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Heroine Complex Paperback – July 5, 2016
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Praise for Heroine Complex:
“Sarah Kuhn creates characters you want to befriend, worlds you want to live in, and situations you can’t begin to imagine. Heroine Complex is at once fiendishly snarky yet colossally big-hearted.” —Javier Grillo-Marxuach, writer and producer for Lost, creator of The Middleman
“Smart, sexy, and filled with beautifully fleshed-out/kick-ass women, Heroine Complex is the kind of read that sticks in your brain like a fanged cupcake.... I adored it." —Amber Benson, author of The Witches of Echo Park
“The superheroine we’ve been waiting for; the urban fantasy we deserve. Sarah Kuhn is the total package: comedy, tragedy, and sincerity. Grab your cape. We’re saving the city.”
—Seanan McGuire, New York Times-bestselling author of the October Daye series
"Every page of Sarah Kuhn’s novel delighted me immensely.... Kuhn’s writing is bouncy and engaging, and Evie is very clearly spun into a captivating character. I also have to give Kuhn props for balancing romance and humour and drama, and making me wish that Heroine Complex would go on just a little bit longer." —Book Riot
“Romance, adventure, kick-butt action sequences, and killer cupcakes combine to make this a great example of how weird and wonderful urban fantasy can be in the right hands.” —B&N Sci-fi & Fantasy Blog
“Onomatopoeias? Check. Snarkiness? Check. Kick-ass Asian-American superwomen saving San Francisco from demon-possessed cupcakes? Check and check, Kuhn's Heroine Complex is a ridiculously fun read.” —RT Reviews (top pick)
“Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex is a delight.” —Leigh Bardugo, New York Times-bestselling author of Crooked Kingdom
"A fresh take on a superheroine story. Full of wit and of course danger!... This seriously was an entertaining read. The character development was superb." —Boundless Books
"Love the humor and wacky hijinks, along with character development.... This is everything I’ve ever wanted in a book!" —Dreaming of Cats
About the Author
Sarah Kuhn is the author of Heroine Complex—the first in a series starring Asian American superheroines—for DAW Books. She also wrote The Ruby Equation for the comics anthology Fresh Romance and the romantic comedy novella One Con Glory, which earned praise from io9 and USA Today and is in development as a feature film. Her articles and essays on such topics as geek girl culture, comic book continuity, and Sailor Moon cosplay have appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Apex Magazine, AngryAsianMan.com, IGN.com, Back Stage, The Hollywood Reporter, StarTrek.com, Creative Screenwriting, and the Hugo-nominated anthology Chicks Dig Comics. In 2011, she was selected as a finalist for the CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) New Writers Award. You can visit her at heroinecomplex.com or on Twitter: @sarahkuhn.
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Top customer reviews
The narration from Evie aims for snark and sass but occasionally misses the mark. There are some genuinely funny passages in there (one where Evie is drunk comes to mind), but there are also sections of protracted exposition and a general tendency toward tell-not-show.
The characters are mostly human, but occasionally make wholly idiotic decisions in the interest of conflict. Particularly bad offenders here are Evie's love interest and Evie's sister. Both are presented as intelligent characters, but both bicker or betray the protagonist (for literal demons) when tension demands it.
The more sci-fi aspects of the setting have a lot of potential. Beings from another dimension jump portals into our world, and some humans acquire strange abilities as a side-effect. But the mechanics aren't made clear until an exposition dump near the end, so when the main characters figure out the identity and plan of the main villain, it feels like a wildly lucky guess. Superpowers are also a little arbitrary; they work when the plot needs them to, then fizzle out a scene later.
Despite the contrivances, the story and characters were interesting enough to keep me reading. And, I'll admit, it was nice to read a superhero story that didn't feature a white guy and his love interest.
There are other people that work at Aveda’s superhero headquarters and I liked them all. There’s Lucy, the gay woman in charge of fighting, training, and weapons who is always trying to get under Evie’s tough exterior and get encourage her to go out and get laid. There’s Bea, Evie’s little sister, who is constantly dodging school and getting into trouble. Nate is the beefy scientist who works in the lab studying the demon portals, who is always irritating Evie with his reliance on data and reason instead of instinct and guesswork. And lastly there’s Scott, the longtime friend of Evie who can do some spellwork and prefers to generally stay far away from Aveda and her tantrums. It’s such a fabulous cast of characters who work so well together and all play a crucial part in the story.
Two things really put this book over the top for me, so that it’s so much more than just a fun fantasy novel. So much of the core is about Evie and Aveda’s friendship and Evie’s role as caretaker and sister to Bea. There’s a spotlight on female friendships and it’s a beautiful thing, and something I deeply appreciated. The second thing is how Evie’s relationship status changes. I don’t want to call it a romance arc, because it didn’t feel that way. She slowly becomes attracted to a guy and has some awesome sexy times. She makes her desires and preferences for a purely sexual relationship known, and even though it’s adorable when it grows into something more I loved that she was so clear in her standards. She didn’t fall headfirst into a relationship in which the parameters were set by the man. Their sparkling chemistry made me grin, but it never overshadows the entirety and focus of the novel – which is of course bad-ass ladies fighting demons and saving the world.
Heroine Complex is full of fun, feminist superhero action. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
All the characters are complex and funny, each has their weakness and strength, but that's why they make such a great cast of characters !
I am really excited for Book 2 of this series, if only to see how the dynamic between Evie and Annie will evolve now (no spoilers, no spoilers)
What I liked the most was how Kuhn managed to make her origins, her ethnicity, such a big part of her main character without ever making it sound forced or preachy. Evie is Asian American, it's who she is, and it matters--but that's not everything she is.
I can't wait to start the next volume of San Francisco's beloved daughter(s) !!
Most recent customer reviews
First of all, the characters. I love good characters.Read more
And it is. It's also hilarious and sweet and sexy and SO. DAMN. GOOD.Read more