Monday, August 14, 2017

ARC Review: Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn

Title: Heroine Worship
Series: Heroine Complex #2
Written by: Sarah Kuhn
Published: July 4, 2017 by DAW (Penguin Group)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Once upon a time, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) was demon-infested San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine, a beacon of hope and strength and really awesome outfits. But all that changed the day she agreed to share the spotlight with her best friend and former assistant Evie Tanaka—who’s now a badass, fire-wielding superheroine in her own right. They were supposed to be a dynamic duo, but more and more, Aveda finds herself shoved into the sidekick role. Where, it must be said, she is not at all comfortable. 

It doesn’t help that Aveda’s finally being forced to deal with fallout from her diva behavior—and the fact that she’s been a less than stellar friend to Evie. Or that Scott Cameron—the man Aveda’s loved for nearly a decade—is suddenly giving her the cold shoulder after what seemed to be some promising steps toward friendship. Or that the city has been demon-free for three months in the wake of Evie and Aveda’s apocalypse-preventing battle against the evil forces of the Otherworld, leaving Aveda without the one thing she craves most in life: a mission. 

All of this is causing Aveda’s burning sense of heroic purpose—the thing that’s guided her all these years—to falter. 

In short, Aveda Jupiter is having an identity crisis. 

When Evie gets engaged and drafts Aveda as her maid-of-honor, Aveda finally sees a chance to reclaim her sense of self and sets out on a single-minded mission to make sure Evie has the most epic wedding ever. But when a mysterious, unseen supernatural evil rises up and starts attacking brides-to-be, Aveda must summon both her superheroine and best friend mojo to take down the enemy and make sure Evie’s wedding goes off without a hitch—or see both her city and her most important friendship destroyed forever.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

This is a really fun superhero story. It's full of action and adventure, complex characters, and an interesting science fiction world. However I didn't love it as much as the first book for some reason.

One thing that I do really love about this book is the characters. I'm really enjoying getting to know them over the course of these two books. They are definitely complex and interesting characters. In Heroine Worship we switched perspectives and got to go inside of Aveda/Annie's head. At first I wasn't sure how I would feel about that but I really liked it. She has such a distinctive voice and it added to the fun element of the book. It also helped us get to know here so much better. Hearing and seeing directly from their perspectives always helps empathizing and making a character more complex. That is absolutely what happened here. In the beginning of the book she's a pretty unlikable character but she has really great growth throughout the book and I totally loved her by the end.

But the heart of this book is the connections with the characters. First we have the fantastic friendship between Aveda/Annie and Evie. A lot of this book is about Aveda/Annie trying to be a good friend. I love seeing how strong their friendship is and that they care and support one another no matter what. There is also romantic relationships. Evie and Nate should be the focus here but because Evie isn't our narrator that was replaced by Aveda/Annie and Scott. They had a fantastic slowburn throughout the book and I enjoyed the way it developed. But I will say, I missed some of the other secondary characters. I would have liked more from Bea and more from Lucy in this book. I get that without Evie as the MC we lost some of Bea but I felt like her and Lucy were not involved at all. I really missed Bea. But I have a feeling she'll be our MC for the third book and I am definitely excited about that.

As far as the plot goes, this was definitely a book full of action and adventure. Just like everything that involves superheroes there are all kinds of action scenes and crazy fights. But this has always been a series that doesn't take these sorts of things to seriously. It's much more on the silly side. Sure they are fighting demons and saving the world but it's cupcakes and bridezillas. I love this about the series and I liked it about this book. There's also a pretty decent mystery to it. Although there wasn't enough clues for my liking. It's wasn't super predictable but it also wasn't very solvable.

But I will say, I didn't totally love the pacing with this book. I think I had much of the same issues with this one as I did with the first book. It always starts with a bang and then comes crashing down. From there it's a slow start until it builds to a strong conclusion. It's not a particularly long read for an Adult SciFi/Fantasy coming in at just under 400 pages. But I have read longer books in less time. I think it's just a series that is more on the slow side. That isn't a bad thing but it also isn't what I usually prefer.

On the whole, this was a good read. I really enjoyed the character and the superhero story full of adventure. I which the pacing was a little but more exciting but I think it's a fun and engaging read. I didn't love it as much as the first book in the series but I am definitely invested in what is coming next.

I give Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn 8 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. This was a good read. If you read the first book and enjoyed it check this one out. I would definitely recommend to fans of superhero stories, especially if you are looking for one with diverse female heroes and strong friendship themes.

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

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