Showing posts with label Sarah Kuhn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sarah Kuhn. Show all posts

Friday, June 29, 2018

ARC Review: Heroine's Journey by Sarah Kuhn

36606133Title: Heroine's Journey
Series: Heroine Complex #3
Author: Sarah Kuhn
Source/Format: Netgalley; eARC
More Details: Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: DAW; July 3, 2018

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

The final book in the smart, snarky, and action-packed Heroine series completes the "Heroic Trio" as Bea Tanaka joins her sister, Evie, and diva Aveda Jupiter in their quest to free San Francisco from its demon portal problem...

If there's one thing Beatrice Tanaka never wanted to be, it's normal. But somehow, her life has unfolded as a series of "should haves." Her powers of emotional projection should have made her one of the most formidable superheroes of all time. And she should have been allowed to join her older sister Evie as a full-fledged protector of San Francisco, pulverizing the city's plethora of demon threats.

But Evie and her superheroing partner, Aveda Jupiter, insist on seeing Bea as the impulsive, tempestuous teenager she used to be--even though she's now a responsible adult. And that means Bea is currently living a thoroughly normal life. She works as a bookstore lackey, hangs out with best friends Sam Fujikawa and Leah Kim, and calms her workplace's more difficult customers. Sure, she's not technically supposed to be playing with people's mental states. But given the mundanity of her existence, who can blame her?

When a mysterious being starts communicating with Bea, hinting at an evil that's about to overtake the city, she seizes the opportunity, hoping to turn her "should haves" into the fabulous heroic life she's always wanted. But gaining that life may mean sacrificing everything--and everyone--she holds dear...
Heroine’s Journey didn’t disappoint me in any way. This book was as awesome as I was hoping it would be. In fact, it far surpassed my expectations. The story basically followed Bea on her quest to become a superhero like her sister. It was easy to get drawn into the story, because right from the start, there was this perfect balance between supernatural, superhero, mystery, and even some romantic elements. This book accomplished all of that with the same charm and whit that made the last two books so enjoyable. Needless to say, I was hooked.

One of the most appealing aspects of this series has always been the characters. They made the story, and it was no different in this book. There was a lot of character development done for Evie, Nate, Aveda, and of course, Bea. Heroine’s Journey is best described as a journey. It was as much a book about self-discovery as it was about being a superhero and what that really meant to Bea. It all tied together. In that way, Kuhn nailed the human aspect behind the capes and signature costumes—behind the superpowers and crime fighting.

I'm glad that there was finally a story from Bea's perspective, because it's by far my favorite of the series. One reason was that it delved more into the complicated relationship she had with her older sister, Evie. It was something that was always present in the stories, but it was from everyone else's perspective except for Bea. Bea and Evie had their share of issues. There was everything from communication shortfalls, misunderstandings, and some issues caused by outside factors. And I liked the fact that Heroine’s Journey centered on that and expanded on what was already established. I also liked how the conflicts were handled, because Kuhn didn’t shy away from writing  difficult, messy, and emotional conversations. And it was great.

The secondary characters—like Rose, Leah, Shruti, Lucy, and others—were also cool. They weren’t just part of the background. I liked them mostly because they were so individual and interesting. They felt like proper characters with personality and backstories separate from that of the main character.

And while I was happy with how Heroine’s Journey ended, there were some lingering mysteries and potential for other stories. All in all, Heroine’s Journey was a fantastic read. Kuhn is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, and I look forward to reading whatever she writes next. And if you enjoyed any of the books in this series, then Heroine's Journey is a must read.
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.




Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by DAW via NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review: Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn

30955863Title: Heroine Worship
Series: Heroine Complex #2
Author: Sarah Kuhn
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library; paperback
More Details: Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: DAW; July 4, 2017

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

Once upon a time, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) was demon-infested San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine, a beacon of hope and strength and really awesome outfits. But all that changed the day she agreed to share the spotlight with her best friend and former assistant Evie Tanaka—who’s now a badass, fire-wielding superheroine in her own right. They were supposed to be a dynamic duo, but more and more, Aveda finds herself shoved into the sidekick role. Where, it must be said, she is not at all comfortable.

It doesn’t help that Aveda’s finally being forced to deal with fallout from her diva behavior—and the fact that she’s been a less than stellar friend to Evie. Or that Scott Cameron—the man Aveda’s loved for nearly a decade—is suddenly giving her the cold shoulder after what seemed to be some promising steps toward friendship. Or that the city has been demon-free for three months in the wake of Evie and Aveda’s apocalypse-preventing battle against the evil forces of the Otherworld, leaving Aveda without the one thing she craves most in life: a mission. All of this is causing Aveda’s burning sense of heroic purpose—the thing that’s guided her all these years—to falter.

In short, Aveda Jupiter is having an identity crisis.

When Evie gets engaged and drafts Aveda as her maid-of-honor, Aveda finally sees a chance to reclaim her sense of self and sets out on a single-minded mission to make sure Evie has the most epic wedding ever. But when a mysterious, unseen supernatural evil rises up and starts attacking brides-to-be, Aveda must summon both her superheroine and best friend mojo to take down the enemy and make sure Evie’s wedding goes off without a hitch—or see both her city and her most important friendship destroyed forever...
It hasn't been that long since I read Heroine Complex, so the memory of how much I loved the story is still fresh in my mind. Obviously, I was excited to read Heroine Worship. I’m happy to say that I loved this story as much as the first book in the series. It had everything I liked about Heroine Complex and more since it was told from Aveda’s perspective this time around. And I have to say that the Heroine Complex series just keeps getting better and better.

