The Girl Who Would Be King
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The Girl Who Would Be King

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  801 ratings  ·  167 reviews
A novel about two teenage girls with superpowers and radically different agendas, destined for a collision that will rock the world.

Separated by thousands of miles, two young women are about to realize their extraordinary powers which will bind their lives together in ways they can't begin to understand.

Protecting others. Maintaining order. Being good. These are all import...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by 1979 Semi-Finalist, Inc (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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David "proud member of Branwen's adventuring party"
Being a graphic-novel story told in a young-adult prose, The Girl Who Would Be King is a difficult book to categorize. Considering it's also a frustratingly bad story told through a wonderfully entertaining narrative, it turns out the book is difficult to review as well!

Two girls receive superpowers after the deaths of their mothers. Haunted by the tragic car accident that took her mother's life, Bonnie Braverman vows to use her powers to help people. In contrast, Lola LaFlame proactively obta...more
I've spent most of the night trying to sort out how I feel about this book, and I think the gist of what I've come to is "disappointed". I was really psyched for The Girl Who Would Be King. I'm a fan of the author's podcast; she seems like a sensible, gender-aware woman, and I was super-excited by the idea of a female-positive YA superhero book that could avoid all of the traps that make this genre so frustrating.

Also, that is an amazing cover. I mean goddamn, Stephanie Hans should do every cove...more
Seeley James
The Girl Who Would Be King — by Kelly Thompson $2.99 E

This book is better than Hunger Games. A hell of a lot better. More exciting, more innovative, more fascinating. And yet Traditional Publishers won’t touch it. Why? Because it doesn’t fit their formula. It has no genre, no shelf at B&N, no section in the library. It doesn’t fit neatly in a marketing plan.

They can’t handle it.

But you can.

The Girl Who Would Be King is not a Young Adult title. It’s not an action adventure, or a thriller or...more
Last night, as I neared the end of the book, my girlfriend asked me what I was reading. I told her and said "I'm not sure I like it." That was around 90% through. Now I've finished and I'm still not sure I like it. I think it was an entertaining story, but the flaws might override that.

I didn't realize it was self-published at first but it explains a bit. I think there's an ellipses in every other sentence, which gets really obnoxious. The suspension of disbelief went too far for me. Very minor...more
Jessica Andersen
I really enjoyed this book. It is told in first person by two different narrators. The switch between the two is noted by a small symbol, but once you're a little ways into the book you don't really need those markers. The voices are pretty different from each other.

The story is about two girls, one raised by a disinterested mother, the other raised in an orphanage from the age of 6. They both discover they have something that makes them more than other people. They can run faster, they're stro...more
Oct 03, 2012 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ebook, 2012
What a weird week, finishing this and Divergent. On one hand you've got a mercilessly marketed NY Times bestseller, on the other a Kickstarter-backed YA-ish novel that didn't find a publisher.

One note about the differences: In Divergent, Tris has a weird relationship with an older dude in a position of power who smacks her around in public, then confesses the leavings of his wounded soul in private. In this book, you have two separate female protagonists--granted, both slightly older teenagers-...more
In case you don't know, I am what you would call a superhero fan-girl, and I love all things comic book related. Unfortunately, while I've read my fair share of comics, I haven't read that many actual novels about superheroes - only Perry Moore's Hero and Superman: Last Son of Krypton by Elliot S! Maggin. That's why I was beyond ecstatic to hear about this book while browsing through Kickstarter.

The Girl Who Would Be King tells the story of two very different girls: Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeF...more
Projects like this are why I love Kickstarter. The Girl Who Would Be King is a fun, well-written gem of a book, and if traditional publishers had the final word, it never would have seen the light of day. This book is admittedly difficult to classify-- it's a YA book that is somewhat longer and more "literary" than most YA books, and it also contains more sex, violence, and sci-fi elements than are normally seen in YA literature. Instead of brooding vampires, jealous werewolves, or teens struggl...more
This is a story about two girls, one good and one evil, who are destined to fight each other, and since they've both got superpowers it's going to be one hell of a fight. Their names are Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeFever.

Guess which one is which.

There were a lot of good points about this book. The characters that are meant to be likeable are likeable. Bonnie is a tad dull, but endearing enough. The side characters - Liesel, Ben, Bryce, Liz - just noticed that everyone seems to be either an L or...more
Despite some writing that needed a run through with a professional editor, some insta-love and some logic missteps, I really loved The Girl Who Would Be King. As I expected when I read the summary, it’s everything I want in a story: Two main female leads who end up being the other’s enemy, with the fate of the world in the balance, all told like a comic book in prose form. And let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed.

The story shifts between two POVs, Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeFever. Of the two, a...more
It took me 3 days to finish this book, and honestly it felt longer. Why? There is just so, so very much going on and it's not that it is bad, because it's not, it's just a lot! This book follows Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeFever in their journeys of self discovery and eventually their ultimate battle, which in a book about good and evil (guess which is which) you totally expect to see. This could be called nature vs. nurture, but there really isn't any nurture for either girl, so it's all instin...more
Wilmar Luna
When I read about the concept to this book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I opened the book and read the first paragraph which was entirely in 1st person perspective. I didn't mind that it was in 1st person, but what was starting to bother me was the fact that it was written in the voice of a 16 year old girl. I didn't think much of it, until I continued reading and realized...

