Read Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn Online


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 togBeing 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.From the Trade Paperback edition....

Title : Heroine Complex
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 27230072
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 378 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Heroine Complex Reviews

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2018-12-23 09:27

    2 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum badly wanted to like this book, but its style was just completely wrong for my tastes, a model example of the classic “It’s not you, book–it’s me.” In these cases I always struggle to write my reviews, because I know what I perceive as flaws are in fact really selling points that will be very attractive to others. They say good content will always have an audience though, which is why I’m not too concerned about this book’s chances of finding success with readers everywhere, but I confess it didn’t really work as well for me, in spite of its huge charisma.First, a little bit about Heroine Complex: The book tells the story of two best friends—one is a flashy superheroine, and the other is her quiet personal assistant. Ever since they were five years old, our protagonist Evelyn Tanaka has always found herself in Annie Chang’s shadow, and that’s become especially true now that Annie has become Aveda Jupiter, savior of San Francisco. It isn’t easy keeping up with a superheroine, or putting up with her epic tantrums whenever things don’t go her way, but Evie always tells herself she doesn’t mind the work. After all, Annie-now-Aveda is her oldest, most loyal friend. She’s been there for Evie through all the bad times, rescuing her whenever she needed the help and emotional support. Evie figures the least she can do to repay Aveda is to give her boss anything she wants, and do whatever she commands.But then one day, Aveda injures herself while fighting cupcake demons, suffering a sprain which would put her out of commission for at least four to six weeks. Refusing to accept being out of the spotlight for that long, Aveda convinces Evie to act as her double and make public appearances in her stead. True to form, Evie caves spectacularly to her friend’s demands, never mind that she has no experience schmoozing at glitzy events, or fighting portal demons for that matter. In fact, Evie has spent most of her adult life actually trying to hide her own superpower, which she fears would be dangerous if she ever let it out.What can I say? The whole superheroes meets The Devil Wears Prada premise wrapped up in an urban fantasy package was certainly irresistible to me, and at first I genuinely thought Heroine Complex would be right up my alley. And indeed, I would have loved it, I think, if some of the elements which first attracted me to this book–the humor, the action, the snark, etc.–hadn’t been so exaggerated and over-the-top. Another key problem I had with this book was how cartoonish the setting felt. UF has always been one of my favorite genres because I love the way it reimagines our world with supernatural aspects in it, while still maintaining the realism and believability of the setting. In contrast, Sarah Kuhn’s San Francisco and all the characters populating it are more like comic caricatures, and her writing style also reflects this general vibe.By the way, I use descriptions like “cartoonish” and “comic” because I believe none of this is by accident. I get the feeling that this is exactly what the author is aiming for, but I really have to be in the right mood for this tongue-in-cheek style, and I guess I just wasn’t.Not surprisingly then, story and characters are also ultra-predictable. Again, I know all that is part and parcel of this particular narrative style, but it still nettled. Evie, despite her quirkiness and ebullience, comes across too bland and two-dimensional. She and her friends are like walking clichés playing their assigned roles and speaking their hammy lines. The romance also felt a bit tacked on and flat, since whenever Evie and her love interest Nate shared a scene, their relationship only seemed to have two settings: sniping-at-each-other mode, or can’t-keep-our-hands-off-each-other mode. I did think the story was fast-paced and fun though, and the plot had its flashes of brilliance every now and then, but it simply wasn’t enough to keep me energized for nearly 400 pages.Major kudos for the Asian American superheroine protagonists though, even if I could have done without a couple of the stereotypes, like how Asian parents only care about their kids’ grades and would disavow us if we didn’t get into med school, and my eyes just about bugged out of my head when I read that part where Evie said she was used to not letting herself feel because she’s Asian and knows all about emotional repression. Yes, I realize there’s usually a nugget of truth to stereotypes and I’m aware this is all done in the spirit of good fun, but seeing them propagate even for the sake of humor still makes me a tad uncomfortable especially since I’ve had to face many of these same misconceptions in my life (“You’ll want your daughters to be doctors, right?” Even when said in jest, this one is my own personal bane.)Overall, I know I’m in the minority with my lukewarm reaction, so if you think you’ll enjoy the story’s style or the type of humor I described, then you should definitely give this book a try. Heroine Complex accomplishes what it sets out to do, and it does all of it very well, even if it did turn out not to be the kind of book for me.

  • Book Riot Community
    2019-01-22 09:27

    I LOVED this book. Asian lady superheroes are my jam, and every page of Sarah Kuhn’s novel delighted me immensely. Evie Tanaka is best friends with and the much-beleaguered personal assistant to superheroine Aveda Jupiter, who destroys demons tearing up San Francisco. Their friendship is a bit uneven, with Evie catering to Aveda’s whims and caprices, even as she deals with her own emerging superpowers. Seeing the way both women deal with those hard moments in both constructive and selfish ways was a welcome surprise, because women don’t often get to be both things and grow. 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 L drama, and making me wish that Heroine Complex would go on just a little bit longer.— Angel Cruzfrom The Best Books We Read In May 2016:’ve had this book on my to-read list since the moment I laid eyes on that amazing superhero cover. The actual stuff behind the cover did not disappoint. It’s a high-energy superhero adventure from start to finish with compelling (read: funny and snarky) narration courtesy of Evie Tanaka, superhero assistant extraordinaire. If you want some sweet Asian representation mixed in with superpowers, get this book. But don’t be misled by the cover art – this is definitely not YA lit.— Jessica Yangfrom The Best Books We Read In July 2016:

