heads for a re-evaluation feeling that he had grown too powerful to pass as an E-Rank. When he goes to get his power measured, the tool returned an Error which meant that his power is so high, it cannot be measured. This automatically makes Jinwoo the 10th known S-Rank Hunter in existence. He drew quite the attention at his attempted re-evaluation. So much so that he was made an offer by a rather unique person!
Songyi was introduced to us in the last volume but she got some more attention here. Simply put, she wants to be a hunter but everyone knows that she should finish school first and not drop out. It is unsure right now if Jinwoo’s tactic of scaring her worked or not because nothing really got resolved once they exited the Red Gate. I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer to see if she’ll stay in school or become another follower of Jinwoo’s.
Jinho had some nice development here. The volume did a small little excerpt that proclaimed Jinho and Jinwoo finished the 19 dungeons they had set out to do. With this, Jinho approached his father and tried to deceive him, asking him to take over the guild. Despite the deception, his father agreed to his request! I’m sure that this will get interesting since Jinho’s first task as guild master is to recruit Jinwoo. Oh, and the White Tiger Guild is also making it their priority to do the same… same thing with the Hunters Guild.. the top guild in Korea. I smell a bidding war storyline brewing here!
We also get introduced to a new character named Il-Hwan… I’ll just leave it at that but his power level is off the charts! All I will say is poor Dongsoo…
There are so many storylines converging and we’re only four volumes into the series! It’s just a testament to how intricately woven this story is and that makes this series highly interesting. Between Jinwoo running off to level up in The System, to the upcoming bidding war now that people are discovering he’s truly an S-Rank, to the introduction of Il-Hwan, Jinho’s becoming a guild master, and now… a possible major threat.
We were also given bits and pieces of Juje Island and how it was a failed S-Rank Gate that remains open. The monsters are evolving which is setting the stage for something big; however, Il-Hwan warned that something grander is coming. It’s not fully clear if Il-Hwan is talking about the evolution of the S-Rank gate monsters or if something darker and more sinister is on the horizon. Heck, he, himself, doesn’t even know just what that threat is… or he does and he’s not saying much of anything.
There’s just so much going on but it’s all happening within a controlled chaos-style environment. Everything keeps your interest and makes you want to keep turning the pages! I’m really loving this series and already wish I have Volume 5 in my hands!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @JJPiedraOELN
You can also check out other The Outerhaven reviews on your favorite social media networks:
This item was provided for review by Yen Press