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.
OK, I think it’s finally time to admit that I have a problem when it comes to starting a new (to me) urban fantasy series when I am in the middle of reading…errrr….several more. I don’t know what else to say about that, but here we are.
I was in the mood for something fun, and holy shit, Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex delivered a whole lot of that, and more. This was one of those books where, one chapter in, I was mentally (and later, physically) adding the rest of the series to an online shopping cart because it was clear that THIS IS VERY MUCH WHAT I LIKE.
Set in San Francisco, the first entry in the Heroine Complex series is from the POV of Evie Tanaka, personal assistant to the city’s premier superhero, Aveda Jupiter. Aveda & Jupiter also happen to be best friends since childhood. But the limits of their friendship get really tested when an injury sidelines Aveda, and with the help of some magic fuckery, Evie takes over the day-to-day superhero stuff.
Heroine Complex is like a checklist of things I love in books/shows/movies: found family, snarky dialogue, angsty sibling relationships, awkward romance…the list goes on. I absolutely ADORED the team of people that Aveda & Evie have assembled to help run Jupiter HQ.
And Evie herself is just a phenomenal protagonist, and super relatable. She’s weird & quirky, loves Lucky Charms, has a shit-ton of anxiety, and really struggles with self-confidence. So much of the book is about her learning to trust herself more, and let her inner superhero shine a bit brighter. We also get little flashbacks to Evie & Aveda’s childhood, which are just delightful…I really hope to see even more of that as the series progresses.
This was just such a ridiculously fun and vivid read. It’s like if season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were a Pixar movie, only with tons of profanity and sex, and two badass Asian American women as the leads. And if you couldn’t tell by looking at that BEAUTIFUL COVER by Jason Chan, there are gigantic, demonic cupcakes in this book. This will likely also be the only time I ever read the word “befrostinged” and I’m glad to have had the experience.
I say this all the time, but I’m hoping to get to the rest of this series SOON! And in this case, I’ve got a good incentive to follow through: the fourth book, Haunted Heroine, was just released, and it’s HALLOWEEN-THEMED! I ordered a signed copy which should be here soon, and I’m REALLY hoping to read it in October! Hold me to this if you see me (you won’t see me).