  • Sue (Hollywood News Source)
    2019-01-11 08:46

    I just realized I’ve never rated Heroine Complex upon reading it last year. I’m completely blown away by this book. In our age where superhero is the new pop-culture, it’s quite difficult to find a series featuring women of color as the center of heroic resistance. There’s a few representations for POC in comics and other media content but that’s only a scrap if we’re going to compare it on how white people dominate every single genre. This is why Heroine Complex is equally refreshing. It frames a different kind of norm in the superhero universe while simultaneously providing an entertaining, swoony story.The book follows Evie Tanaka, the best friend and assistant of San Francisco’s most reveled superheroine Aveda Jupiter. Their usual dynamic is about to change when Evie must pose as her best friend for a night. All hell breaks loose when she summoned a fire just using her hands. I love a story that has a fun and lively tone. Only a few authors could manage to deliver that. Heroine Complex certainly fit that bill. The history, build-up of the plot is relatively easy to get into. I’d highly recommend it to comic readers or to anyone who loves a superhero. Though, what really amaze me is the characterization of the Aveda Jupiter and Evie. The dynamics between characters are one of my favorite kinks while reading, it’s not a surprise I will focus on that element! Props to Kuhn because this book focuses on a heroine who’s usually the sidekick. Evie doesn’t have a flair for dramatics, she’s level-headed, passionate, and reliable. She’s been the assistant of Aveda since her best friend donned her costume. Unfortunately, their friendship isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Her boss is demanding, manipulative, and so self-consumed. There’s a power imbalance between them, and Aveda just knows what the right words to say to Evie to make her do something. She sounds so awful, that’s because she is. The narrative didn’t excuse how she’s been unappreciative. Instead, there’s an emphasis on repairing the friendship between them and there’s self-love and healing.My frigid heart couldn’t help but to be swayed with Aveda’s arc. Everyone seems to love her, but nobody really knows the true her. She’s hardworking, she has visions for herself. She’s not naturally born with talents (whatever that means,) she has to work hard for it. The tragedy, someone can do it better than her. On the outside, she seems to have everything, she’s untouchable; but truly she’s just another girl who’s are still stuck by her insecurities and inadequacies. I can’t wait to see her progress in Heroine Worship.I promise, I'll also talk about the heroine in my full review. This is a mess. You can expect hate to love otp and beautiful characters.

  • CW (Read Think Ponder)
    2018-12-31 15:48

    I wish I had this book when I was a teen. This book is bloody fantastic.- ASIAN!!! SUPERHEROINES!!! - I loved how fun this book was. Nothing wholly serious, though there are some very serious moments, but it was just so entertaining. I haven't had so much fun reading in awhile.- In between solving demon mysteries and kicking demon butt, it's also a great book about friendship, love, finding yourself, and courage.- The humour in this book is so refreshing and wonderful. There were some moments where I genuinely laughed - and it was mostly because of Aveda's diva complex!- I adored Nate and really related to him. GIVE ME FACTS AND SCIENCE AND SPREADSHEETS. I am here for Nate's dorky scientific mode.Full review to come.

  • Brooke
    2019-01-10 14:40

    I found this one when io9 raved about it, but at 30% through I was not sharing their love for it. The writing style is annoyingly perky, and the characters have ridiculous isn't-that-so-cute quirks (the main character apparently eats only Lucky Charms for every meal). The infodumpy conversations are unnatural (imagine turning to your coworker and loudly saying, "So, fellow co-worker who I have worked alongside for the last 5 years, can you please remind me how we do this task that we do regularly?"). There's a scene where the main character is eavesdropping on villain-y types monologuing about their motivations and evil plans, and it was so stilted and awkward. At the 60% mark I found myself not believing in Aveda and Evie's supposed friendship, at ALL. There are lots of anecdotes that Evie shares about how Aveda was a great friend in the past, but all of their interactions in the present time make Aveda seem like such an unpleasant, selfish asshole. Their friends stage an intervention to discuss the destructive nature of Aveda and Evie's bickering, and only Evie apologizes, while Aveda stands by silently, and no one seemed to think this was bitchy. The plot had a number of points that didn't make sense. For example, they fight demons for a living, but for some reason when Evie sees a demon when she's by herself, everyone chalks it up to a hallucination without any good reason given for this assumption.The characters are either bland or sloppy - Lucy doesn't seem to have a personality except for calling everyone "Love" or "Darling" every other sentence, and Evie's little sister goes through about three different personalities as the plot requires it. Urban fantasy can be done very well (ie - Kelley Armstrong's Bitten and Stolen, Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series), or it can be pretty painful (the rest of Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, Mead's Bloodlines series). Heroine Complex unfortunately falls into the latter category. I had really expected to enjoy it, but ultimately found the writing entirely unconvincing.

  • Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)
    2019-01-09 12:28

    ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewWOW, so this book was a really awesome surprise..Aveda Jupiter is San Francisco's most loved super heroine. Swooping in to vanquish all sorts of demonic baddies. Alas, she doesn't prove indestructible and ends up being hurt and needing to take some time off. In steps her much put-upon PA and best friend Evie (awesome name choice) What ensues is a fast-paced, humorous and absoluting entertaining ride. Demon cupcakes with fangs, animated statues, THING like hands that attack, and karaoke offs, are just a few of the things Aveda, Evie and a plethora of amazingly written side characters have to face off against. It even had a nice little dose of sex and romance.I LOVED this one. It was just plain FUN

