Monday, July 4, 2016

Review: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
Series: Heroine Complex, Book 1
Publisher: DAW
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9780756410841
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder.

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. She’s great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss’s epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.

Unfortunately, she’s not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.

But everything changes when Evie’s forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest secret comes out: she has powers, too. Now it’s up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda’s increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right...or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.

Heroine Complex is action-packed, geeky good fun. Sarah Kuhn has delivered a new kind of superhero story that’s fresh, fun, and surprisingly relatable. We may not face demon cupcakes on a daily basis, but most of us have had an unreasonably demanding boss at some point.

A very unreasonable, sometimes-petulant boss is exactly what Evie Tanaka, personal assistant to superhero Aveda Jupiter, deals with every day. Evie is a master at calming her diva boss and allowing her to focus on saving San Francisco from regular demon invasions. She puts up with it because Aveda is her childhood friend and, for as much as Aveda can be self-centered, she has been there for Evie when she needed it the most. Added to that, Evie needs the stability Aveda provides. She’s got powers of her own, dangerous ones that are more supervillain than superhero, and she’ll do anything to maintain control. When Aveda is injured and Evie is forced to take her place, her life is turned upside down. Not only is Evie thrust into the spotlight, her power is flaring up, there’s a new demonic invasion in town, bitchy bloggers are on her case, her teenage sister is out of control, Aveda doesn’t like sharing the limelight, and – to make matters worse – Evie might just have a thing for the stuffy, data-obsessed demonologist she works with. There aren’t enough Lucky Charms or spam musubi in the world to make her world right again.

Heroine Complex zips along at a fast pace, thanks in no small part to Evie. She’s an unwilling superhero who’s realistically overwhelmed by all that’s thrust on her. Evie’s funny, snarky, guarded – a far cry from her kick-butt, image-obsessed superhero best friend. Evie is imperfect and very willing to admit it, which makes her an endearing heroine. That she doesn’t handle everything thrown her way with cool aplomb makes it all the more appealing when she becomes a kickass heroine in her own right. I was rooting for Evie to come into her own over the course of the story, and watching her grow as a character was a delight. Self-realization in the face of decomposing new demons and gossip bloggers ain’t easy.

Evie is the heart and soul of Heroine Complex, but there are plenty of supporting characters who help make the book come alive. Aveda isn’t the best of friends, but I loved how Ms. Kuhn brought three-dimensionality to her character. Nate, a personal favorite of mine, is gruff, says the wrong things, and is so obviously attracted to Evie that I just melted. Throw in another butt-kicking female in Lucy, a rebellious sister in Bea, and a hot best friend with magic in Scott, and you’ve got a well-rounded, endearing-in-their-own-unique-ways cast. Heroine Complex is a lively, exciting read and I can’t wait to see what Evie & co. get up to next!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.