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I think I read this 4-5 years ago as an ebook, possibly as part of the Kindle Unlimited program during one of my trials. A woman wakes up in prison. Her memories are shot, but she knows that she's a fairly powerful supervillainess, I think with enhanced strength, endurance, and energy blasts. I can't remember if she can fly. She may be aware that she's in a game world like City of Heroes or City of Villains (I have a vague memory of her being aware of her level, maybe somewhere around 40, and that breaking out of the prison was a sort of Event), but I don't think that she initially thinks that she's a regular person. I don't remember a lot of details about the escape other than that the guards had energy weapons, there were some chokepoints where multiple villains got taken down by concerted power on the way out, and that they had to take down guard towers.

Once outside, she locates her base, which has been compromised, and tries to get her life back on track as a supervillain, building up the base and gathering allies while committing crimes. I don't remember the exact sequence of things, but I remember that she eventually comes upon the villains who defeated her before, and left her to prison, and one of her other allies (a woman) turns out to be a former lover, who was basically patiently waiting for her to get her memory back. At some point, I think after a betrayal that leads to her losing her base, she is working for a set of supervillains or terrorists who are obsessed with coffee, with I think some of the heists involving rare beans. I think she has vague memories of a life outside the game, as someone without powers, but is unsure whether this might have been some sort of brainwashing from when she was defeated before. Ultimately, near the end of the book, she gets confirmation (maybe via communicating with the outside?) that someone has specifically trapped her inside of the game, and that they're working to get her out, which I think leads to some philosophizing over whether she's happier inside the game, and whether the people around her were really people, now that she knew that they were also computer code. I don't recall if she got out in the end, or if that was meant to be addressed in later books. I definitely remember it seeming like it was the beginning of a series.

The more I think about it, the more it feels like the characters were aware of the game-like nature of their world, with her referencing builds and skills, as well as levels. I want to say that whatever the villains had as powers included some sort of mind control that sort of bypassed the level system, allowing lower-level foes to be competitive against her.

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I have found it by virtue of combing through my Goodreads history of books read.

It is Villainess Life: A LitRPG Supervillain Novel by Tom Warin

Miranda is an ordinary gamer who finds herself inside the body and mind of the notorious supervillainess Murder Maid - a character she created in the online role-playing game Super City. She has none of Murder Maid's memories but has to live with the consequences of her alter ego's actions.

When she escapes from prison and tries to claim Murder Maid's old lair, she is thrust into a life-or-death battle against vicious enemies she didn't know she had.

Now, she must stay alive in the brutal supervillain city of Nyx. She will make allies, level up, and try to discover what has happened to her. Is the world she remembers the real one; or the world she now experiences?

Villainess Life is a supervillainess adventure with LitRPG elements. Follow Miranda's exploits as she tries to come to terms with the unpleasant reality of life as a villainess.

It looks like it is no longer available on Amazon Kindle, so I can't really verify details, but it looks like I might have forgotten what awareness the protagonist had of who they were.

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