Solo Leveling Volume 8 Review

After the raid at Jeju Island, no one in the world can deny that Hunter Jinwoo Sung is a force to be reckoned  with. Associations from multiple countries show their interest in him, and they don’t hesitate to demonstrate what they can offer to Jinwoo if only he moves to their country.

Jinwoo though is pretty happy to stay where he is as his family is in South Korea and so are his friends. Moreover, he has plans to build his own hunter guild, Ahjin Guild. This doesn’t stop the U.S. Association from trying to get Jinwoo to become an American hunter by showing him a secret power: one of their hunters can increase the power limit of another hunter. This doesn’t work with Jinwoo as his power, we find out, is limitless. But something tells the readers that the U.S. Association will try again with an even more enticing offer.

Jinwoo has started setting up his new guild, but he’s lacking the third member he needs to apply for a permit, until Hunter Haein Cha shows up. As an S-rank hunter, she’s the dream of any guild to have among their ranks, but unfortunately for Haein, Jinwoo doesn’t think the same. He decides to play a little trick on her in the hope she gives up, but Haein is fully committed. She’s even willing to pay the penalty to break off the contract with her current guild, so she’s not afraid of Jinwoo’s test. He has her fight against his strongest shadow soldier, and although he can clearly acknowledge her skills, he’s not completely convinced. Haein has been thinking non-stop about Jinwoo, and now that she’s in his presence she can’t help but fidget, and Jinwoo can’t figure out why nor what she’s thinking…

Even without Haein, Ahjin Guild finds its third founding member thanks to a relative of newly appointed Vice President Jinho, so they are ready for their first mission. However, the more gates Jinwoo clears, the more interest other guilds take in him even going so far as to suggest joint raids.

But when Jinwoo’s sister, Jinah, is attacked by monsters at her school, Jinwoo shows once again what he’s capable of, thanks to his skills and his shadow soldiers, opening new doors for Ahjin Guild.

Since the first volume, Jinwoo has grown a lot, and now his powers surpass other S-rank hunters. The readers don’t know yet why he had a second awakening which has given him such powers, but from hints in the story, it seems like it was planned by an entity, which also caused the gate accident where everything took place. It’s not going to be much longer before Jinwoo finds himself in the place where everything started (according to the end of volume preview).

Jinwoo has more questions than answers—he doesn’t know why he can converse with monsters in the dungeons and what the voice in their heads telling them to kill all humans is. Every time he tries to find answers or even clues, something stops him from prying and the monsters from talking. Hopefully we’ll find it out together with Jinwoo soon. Compared to other manhwa, Solo Leveling doesn’t really have a narrator telling the readers what is going on or explaining something. The majority of the narration forms the dialogue among the characters, and the readers find something out at the same time Jinwoo and the other characters do.

As in previous volumes, the authors don’t shy away from violent and gruesome scenes, and in this volume a lot of humans die when a dungeon break happens in Jinah’s school. While the story has been almost addictive since Volume 1, I felt that this particular episode kept me glued to the pages more than usual. I knew the story could only go two ways: for Jinwoo to get to the school in time and save his sister, or for him to not get there in time and start a quest to avenge his sister. The authors had me worried for a while.

In this volume Jinwoo also gets to spend more time with Haein. While Jinwoo doesn’t give too much thought to their interactions other than thinking something is weird with the female hunter, Haein finally realises her feelings for Jinwoo. It doesn’t seem like the start of a romantic relationship, but who knows… There is still too much left to tell in the story and maybe love is included as well in Jinwoo’s future.

Solo Leveling is written by Chugong, illustrated by DUBU (Redice Studio) and adapted by h-goon. The series is also published as a novel under the imprint Yen On and as audiobook by Yen Audio. The first season of the anime is available on Crunchyroll. The manhwa started as a web comic available on Tapas, and it is released in print format by Ize Press with a translation by Hey Young Im. Volume 9 is slated for release in August 2024.

Our review copy from Ize Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.

9 / 10


Number 1 fan of Solo Leveling who also happen to be a self-proclaimed bookworm with a special love for manga and YA, romance and fantasy books. I'm currently obsessed with Korean webtoons.

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