Reviews: Kuhn, Sarah

Put Your Hands Up High

Heroine’s Journey — Sarah Kuhn
Heroine Complex, book 3

2018’s Heroine’s Journey is the third instalment in Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex series.

Like her sister Evie and her sister’s best friend, Aveda Jupiter, Beatrice “Bea” Tanaka has bona-fide superpowers. However …

The ten-year age difference between Evie and Bea means that Evie sees Bea as a kid sister. Not only that, she’s the kid sister whom Evie raised after the death of their mother. Evie cannot see Bea as anything but a child and relegates her sister to support roles.

Evie is also suspicious of Bea’s superpowers. Bea can control other people’s emotions, which is a super-villainous sort of power. (It doesn’t help that Bea once sided with a black hat.) True, Bea can also scream loudly enough to shatter solid objects, but it’s not at all clear that she can use this superpower in an emergency or that it will even be useful when used.

Bea is afraid that Evie will never accept her as an equal; she is less and less interested in helping Evie and Aveda.

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The Bond Between the Hopeful and the Damned

Heroine Worship — Sarah Kuhn
Heroine Complex, book 2

2017’s Heroine Worship is the second instalment in Sarah Kuhn’s comedic superhero Heroine Complex  series.

In Heroine Complex ( reviewed here ) superheroes Annie “Aveda Jupiter” Chang and Evie “No Cool Superhero Name” Tanaka vanquished the Demon Queen and closed a gate to the Otherworld. Since the Demon Queen’s shenanigans were the primary source of superhero-level threats to San Francisco, life has been pretty quiet since that battle.

That is a big problem for Aveda, because her self-image is tied up in being San Francisco’s premier saviour. She cannot save that which is not being threatened. Even if a threat did materialize, she’d have to share the spotlight with Evie, and Evie’s recently revealed pyrokinesis is much flashier than Aveda’s acrobatic martial arts. Not that Aveda is jealous of Evie, exactly; she’s just used to having the spotlight.

Many superheroes in Aveda’s position would resort to creating a robotic villain only they can defeat 1. Happily for Aveda, fate is going to hand her a challenge worthy of her talents.

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We do the things you wanna see

Heroine Complex — Sarah Kuhn
Heroine Complex, book 1

Heroine Complex is Sarah Kuhn’s debut novel.

An army of demons invaded San Francisco, but turned out to be somewhat fragile; they all died almost as soon as they arrived in our dimension (shades of H. G. Wells The War of the Worlds ). Ever since the failed invasion, San Francisco has endured several small scale incursions … but those attacks are nothing that dedicated volunteers cannot handle.

Volunteers like San Francisco’s own leather-and-spandex clad superheroine, Aveda Jupiter. And voluntolds , like Aveda’s timid but loyal personal assistant, Evie Tanaka.

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