Heroine Complex (Heroine Complex #1), by Sarah Kuhn
Description: (from Penguin Random House)
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.
Since I finished reading the sequel a few days ago, I thought I should finally write a review for this book as well before I do one for Heroine Worship!
I read Heroine Complex back in September 2016, but I still remember pretty well my feelings about it and what was so awesome about it.
The novel is set in Set in San Francisco and stars two Asian American women. One of them is Aveda Jupiter, the Heroine of the city battling demons (taking various shapes, like the cake ones on the cover) and the other her best friend/assistant, Evie Tanaka. Evie is the main character of the novel, a mousy relatable young woman. I love that their relationship was deeply flawed, going as far as unhealthy. The thing is, it is addressed as an unhealthy friendship and it will be a central arc of the novel to redress this power imbalance between the two of them. It starts when Evie will have to start taking Aveda’s place by impersonating her when she gets hurt in a fight, and discovering she has powers of her own (fire powers, as you can see on the book cover).
There is a great supporting cast of characters, between the physician mage friend with them since 6th grade, the broody demonology expert, the girl combat/knife expert, and Evie’s sister. There is a found family feel to this team that I really liked.
While the romance was not my favourite part because of the dislike-to-love trope (but I’ve discovered on twitter that this is a well loved one by many people, so here it is!), some scenes made me blush deeply and it was nice to have a bit of sex-positivity from our characters. Because it is so fun and quirky, the novel can feel like a YA novel, but it is still definitely NA.
Fast-paced, action packed and entertaining, I was never bored when reading Heroine Complex. Karaoke battles, twists and turns, evil bloggers… There is a lot going on.
Plus the cover is amazing and totally reflects what kind of book this is, going as far as to portray the exact same tee-shirt Evie has on the book. That kind of cover details are what gets me!
The sequel comes out tomorrow and spoiler alert: it is just as good! 😉
Old picture from a year ago 🙌