  • Jacob Proffitt
    2019-01-18 10:48

    This story had some charm. And a bit of humor. And an interesting background. If it hadn't stumbled into some of my more frustrating pet peeves, it might have reached awesome. As it is, it's good but not great.The best of the setup is Evie and Aveda and their friendship that has extended from childhood. The story starts with that relationship having deteriorated under the pressures of the demon invasion of San Francisco but even so, there's a foundation there that Kuhn does an outstanding job of expressing. The re-exploration of that relationship really stands out as a highlight of the book and adding the demon-fighting team dynamic enhanced that even more with a strong cast of secondary characters.Unfortunately, there are also a lot of things that felt stuck in default setting or where the plot thins to near transparency. Biggest of those, for me, was Evie's complete ambition being bound up in "being normal"—like that's something great to aspire to. You know, all those parents of exceptional kids warning them before leaving the house "now mind, dear, that you be as normal as you can." Even when someone has handicaps or afflictions that make normal an aspiration know better than to make mere normal their goal because everybody has aspects of themselves that can shine. Plus, "being normal" is the wimpiest negative motivation* I can think of and that's just lamer than lame.And unfortunately, Kuhn also stuck one of my very least favorite tropes into the romance. It happens after the relationship is established pretty strongly, too, which served to maximize my pain (and make this a spoiler, sadly). The whole (view spoiler)[making unilateral decisions "for your own good" thing. This is particularly appalling in the "I'm going to sacrifice my life with a plan to save everybody else. With the kicker that Nate's "plan" is truly stupid and has an approximately 2% chance of actually working. So he's stupid and unilateral-decision-man (hide spoiler)].Add some really over-the-top scene chewing by multiple villains and some situations that are obviously being mined for situational (read slapstick) humor and there was enough cheese to offset the strengths of the core relationships. Which is sad because I really wanted to like this much more than I ended up doing.A note about Steamy: There are enough explicit sex scenes to put this in the middle of my steam tolerance. I lost exact count, but three or four of moderate length. They didn't really stand out, or anything, but I can't decide if that's a plus or minus...* Negative Motivations: I kind of hate that the term "negative motivation" isn't widespread, yet. Since it isn't, I'm going to save off this little jag to append to my reviews that feature the term. Jennifer Crusie blogged about it a bit back and it changed how I understand story. The problem with the term is that if you've never heard it before, you'd assume it meant motivations that are harmful or immoral. Not so. What it refers to is motivations not to do something. The thing is that many of us are motivated to not do things for a lot of different, perfectly valid and reasonable, reasons. The problem is that in a story motivations to not do things are a huge drag on the plot—particularly considering the fact that most negative motivations are overcome by the character simply deciding they don't care any more (or, rather, that they do care and are now motivated to do the thing). So not only do you have a counter to action but you also have a situation where to overcome it, all a character has to do is change their mind. Which means eventually, the reader is rooting for the character to get over him/herself already and do the thing we want them to do. Conflict drives story. Conflict between a reader and a main character drives readers away from story.

  • The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
    2018-12-23 15:48

    Urban fantasy done RIGHT! None of that typically whitewashed crap that thinks a multicultural city is made up of nothing but straight white people (you know what I'm talking about). Better still, two feisty Asian American women as superheroes and lots of strong female friendships. The romance I could do without, because I'm actually one of those "crazy" female readers who believes a story featuring women having awesome adventures doesn't always need to fall back on making sure at least one of them falls in love with a man. Thankfully it didn't become the focus, though the hints were there that the hero was a lot more than he seemed.I loved the San Francisco setting and it made me feel all the more saddened that the real life SF of today is nothing like this. In fact, I miss my City By the Bay of the 80's and 90's.

  • Charlie Anders
    2019-01-04 14:54

    This book is so much fun. It's a really neat take on the superhero/sidekick relationship -- first of all, there's a whole Devil Wears Prada thing where the sidekick is sort of the bullied personal assistant to a Type A personality hero who wants everything to be Perfect. But then you find out they were actually childhood friends and they have a much more complicated relationship. Add the fact that the superhero gets injured and the sidekick has to take her place for a while, and you've got a crazy entertaining ride.

  • Wendi Lee
    2019-01-02 11:33

    On the surface, this book has everything going for it: Asian American main characters, super heroines (yay!), a diverse supporting cast, and a snappy plot. It should have been a fun, light fantasy read, but instead I plodded through it. Even telling myself, "Pretend it's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, only in book form!" didn't help. Because the truth is, Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a lot of substance behind the fighting, vampires, and quirky dialogue. This book, not so much.I knew a few details about each character (Evie, for example, has a younger sister she's taking care of, loves Lucky Charms, was inspired by a Michelle Yeoh martial arts film). But it never went beyond the surface, and I think that's what made this a struggle. If I had more of a connection with the characters, I would have been more invested in their story. It does get a thumbs up for the romance aspect, because I did feel Nate was 100% perfect for Evie, so there is that.

  • Miranda (MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It)
    2018-12-25 13:30

    4.5 / 5 FangsHeroine Complex was such a unique and addictive book! I truly have never read an urban fantasy book quite like this one. I loved how the author really made this her own book with interesting fantasy elements. Heroine Complex was the perfect combination of humor, action, romance, and drama. I never felt bored while reading this book, and I never wanted it to end!OKAY, I WANT TO MENTION HOW MUCH I LOVED THE DIVERSITY IN THIS BOOK. PLUS, THE FEMALES IN THIS BOOK KICKED MAJOR BOOTY AND I LOVED IT.The main character, Evie, was fabulous. She was so sassy and easy to relate to. I loved how real she felt and how I could truly see myself in her shoes. Evie made me laugh out loud numerous times and she made me so proud with her badassery. I really like the journey she went on to discover self-acceptance in regards to superpowers.There were a lot of side characters that were just as lovable as Evie. I liked that each side character served a role and they weren't just pushed to the side. They all had a presence and helped Evie out when she needed it. Evie's boss and best friend, Aveda, was a little hard to warm up to. She seemed really self-absorbed and narcissistic. It was nice to see her open up and show her true feelings for Evie and some other characters throughout the book. Her showing compassion made her seem more human and easier to like. The romance in this book was adorable and very well paced. The romance never took away from the plot and it was never the main focus of the book. It was perfectly balanced. Also, I shipped Evie and the male that she had a romance with SO FREAKING HARD. From their first interaction where they started arguing, I knew I was going to ship it. Their romance was so swoon-worthy and full of banter. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I WANT MORE OF THEM, PLEASE?Overall, this was an extremely entertaining and interesting book. The plot of this book was unique and it kept me glued to the pages. If you want to read an urban fantasy about kick-ass women, then this is the book for you!!!4.5 / 5 Fangs*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. *MrsLeif's Two Fangs About ItFacebookTwitter

