Thursday, July 21, 2016

ARC Review: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Title: Heroine Complex
Series: Heroine Complex #1
Written by: Sarah Kuhn
Published: July 5, 2016 by DAW (Penguin Group)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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 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.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ***

I will read almost any novel about superheroes. Add diverse female superheroes to the mix and I am absolutely on board. And Heroine Complex did not disappoint. It was an action-packed read with kickass female heroine, complex themes about power and fame, plus a great story of friendship.

One of the things that immediately attracted me to this story was the characters, the put upon assistant of a superheroine who had powers as MC sounded so interesting and it definitely was. Evie was a fantastic main character in an understated badass sort of way. She's kind of a reluctant hero which I love but when push comes to shove she cares about people and do whatever it takes to protect them. She has great development throughout the novel. Then there is Aveda/Annie, the self-proclaimed savior and hero of the city. She is the opposite of Evie in every way and what immediately comes to mind when you think badass female protagonist. But she was far from cliche. I really liked the way the author played with traditional character tropes to make complex and compelling characters.

But that wasn't the only thing that Sarah Kuhn played with when it comes to superhero tropes. There were all kinds of great themes explored here. One of the things I love about superhero stories is when it deals with the idea of good and evil. Here it explores that a little but it went deeper than that. Here it was more about powers and what to do with that power. There was a whole plot line dealing with whether or not it was best to use the powers your given even if they are dangerous which I really enjoyed. But the best thing was more about how that power can go to your head. A lot of this book explores the idea of fame and being in the spotlight. It was a fantastic analysis of that concept especially when it comes to heroes and the age of social media and Internet stardom.

 The characters also lead to some really great exploration of relationships. I loved seeing Evie and Annie/Aveda's friendship tested throughout the book only for them to come out of it stronger. That was really the heart of the story. Plus there was the relationship with Evie and her sister Bea, which had similar conflict and heart. And for fans of romance there is a great one here. There are some pretty steamy kissing scenes and a great romantic lead that had even my black heart swooning. There was honestly just so many great relationships in this book that grounded the book and helped you to connect with the story. It also really helped to balance the character development with the plot development.

 But don't be fooled, this was a really action-packed read. Being a book about superheroines it should come as no surprise that there were tons of action scenes. The book opens up on a great fight scene so you definitely know what you're in for. From there it builds to a thrilling conclusion with narrow escapes, epic battles, and tongue-in-cheek encounters with more than one antagonist/nemesis along the way. There was also a really great mystery, including some elements I solved and some that caught me totally off guard. I really enjoyed the plot development here.

But that be said, as great as the plot development was, I did have some concerns with the pacing. It had a bit of a slow start after the first scene and it took me a little while to really get into it. Then there was a bit of an up and down with the rising action and it kind of lulled me into a false sense of security with the climax making me think it was over only to have an even bigger moment very late in the game. That really is my only criticism though.

On the whole, Heroine Complex is a fantastic read. It's a complex story about superheroes full of action and adventure not to mention great characters and heartwarming relationships.

I give Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. This is definitely a great read. It does a great job in balancing a plot-driven story with character-driven moments that connect you with the protagonists. Basically it has something for everyone. It's a great read for superhero and science fiction fans.

Have you read Heroine Complex? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. knowing your own darkness is the best method for
    dealing with the darknesses of other people. See the link below for more info.