Two Minute Reviews: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Sunday, June 5, 2016
Title: Heroine Complex
Author: Sarah Kuhn
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Untitled #1
Pages: 368
Published: Expected July 5th, 2016
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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.

Superheroes are a massive property right now, and something I really like seeing is the lives of the people around the heroes. Eight years ago, demons attacked San Francisco and after the ensuing earthquake, people began developing super powers. Most of the supers are exceptionally minor. A store owner who can adjust the temperature with his mind. A police office with a psychic GPS. These people are content to live their lives and use their powers in small ways. Not so for Aveda Jupiter, who has dreamed of being a superheroine since her childhood watching The Heroic Trio in the Chinese theater. Her "powers", (the saddest telekinesis ever,) are secondary to the fact that she trains harder than anyone else to punch, kick, and elbow demons back to hell.  She makes herself super, with the help of Lucy, her trainer; Nate, her live-in scientist; and of course, Evie, her personal assistant.

Evie was best friends with Annie before the powers. She's always let her run a little roughshod over her life, but things have gotten down right outrageous now that Aveda's a hero. So when Aveda goes down with a broken ankle and begs Evie to take her place at a few scheduled appearances, Evie caves. And accidentally reveals her own, much flashier and much more hidden powers to the NorCal area.

I really enjoyed Heroine Complex. It reminded me a lot of Mur Lafferty's Shambling Guides series in tone and style. I love that both Annie and Evie are Asian-American characters with different backgrounds and temperaments but their Asianness is very much a part of both girls. The main romance is hot and fun and I'm always happy to see two geeks get it on. Evie's relationship with Bea, her sister is realistic, (in a world of superheroes,) and has a lot of poignant touches.

But even though it's fun and funny, it's not a great story. The villain is a mess. There's way too much going on in the final acts and some plots, like the cryptic stones, don't come together. The beta romance is also a bit nothing. It also reads a bit over long with the tension between Evie and Annie stretching too thin. Still, there's more to recommend Heroine Complex than not. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad this is enjoyable because I'm intrigued by it! On the surface it reminds me of Dark Star, which I guess is urban fantasy (the main character and her mom hunt demons and are considered "sueprheroes"). Love your review, I always like to know what I'm getting into with a book.


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