  • Nikki
    2019-01-04 12:45

    I got this to review at some point, but I also bought a copy… a fact which I now regret. Okay, there’s a lot of cool things about it: female Asian protagonists who kick ass in different ways, a casually queer character, bitey flying cupcakes, the main character talks frankly about anxiety… And for quite a while I was enjoying it a lot.It’s just, I don’t like reading books where people like me are called dead inside, even in jest. I’m sure the main character isn’t intended to be read as asexual — it’s mostly that she’s forced herself not to feel in order to control her powers (let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore…) — but the lack of sexual attraction to people she describes is my every day and whole life. And I’m okay with that; it doesn’t bother me or my partner, and I don’t think I’m broken because of it (anymore). It’s just the way I’m made.It’s not my “Dead-Inside-O-Tron”.Yes, that’s what Evie calls her lack of sexual attraction — her “Dead-Inside-O-Tron”. Neatly calls up two stereotypes about people who aren’t interested in sex: that we’re robots, and that we’re dead inside. And before you protest that nobody says that, I saw it twice on my twitter the day I was reading this book.I kept going for a while with the book, but when I put it down to go out and came back, I found that I was just tired of it. Tired of the romance scenes punctuated by Evie wondering why her “Dead-Inside-O-Tron” had stopped working. I can get a person feeling that way and calling it that; I can understand that it’s not targeted to hurt people like me by reiterating the whole “you’re dead inside” meme. It doesn’t mean I can keep enjoying the book.Reader, I put it down. I have plenty of books to read that don’t remind me constantly that people think I’m a dead-inside robot.The flying bitey cupcakes are still a cool image, though.Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.

  • Lata
    2019-01-13 14:49

    I wanted to like this. And though I read the entire book, I found it tough going:-I loved the concept of two Asian American superheroes, who have known each other all their lives and are friends. One's Chinese, the other half Japanese. So 5 points for that.-The main characters, Evie and Annie/Aveda, are in their mid-20s, but I found they seemed much younger, like 16-17 years old. 2 points.-The general tone of the book was light and fast and I imagined everything in bright colours, much like a comic book. But this also got kind of tiring as the book progressed. 2 points.-Characterization was weak. No character had depth. Though the central relationship was based on a longstanding bond of being outsiders in kindergarten thanks to their races and foods, and personalities (all of which I could relate to) I didn't find either young woman was particularly interesting. And neither were any of the characters surrounding them. 1.5 points.-I figured out who the baddie was really quickly, and thought the baddie's plot and methods to be really dumb. 1 point.-The demons infiltrating our dimension weren't particularly interesting. 1 point.-Too much teenage angst and melodrama between the characters. 0.5 point.-The sex was handled well, and was respectful and positive, though the way the relationship was built up felt boring and conventional and held no surprises. 2.5 points-I loved the cover art! 4 points.Total: 2 points

  • Sherwood Smith
    2018-12-23 11:39

    Copy received courtesy of NetGalleyIf you, like me, crack up when a couple of nerds tumble into bed for some hot sex— preceded by one placing a fire extinguisher within reach—grab this book! Evie Tanaka is our first person narrator, assistant to the super-heroine Aveda Jupiter, protector of San Francisco, which suffered the opening of a demon portal eight years previous. The only upside was that a number of people gained mild powers, including Aveda; her true skill is speed and martial arts ability honed by determined and constant work. She hides the fact that her demon portal power is abysmally useless.Aveda is dedicated to protecting San Francisco against the occasional portals that still appear and spew demons, which means working on her social media, appearance, and publicity as well as constant workouts. Evie is the unthanked assistant who takes care of the unglamorous side of Aveda’s life as Aveda does the demon-fighting and garners all the kudos. The rest of Aveda’s team are Lucy, her martial arts instructor, and Nate, her physician and science geek, who lives in the basement working on his lab experiments.Nate is all about the science, which irritates Evie to no end. The two of them snipe constantly. Meanwhile Scott, who—like Evie and Aveda—go all the way back to grammar school is reluctantly sort of part of the team. He can’t stand Aveda in her new persona, but his healing spells are necessary, and he likes Evie, so he cooperates.Finally there is Bea, Evie’s sixteen-year-old sister, who Evie is trying with diminishing success to raise, but Bea is rebelling more each day.All these exasperations test Evie to the max because she is determined to keep her emotions locked down behind her Dead-Inside-o-Tron. If not . . . she refuses to think of if not.But we all know what happens when pressure cookers blow.This is a fast-paced, imaginative, wise-cracking, fun novel about demon cupcakes, zombie statues, other-dimensional portals, Karaoke bars, blog feuds, martial arts movies, various kinds of geekdom—and female friendship, diversity, romance, and family. I hope this will be the first of many.

  • Angel
    2019-01-14 15:38

    THIS BOOK. It was a delight from start to finish. I loved Evie's adventures and her relationships with Aveda, her sister, and Nate, and Scott. Basically this book was the superhero story I wanted to read, and more.A more coherent review to come closer to pub date!

