Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Title: Heroine Complex
Author: Sarah Kuhn
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Heroine Complex # 1

Trade Paperback, 378 pages
Publication: July 5, 2016 by Daw

Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

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’m always looking for a good superhero novel, something on par with all the movies saturating the market these days. Heroine Complex’s synopsis sounded promising with two female leads, a quirky plot and a whole bunch of humor. I’m always down for a humorous Urban Fantasy, if done right. Heroine Complex had some good moments, but it was out weighed by the under developed world building and characters. I like some things but for the most part it fell short and didn’t meet my expectation.

What Heroine Complex did well was showcase women friendship between Evie and Aveda. There were up and downs, bumps but what friendship doesn’t have that? At least when Aveda wasn’t treating Evie like a personal servant. Readers did get to see how their friendship began in grade school to where they are now. Aveda protected Evie from elementary bullies when they were young and now Evie protects Aveda from the harsh realities of being a superhero and the fame that goes along with it. My only issue with this is that Evie felt indebted to Aveda now. She spends basically her entire life catering to Aveda’s life because of her kindness as kids. I think it was a bit too much and thought Aveda definitely abused the friendship and took it for granted. I thought it could’ve been executed better.

The world building was pretty simple and straightforward, after a specific event (which I don’t think was explained) certain people obtained powers. That’s it. I wished Kuhn developed the world more.  get that it’s Urban Fantasy but I’ve read plenty of Urban Fantasy that were more complex than this; Nor did Kuhn delved into the characters’ powers and they were all very basic power…fire, levitation…nothing new or spectacular.

At first I thought Evie was kind of funny but as the story went on, her “quirky” traits and personality just got tiresome and ridiculous. If I remember correctly, she’s in her mid 20’s but she acted like a pubescent teen. It also didn’t help that she played guardianship to her teenage younger sister, which she did a poor job of doing. One of these said trait is that her diet only consisted of lucky charms…that’s just really unhealthy and not remotely funny or cute. She also whines a lot. Just her character overall wasn’t very likeable. If Evie was a real person, I don’t think I’d want to be friends with her. Then there’s Aveda, the ever shallow superhero. All Aveda cared about was herself and treated everyone around her like shit…which made her also unlikeable. Then we had the side characters; Scott, Nate, Bea and Lucy. And as you can guess, they too were unlikeable. Scott was just there in the background. I didn’t think he lend anything to the story. Nate was Evie’s love interest that came out of the blue with a personality of a cardboard box. Nuff said. There’s a secret that Nate is hiding but said secret was random as heck and silly in my opinion. Bea is Evie’s sister.I didn’t like her either…she was reckless and annoying like her older sister. And Lucy was there I guess as comic relief but like Scott, she blended into the background as well. Never have I read a book where I dislike all of the character. I didn’t like a single person! But then again there’s a first for everything.

Heroine Complex was a big disappointment. I managed to finished the book, although how I got through it…I don’t even know. As I mentioned before, the world building and characters were under developed, the plot had no substance but add in writing/dialogue that’s trying too hard to be funny made for a really underwhelming novel.The only good thing that Heroine Complex had going for it is the amazing artwork. It was what first caught my eyes. It’s beautiful and certainly grabs your attention. I haven’t found a decent superhero novel yet but I am determined to find one! Bottom Line, skip this one…not worth the time or money. 

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