“The Heroine Complex”, Take 2

27209443Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
DAW: July 5, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

The view was nice, but the food was bad
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At the beginning of June Stacey reviewed and raved about Heroine Complex, having loved the main character, Evie’s personal growth. My reaction to the book was quite different.

The concept of this alternative San Fransisco where humans have gained strange abilities is an intriguing one, as is the fact that a select few in this world have developed powers, and some are even able to channel those abilities into a sensational career as a superhero. Evie’s best friend since childhood, Annie, was able to successfully transform herself into Aveda Jupiter, San Fransisco’s beloved heroine because of her telekinetic powers she developed after an earthquake. Of course, every heroine worth her salt needs a back up team, and that’s where Evie comes in. Evie, with powers of her own, prefers to stay out of the limelight, managing the more mundane aspects of Aveda’s life and basically ignoring the fact that she even has powers. However, when Aveda is injured Evie is forced to take centre stage and start to reconcile her own feelings towards her volatile abilities.

As I said, the premise for Heroine Complex is fantastic as is the emphasis on the self-discovery Evie goes through and her co-dependent relationship with her best friend. The internal character development hooked me, as did the romance element featuring the mysterious science nerd, Nate. I wanted to love this book, I really did. But, I struggled to finish this one. I wanted to like everything about this book, but my attention failed to be captured by Evie and her adventures. For me, I think this is partly due to the fact that there was perhaps too much emphasis on the larger conflict and why this alternative San Fransisco is the way it is. Combine this world building with lots of action packed fights and I was lost. I’m never going to be a reader that likes a blow-by-blow accounting of a fight scene, and in the case of Heroine Complex there was just too much of this for me to truly feel engaged by the characters. I’m chalking my ambivalence towards this one to personal taste – you can’t win them all.

So, if you like you reading fast-paced and action-packed and have a preference for snarky, awkward, earnest, and funny heroines, Evie and her band of eccentrics will be sure to please in Heroine Complex. Readers who have an appreciation for the superhero genre will also be entertained with how the author plays around with the concept of identity creation and the superhero, especially in the age of social media. Lots to like in Heroine Complex if it’s your particular brand of catnip.

Similar Reads

Check out Stacey’s rave review of Heroine Complex for similar reads.

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