  • Maggie
    2019-01-13 12:41

    It's hard out there for a superhero. An Asian superhero though??Meet Aveda Jupiter, née Annie Chang, San Francisco's self appointed protector. After a portal opened up in the city and gave her (very) limited powers of telekinesis, she decided to train herself to become a superhero. She was inspired as a child by watching Michelle Yeoh in The Heroic Trio (1992), a film about three female superheroes in Hong Kong. (The full movie is on YouTube by the way.) (Also Maggie Cheung is in it!)Sitting next to Annie in the theater, and next to her always, is her best friend and assistant Evie Tanaka. They met in elementary school when the other kids started picking on Evie for bringing spam musubi to school and Annie defiantly ate them all. The spam musubi, not the other kids. Evie and Annie bonded as Evie held Annie's head while she threw up all the spam, and they've had each other's backs every since. Well, it's mostly been Evie behind Annie once Annie decided to become AVEDA JUPITER, SUPERHERO. But mild mannered Evie preferred a behind the scenes role as she's also been taking care of her younger sister after their mother died and father ran off.The tables get turned when Aveda injures her ankle while superhero-ing, and she sends a glamoured Evie in her place to some events. When demons attack one event, Evie, who isn't trained in fighting like Aveda, ends up using a power that she's repressed since an incident long ago. She shoots fire out of her hand. Evie, as Aveda, finds herself for the first time at the center of attention, from curious bloggers to those pesky, seemingly evolving demons.Rounding out Team Aveda is Nate, nerdy, scientific, ...muscled, brooding Nate, Lucy the bodyguard/trainer/condom supplier, and Bea, Evie's annoying little sister extraordinaire. My first feeling about this book is just how NECESSARY it is. This is the scene where Annie and Evie discover The Heroic Trio for the first time, but it could also apply to kids reading this book:From my LitsyIt's why #WeNeedDiverseBooks. Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal, as amazing as she is, can't be the only one holding it down for us colored girls. This is also about friendships, and how they evolve and can get complicated. This book was in the Sci Fi section but it could also be classified as YA/NA. Evie is just recognizing her powers, both literally and figuratively, and all the feelings she's tamped down over the years are bubbling out. Aveda and Evie have both identified themselves in one way for so long (hero and sidekick) that this new situation makes them reexamine their places in the world and each other's lives and what they want out of both. I had some trouble with the tone initially because it read younger than I was expecting despite the characters being in their 20s. It also brought up some great issues that weren't addressed, like Aveda's Asian parents not approving of her lifestyle choice, but now that I see a sequel (and series!) is in the works, I really hope they're examined in the next installment.Overall, there's so much potential in the story and characters and writing, that despite being a little uneven at times, I'm ALL IN. It's also really fun. There are karaoke battles to the death! What more could you want?? Heroine Complex is a book we need, but also one that we deserve. We deserve superheroes that LOOK LIKE US, damn it, WRITTEN by people who LOOK LIKE US.--Whew, this is the first review I've written in like 4 years. What can I say, I was inspired by the DNC. If Hillary Clinton can become the first female presidential nominee of a major party, I can finish a review. Or something. Now I'm going to finish The Heroic Trio. How has everyone been??

  • Eri (Airy Reads)
    2018-12-27 12:51

    Honestly, this book is exactly what I needed as a pick me up on this awful Monday I've had and I'm so thrilled that this is a series because the snarky Evie Tanaka is one of my favorite heroines now. She's snarky and fun, and while she might seem like a doormat because of her boss aka Aveda Jupiter, I liked that there was a bond of genuine friendship underneath their work dynamic which warped and complicated their relationship. I was initially surprised that this wasn't a comic book, as I'd wrongfully assumed it would be, due to the cover and premise, but that was easily forgotten in the colorful scenarios and descriptions that painted the scenes in lovely detail, with the added commentary of the lovely heroine. The book is part romance, part adventure, and still manages to be funny, which is always a bonus.There's a cute romance in this that I loved and seeing the sparks and chemistry on the page before Evie even realizes was fun, particularly since the scenes between her and the love interest were fairly combustible. The plot itself is well-paced, and I'm glad all the flashy super powers didn't detract from it and I was still surprised by some of the plot twists. The characters were fleshed-out and I liked that even the side characters didn't fade into the watery background of being supportive, but actually had some vibrant personalities and twisted some of the boring archetypes around. Nate is definitely one of my favorites, and I do love Lucy as well. Also, as someone who reads a lot of books that feature a romance, I don't encounter non-white characters often, and finding that Evie was part Japanese was wonderful. Seeing her front and center along with Annie who's Chinese, not only being romance heroines but also the hero who saves the day, not the nerdy sidekick who fades into the background, was delightful. I've read a few articles by the author about Asian-American representation in geek culture and such, and while Evie isn't exactly who I am, seeing someone who is Asian is so important, especially in a landscape populated with white heroines who save the day/fall in love etc. I related to a lot of aspects of Evie, and how she felt other-ed by her "different" lunches and lack of represenation in media, something that's very true to many of us who are Asian. Lastly, I've heard that the second book features Annie, and I do think Evie's story was nicely wrapped up in this book so I'm dying to read Annie's story and still get to see my beloved Evie and the rest of the gang.

  • All Things Urban Fantasy
    2019-01-10 15:41

    Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.Action-packed and fun, HEROINE COMPLEX is the superheroine story that I've been waiting for. Full of fun and action, HEROINE COMPLEX has it all - demon fighting, a dramatic superhero, and a dab of romance to top it off!One of the best things about HEROINE COMPLEX is its portrayal of female relationships. There's Evie and Aveda's relationship, that of boss and employee as well as best friends for years, there's Evie and Bea's relationship, that of sisters, as well as many others. This book definitely does a good job of showing females interacting without having to talk about guys (though the guys are sometimes the subject of conversation as well). What I liked best about it was that they all felt realistic, and it is nice to see, because even though there are a lot of strong female protagonists in urban fantasy, they are not frequently surrounded by women, like Evie is.The other aspect of characterization that shone was the fact that the characters were all multi-faceted. Aveda was sometimes a bit of a drama queen, but she had her positives as well. She's kind of like that friend who you know has your back, even if sometimes they drive you up a wall. Kuhn did such a good job of giving those nuances to Aveda that it was totally believable.Also, I just wanted to note: Evie's inner monologue while drunk was hysterical. That's all.The overall plot arc, of fighting off the demons about to invade San Francisco, came off a bit thin. The big reveal at the end was somewhat ridiculous, but it still surprised me. In this case, it almost felt like the author was trying to make the book stretch longer, since the more dramatic climax had happened a chapter or so earlier. The sense of urgency was lost by the end and overall I was a little dissatisfied.However, despite my complaints, overall I felt HEROINE COMPLEX is a great start to a series, and I can't wait to see who or what Evie and Aveda take on next!Sexual content: Several mildly explicit sex scenes