Heroine Worship was just a good story. I don’t have any other way to describe it. It’s also a great example of what can be done with superheroes in an urban setting (in this case, San Francisco). The supernatural elements are unique, the bad guys’ schemes/methods were out of the box, and the characters are awesome to the point where I couldn’t help but root for them to succeed. Kuhn knows how to write action as well as the daily aspects of the superheroes’ lives, and it’s the balance between the two that I really love about Heroine Worship.

One thing that continually works for these books is how Kuhn weaves the issue of relationships (platonic and romantic) in with the more supernatural and superhero aspects of the book. And if there was one character that encompassed those things, it was Aveda Jupiter. The first line of the book is “I love being a superhero.” And in Heroine Complex, Aveda was a larger than life superhero, someone who strived to portray a constant image of perfection. But she was a diva and not the greatest friend to Evie or anyone else. But there was so much more to her character than that. In Heroine Worship, there’s this whole other side to Aveda that I didn’t get to see last time. And somehow, I liked her even better now than before. I think that was because I got a better understanding of her as a character. One of the main storylines included Aveda was coming to terms with how Annie Chang and her Aveda Jupiter persona ultimately fit into her life going forward.

That’s pretty much all I have to say. I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone looking to get into the series. All-in-all, Heroine Worship was a fun read and a fantastic installment to the series. The next book is probably going to be from the perspective of one of my favorite characters, Evie’s younger sister, Bea. And I’m looking forward to that...

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Friday 56 (132) & Book Beginnings: Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.


30955863Synopsis from Goodreads...

Once upon a time, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) was demon-infested San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine, a beacon of hope and strength and really awesome outfits. But all that changed the day she agreed to share the spotlight with her best friend and former assistant Evie Tanaka—who’s now a badass, fire-wielding superheroine in her own right. They were supposed to be a dynamic duo, but more and more, Aveda finds herself shoved into the sidekick role. Where, it must be said, she is not at all comfortable. It doesn’t help that Aveda’s finally being forced to deal with fallout from her diva behavior—and the fact that she’s been a less than stellar friend to Evie. Or that Scott Cameron—the man Aveda’s loved for nearly a decade—is suddenly giving her the cold shoulder after what seemed to be some promising steps toward friendship. Or that the city has been demon-free for three months in the wake of Evie and Aveda’s apocalypse-preventing battle against the evil forces of the Otherworld, leaving Aveda without the one thing she craves most in life: a mission. All of this is causing Aveda’s burning sense of heroic purpose—the thing that’s guided her all these years—to falter.

In short, Aveda Jupiter is having an identity crisis.

When Evie gets engaged and drafts Aveda as her maid-of-honor, Aveda finally sees a chance to reclaim her sense of self and sets out on a single-minded mission to make sure Evie has the most epic wedding ever. But when a mysterious, unseen supernatural evil rises up and starts attacking brides-to-be, Aveda must summon both her superheroine and best friend mojo to take down the enemy and make sure Evie’s wedding goes off without a hitch—or see both her city and her most important friendship destroyed forever...


Beginning: "I love being a superhero."

56: "It flashed red."


Comments: Sarah Kuhn is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Heroine Complex was already an amazing read, and I was more than excited to read the followup, Heroine Worship. This book didn't disappoint. Now I'm just waiting for book three. What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

27209443Title: Heroine Complex
Series: Heroine Complex #1
Author: Sarah Kuhn
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library; paperback
More Details: Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: DAW; July 5, 2016

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

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 being completely honest when I say that the cover is what initially drew me to Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn. Then, once I started reading up about it, I knew that it was a book I eventually wanted to read. Well, I’ve read it, and I can say that I absolutely loved the story. I don't know why this hasn’t been made into a movie or TV show, because there’s a lot to love about this book.

I haven’t read anything with superheroes in a while, and I liked Kuhn’s approach. Her treatment of the story and characters took something like superheroines and demon villains and made it feel refreshingly new. There was a perfect balance between mystery, action, supernatural, and even a little romance. The story was just good. I also have to give Kuhn props for how she developed the platonic and romantic relationships. The characters talked to each other to work out issues even if the subject was a tough one, and it was glorious.

I liked that Kuhn decided to make the focus of the story the superheroines personal assistant, Evie Tanaka. Reading from Evie’s perspective showed a lot of the behind the scenes aspects of Aveda Jupiter’s crew for example the upkeep of the signature costume, support if an emotional crisis arose, and even something as simple as who’s going to buy the groceries. Evie was a wonderful character. She was good at her job, but I also liked the growth she went through once she reached her breaking point. There was also a day-to-day feel to parts of the story, and I liked those moments because it showed what life was like for Evie outside of working for Aveda.

There are more books to this series, and after the all the twists and that ending, I’m really looking forward to Heroine Worship....



Friday, May 11, 2018

The Friday 56 (131) & Book Beginnings: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.


27209443
Synopsis from Goodreads...

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...


Beginning: "I am not a superhero."

56: "Her gaze swept over me and I could practically see the gears whirring in her brain, cataloging every bit of my body that was rejecting the corset. We could wear the same clothes, but they hung a little differently on me."


Comments: This book was so much fun to read! It's one of the best super hero books I've read, and I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series. What are you reading this week?

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