  • Ella Zegarra
    2019-01-21 14:54

    Un libro para niños?No. Entonces Young Adult?NoPero la portada... LO SÉ.Original de: El Blog del Gato - El Extraño Gato del CuentoHeroine Complex me encantó porque hay una gran amistad en el libro que, a pesar de tener un montón de problemas, tratan de resolverlo de manera adulta… claro, luego de mucho berrinche de Aveda en algún momento Lee este libro por el simple placer de leer un buen libro, es rapidísimo de leer.Twitter • Tumblr • Tvtime • Goodreads • Instagram • Blog

  • Bookevin
    2018-12-22 11:40

    4.5 starsInitial thoughts:I swear to God, I had so much fun reading Heroine Complex because it's got such a sassy ass protagonist and the pop culture references were A+! Also, I loved that Evie considered Michelle Yeoh --my home girl from Malaysia -- as her childhood heroine from the movie The Heroic Trio!Like I said, it was a thrill, reading about Asian superheroines kick ass in Heroine Complex! I can't wait to pick up Heroine Worship because I would love to get inside Aveda's head.In short, a fast-paced, snarky and delightful read that explores friendship and acceptance, with a surprising twist in the end and some raunchy, steamy bits!Full review to come.

  • Jaclyn
    2018-12-22 08:54

    Originally reviewed at The Book Adventures.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.

  • Connor
    2018-12-25 11:36

    [slams hand on table] ANOTHER.4.5. From lady Asian superheroes to pop culture references (which did not feel heavy handed? I'm impressed) to karaoke nights to lady bodyguards and childhood friends... I was pretty much destined to love this book. Kuhn aptly navigates the difficult task of keeping the prose light and fun without sweeping away the struggles and sorrows the characters encounter, making Heroine Complex one of those few novels that manages to tackle the weight of the world--racism! sexism! the male centered gaze! absentee parents! demons from the Otherworld!--without leaving the reader staggering underneath that weight. The frankness of her narration is both refreshing, humorous, and thought provoking. The genuine care and frustration between her characters is much the same, and I look forward to seeing what they do after this book. Also there are a bunch of kickass fight scenes AND a karaoke match to the death (am I exaggerating? Am I not? WHO KNOWS), and I am ALL about both of those.

  • Allison
    2018-12-27 13:29

    God this book was fun. It's NOT urban fantasy (or is it???), but it has that urban fantasy vibe to it. I'll say that I'm hooked???? AND I HOPE IT'S A LONG SERIES AND I WILL STICK WITH IT. Laugh out-loud funny, but also with its share heartfelt moments. And oh yes there's some hot nerdy sex. Just what I needed for a quick and kick-ass reading break from my ARC pile.

  • Austine (NovelKnight)
    2019-01-05 15:43

    I never thought I'd be reading a book about superheroes... sorry, superheroines... and I didn't think it would be anything like Heroine Complex. I guess I was expecting lots of action and big epic battles, awesome superpowers, all that jazz. Instead, I read a book that was fabulously down-to-earth and just felt real (despite all the demon things running around the city of San Francisco).This book was so much fun to read. Much of that I attribute to the protagonist, Evie, who's an assistant to her best friend who also happens to be the city's amazing superheroine Aveda Jupiter. She puts up with a LOT and I had a lot of respect for Evie at times. Other times I wanted to her to grow a freaking backbone and stand up for herself (don't worry, it happened). But her flaws, her decisions and how she handles the consequences, felt realistic. Human. And in this particular world that was an achievement.I'm pretty sure the way the story's told was entirely intentional (at least I hope so). It's humorous, even opening with demons who possess cupcakes. The bad guys are mean girls seeking attention and otherwordly demons that come off as funny instead of scary. The real story came down to the friendship between Evie and Aveda, coming to terms with the other's life and how they can come to work together.Evie also gets a romance and I'm just gonna say that I wouldn't mind having a brawny scientist in my life. That particular subplot didn't feel forced either. Kuhn led up to it in both obvious and not-so-obvious ways that made it an "they should totally be together already" way well before it comes up.For those looking for representation, I can't speak in terms of how well it was done but the main character is stated as being half-Japanese and Aveda is Chinese-American. I don't say this because I think it impacted the story in any way beyond the characters being themselves, but more for those interested in a story featuring a non-white lead.I'm not actually sure what to call this book, if it's an urban fantasy or not. I suppose that's the best genre for it but you'll find that Heroine Complex doesn't read the same way as many of the books in the genre. As I said, it's laced with humor that I'd expect from late night cartoons. It sets the book apart in my mind both in style and content.This book is just plain fun. I don't think it's the best book I've ever read, but the characters were well-developed and easy to relate to both in terms of their personality and the decisions they face (cupcake demons aside, of course). I'm looking forward to checking out the sequel which follows Aveda. At first, I wasn't a huge fan of her for the way she treated Evie but I slowly came over to her side by the end and definitely think she deserves her own book.If you're into badass superheroines who are also insanely human, this is the book for you. With the sequel out, you can now binge the books too. Get on that, y'all. ;)

  • Maire Magnus ♀
    2018-12-31 10:46

    Well, that was a ride, AND IT WAS DAMN GOOD. Now, as i am not one of those great ass reviewers who talk about the plot of the story and somehow poetically weave their opinion and thoughts on the story through that I'm going to completely skip that part of this reveiw and go directly into my thoughts and feelings, because honey, this book was my shit. This book literally appeared on my dash because one of my friends wanted to read it and i thought it looked cool and then a week later i start reading it. i started this book this morning and finished tonight. Now, I'll say that means i REALLY liked the book. And there is also the other fact that i was particularly hellbent on reading this book in one day. ANYWAY. Let's talk about Lucy, my fictional girlfriend, SHE WAS SO GREAT. This bitch was literally described to have a stare fuck and swept girls off their feet by singing karaoke to them. Brilliant. i can also relate to the whole "Egh. Straight people." comment, because, I, as a bisexual, can relate on high levels to this. and having to deal with my heteronormative school on a very normal basis this is HIGHLY relatable. I did not dig Nate and Evie's relationship that much in the beginning. Like, they fought daily, and then they held hands once and BOOM POW BITCH WE HAVING A RIOT OF SEX. That, admittedly was the only part of their relationship that annyoed me. other than the few times their relationship status fights became very predictable. Their relationship did grow on me, a little. Anyway, i really love Evie as a main character, and i love a lot of the messages behind this story. also, when Evie started talking about not pitting girls against girls and not giving into the male centric gaze of their heroinizm and then going off and yelling at another girl was VERY hypocritical. but eventually this matter was solved and Maisy, they girl Evie yelled at did also admit to her, quite honestly, awful actions, was great. I think I'm on the same side as everyone when i say i really agreed with Scott on how toxic Evie and Aveda's relationship was. And i was kind hating it in the first place anyway. but these characters actually adressed their issues properly, and sat down and TALKED, and jesus fuck i needed that. this book is a 10/10 for not being problematic. goddamnit i loved it. Anyway, if i didn't already say this I ended up liked Aveda better than i did in the beginning (which was obviously the authors goal but fuck i thought she was just going to end up saying 'i'm sorry' and Evie going 'AH! I LOVE YOU AGAIN!' which is not what happened and i was very happy).Also, can i just say, the plot??? fucking amazing??? like, did not expect this, just thought it was going to be your average, "these kids are superheros fighting demons and there's gonna be drama between the superheros." which, admittedly, did happen but the demon things were actually a main part of the plot instead of some random monsters thrown at the characters to make the characters look more badass. ALSO! THE SASS FROM MAISY AT THE END WITH SHASTA was fucking fabulous, I couldn't stop snickering at all the shit about Shasta's plan being completely stupid and not fool proof at all. I really don't feel like talking about the whole Nate being Shasta's son because i literally summed that up in my activity on this book with a simple 'WHAT THE HELL' and moved on with it. not all too caught up with Nate if I'm being honest.ANYWAY. This book was full of great humour, and i know my good friend Bianca, if your out there, would love it. And a lot of the shit in this book cracked me up, and it put a pretty fucking good message out there that girls shouldn't be pitted against girls and they should be holding each other up and not putting each other down and being at each others throats. SIDE NOTE: I'VE ALREADY RANTED ABOUT THIS TO MY FRIENDS BUT LITERALLY EVERYONE BUT EVIE SAYS "Gosh dang it" INSTEAD OF GODDAMNIT, AND I JUST CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY THEY SAY THAT BECAUSE THEY SWEAR ON A REGULAR BASIS BUT FOR SOME REASON CAN'T CONJURE UP THE WORDS 'god' AND 'damnit'??????????? Help a girl out. Anyway, the Heroine Complex, 10/10, would do again. Songs listened to: Shawn Frank - Upside down (Nolan Lith Remix), Lorde - Supercut, Lorde - Homemade Dynamite, Lorde - Sober, ODEZA - Everything at your feet ft. Chamanas, ODEZA - a moment apart, ODEZA - falls ft. Sasha Sloan(I know, damn that's a lot of songs, but i have a lot of new songs and I needed to listen to them)

  • Ariadna
    2019-01-03 09:49

    Actual rating is 2.5So many things had pinged me about this novel: a WOC as the protag, the seemingly lighthearted vibe, and the promise of a story that was miles away from the same old urban fantasy tropes. I knew I had to read this book or ELSE. #DundunduuunSadly, only a few things worked for me...and a lot didn’t. :(What I liked+ Diversity done right!The fact that Evie was half-Japanese was a huge selling point for me. I liked that she had other WOC as her friends/crew (Annie (Aveda), Bea, and Lucy.) Also, two secondary characters were queer (though that was too subtle, imho.)Another plus was the narrative tackled the otherness of growing up as a POC. Although the larger part of the story remains in the present, Evie does reminisce her youth several times throughout the book. + Evie/NateThey truly complemented each other. Whether in or out of bed, I enjoyed seeing them together. Their intimate scenes are of the fade-to-black variety, but still quite sensual and tactile. + The last 15% of the storyAfter much running around in place, the novel picked up the pace and kept me interested in what was happening. One could say that it was somewhat "too little, too late" given the size of this book, but I can’t deny it was an intense and solid endingWhat I didn’t like- AvedaShe was really insufferable for the majority of the book. There is no doubt that she trained hard and did a good job protecting San Francisco from the portal demons. But her personality was grating. Even worse was seeing Evie be accommodating and passive around Aveda. She was SUCH a doormat, for, like, 60% of the book. At one point, I wasn’t sure if Evie was aware of how awful her "best friend" acted towards her in the present. By constantly telling the reader about events in their youth, it felt like Evie was trying to convince everyone (including herself) that Aveda was her friend.Can’t say Evie’s attempt worked. :-/Thankfully, the book avoided a cliched resolution in regards to Aveda and Evie’s friendship. The annoying part was that it took a while for certain things to get addressed.- The plotYes, there were demon cupcakes (which were as awesome as they sound.) However, that didn’t make up for the fact that the story itself wasn’t as gripping as I’d hoped it’d be. OTOH, the author did a great job writing action scenes. At no point did I felt lost as to whom had punched whom and whether or not that other character was doing a roundhouse kick. Describing the mechanics of a fight in a way that can be processed in the reader’s mind is not an easy to do. OTOH, it wasn’t until around the 50% mark where plot holes began to get paved over. Up until then, I had tons of questions regarding the ‘verse and its internal logic. In addition, the characters read way younger than their actual ages. For example, Evie and Annie(Aveda) were 26 year old but their dialogue and behavior was pretty much the same as Bea’s (Evie’s 16-year old sister.) This sense of disconnect between apparent ages and actual ages didn’t easy up til the second third of the novel.- Weak VillainRegardless of the media type, superheroes only really shine when their archenemies are fearsome. It’s a matter of balance: if the villain is too competent, then you stop cheering for the hero. And, of course, no one likes a mediocre villain.Alas, the villain character in this novel had enough power to wreck havoc throughout the city yet at the same time is an uninspired character. The villain’s unmasking was anti-climatic.In a scale of 1 through 10 for Big Badness, I’d rate the villain in this book a 4. #YikesWhat I felt neutral about+/- The powersSuper late explanation as to the powers’ origins aside (ahem), I do like that the majority of the powers were extremely mundane. I thought it was cool that a lot of the enhanced individuals chose to continue their lives without "putting on the cape." At the same time, I thought it was odd that not one of those superpowered people had chosen to go rogue. TL;DR: Despite my many criticisms of this novel, I can’t say I regret reading it. The geeky, comic book-loving, old skool Buffy fan side of me enjoyed reading a story featuring a WOC as the lead. I do wish certain things had been tightened plotwise and that the villain hadn’t been so meh. I’d recommend to borrow it.

  • Acqua
    2019-01-04 15:41

    Superhero stories aren't for me.Heroine Complex is the first book in an urban fantasy romance trilogy. Evie Tanaka has never wanted to fight demons - she's really good at being Aveda Jupiter's assistant, and that's all she wants from her life. But when Aveda gets injured and asks Evie to impersonate her for one night, many things change.This book was a really fun read, but soon the writing style got too... much? Superficial isn't the right word, because Heroine Complex wasn't superficial at all - it talked about some important themes while never losing its humour. But the writing was too quirky, and it got tiring to read.If I had known beforehand this was an adult romance, I probably wouldn't have tried it, because this genre is full of amatonormativity/allonormativity and tropes I hate.Heroine Complex wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it was still full of unchallenged microaggressions: a character kept equating not having sex with being dead inside. Maybe don't?This book is really diverse, which is great - Evelyn "Evie" Tanaka is biracial Japanese/white, Annie "Aveda" Chang is Chinese-American, and their friend Lucy is a lesbian.The best thing about Heroine Complex was the character development. It was nice to see that the Aveda/Evie friendship was as developed as the Evie/Nate relationship. But I didn't care about the romance at all, and I don't think the characters were memorable.Review also on wordpress (in English) and on blogger (in Italian).

  • Rebekah Weatherspoon
    2019-01-20 13:26

    Loved it. Absolutely loved it. I cannot wait for the next installment. Fun, sexy, super clever. Also I'm totally down for the CW picking this series up as a show. Just saying.

  • Rachel Strolle
    2018-12-23 08:29


  • Jen
    2019-01-08 08:45

    My thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group/DAW for an eARC of this book to read and review.This book was heartbreaking. It had everything that I thought I would love. Kick-@ss Asian heroines? Check!Who have super-powers? Check!Demon cupcakes? Check!Big Bad that our heroines have to stop in order to save the world? Check!Then WHY didn't this book grab me? Why isn't it ringing my bells? Why does it make me sad?I didn't like the f-bombs. The first scene, we have two f-bombs back-to-back. Completely not necessary. The MC is 26, but acts more like she's sixteen, which made the bad language confusing. GORGEOUS cover, but not YA, it's NA. MC ONLY eats Lucky Charms cereal, without the purple marshmallows, for the last six years or so. Not possible, unless her superpower is being able to eat a non-nutritious diet and not die or be hospitalized due to malnutrition. Though the scene where she eats the cheese stuffed fig is unintentionally funny/sad, because IT WAS THE BEST THING SHE EVER ATE!!! Which makes sense, if her body is so starved for nutrients and all she's had to eat is a sugary breakfast cereal. The MC's younger sister is a HORRIBLE B-WORD. Like seriously, I know she's Been Through Stuff, but really? Sneaking into the alcohol cabinet and getting drunk in public, being a complete BRAT to her older sister who is trying to support both of them, not going to school and being RUDE to her sister? I hate it. And also, if the MC doesn't drink, WHY KEEP THE LIQUOR CABINET IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!? Just get RID of it, one less thing to worry about!Any WHY was everyone trying to get the MC to change? She was HAPPY the way she was and with her job. I didn't really see any evidence that she was lying to herself about that. Yet EVERYone was SO concerned and trying to change her life FOR her. That's not healthy either! If she is in an unhealthy relationship and she has heard you out about it, trying to force the issue isn't going to help her. She needs to get there on her own. And the love interest just came out of NOwhere. He was a coworker she really didn't like or get along much with. They rotated who bought the groceries, and he would never go for his turn, because his science in the basement was more important. I would be angry too. I would then also put a lock on the fridge that he didn't have the key/combo to. He doesn't want to go get the food? He doesn't get to eat the food others get. PULL YOUR OWN DAM WEIGHT SCIENCE GUY!!!So anyway, our MC is having an emotional melt-down, her dress gets torn, wet and see-through. He comes in and tries to warm her up with his jacket. All of a sudden, she experiences LUST for him. A man she doesn't get along with. Who shirks his duties, because he's special. That is where I stopped. I can see HOW being emotionally vulnerable and in a state of non-dress can make one think things that they wouldn't normally think, but it just went from action/adventure/horrible home & family life to ROMANCE!!!! It just wasn't coming all together for me; it didn't grab me. DNF at 31%. A close friend of mine really liked it, so it's not the book. I just don't think this is a good book for me at this time. 2 stars. I was going to go with three stars, but three stars equals "liked it" and I didn't. Two stars is "it's ok", which this was. I didn't hate it and I really loved that we had two heroines who are POC. I think that was handled very well. The rest of it, not so much. Not poorly written, but not for me.