The whole book was going to be written in the voice of a 16 year old girl. One boring (the hero)and one annoyin...more
This was an okay read, quiet boring and confusing in areas though.

Bonnie and Lola are completely different from each other.
Lola is power hungry, and kills anyone who gets in her way. She thinks nothing of killing fourteen people, and goes on to kill more.
Bonnie uses her powers for good, defusing horrible situations, and even helping cats stuck in trees.

The story was quite slow in the beginning, and it took 60% to pass for the girls to actually meet.
When they did meet, it did make me interested...more
So I backed this Kickstarter which delivered ages ago, but it finally floated to the top of my e-pile. I had the tempered expectations of one who has read enough self published novels to know going in that they tend to lack a certain level of polish that career editors bring to Publishing House titles. This one, while still recognizeable as a self published title, was far better polished than most.

Its a supers story of two young women who discover they have powers (in an otherwise unsuper world)...more
Francis Franklin
This is the story of two girls with superpowers. Bonnie comes from a long line of Braverman women whose power makes them 'good', while Lola is of the LeFever line whose power is 'evil' - wild and chaotic. Their story is driven in part by destiny and in part by an ancient power. One is superhero, the other supervillain, equal and opposite in power and nature, forever struggling.

The novel is written in first person, alternating between Bonnie and Lola as they head out into the world, slowly learni...more
Edmond King
I want really sure what to think when I started this book. I'm not really a hard person to please, and this was actually really refreshing all said. I thought the ending was glorious and bitterly sad.

Lola is a train wreck of a villain but I mean that in a good way. In a small way she reminds me of the villain from Heavy Rain. Not in their temperament or actions really, just in the way I came to understand them and what drove them to become what they are. At some point midway I forgot that Lola w...more
Hobbes Cat
I f**king loved this book. It was as exciting as the very best superhero comics. Thankfully never going near the flat, boring, self important road of Watchmen and all it's clones. It's a novel that loves superheroes and isn't ashamed of it. I hope Ms. Thompson writes dozens of other books and someone has the guts and smarts to publish them.
I really wanted this to be a queer book when I read the synopsis, but even when I suspected it wasn't I still wanted to read it because of the author's blurb about loving and being inspired by Joss Whedon.


Fantastic action, incredible characterization, and it hurrrrrt myyyy hearrrrt so many times. Good Joss Whedoning, Kelly Thompson. Very good. Mm.

Happy to have realistic queer characters whose queerness does not define them but also is plain to see for those seeking queer ki...more
While this book is told from the perspective of two teenagers, I wouldn't classify it as a YA read. I'd classify it as a "kickass females with superpowers who happen to be younger than the usual demographic" read. In reality, this reads like a novelization of a graphic novel, and it's wonderful. I won't give away too much of the plot, because the unfolding of the story is part of the fun, but let's just say superheroes and supervillains have to come from somewhere.

I hadn't heard of this book bef...more
The Girl Who Would be King uses alternating first-person narration to tell the stories of two young women who discover that they have unusual abilities, their struggles to understand and adapt to them, and the conflict those struggles eventually draw them into. Along the way Bonnie and Lola become, more or less, a superhero and a supervillain.

There's a lot I really liked about this novel. I'm a fan of reversing the stereotypical gender dynamic of most comic books: men are reduced to sidekick and...more
A real fun read. Great story from an up and coming author. I'm really glad that I backed this kick starter!
READ THIS. longer review later. but seriously read it. now.
The Novel that Reads Like a Comic Book!

Bonnie Braverman and Lola LaFever are two young women, both orphans, standing on the threshold of adulthood. Though they don’t know it yet, they are two halves of the same whole: an ancient and powerful force, passed on down though the matrilineal line, which bestows upon its possessor (or possessed, as it were) god-like powers. The descendants of one blood line are driven to save, protect, and nurture; the other, to kill, destroy, and dominate. Their oppos...more
Let's be real, the likelihood of me disliking a book about super ladies with god-like powers was pretty slim, but The Girl Who Would Be King didn't disappoint.

TGWWBK follows Lola and Bonnie; two sides of the same insanely superpowered coin. Where Lola is dark, dangerous and without guilt, Bonnie is honest, good and feeling. Lola uses her powers to murder and steal, Bonnie becomes a superhero. And of course, power is toxic; Lola is hell bent on killing Bonnie. But um, neither of them can die.

***Dave Hill
Dec 09, 2012 ***Dave Hill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: comic book fans, mythology students, philosophers
Shelves: text
A remarkably good first novel by Kelly Thompson, this is a book of two young women, polar opposites of good and evil, learning they are possessed of awesome (even "super") powers, and what they do about it -- and about each other.

Thompson does a great job of describing both characters paths toward the final climax -- learning of their abilities, limitations, acting out on their inner impulses, learning of the dark (and the bright) aspects of what they have, and the heritage behind them ...

The "g...more
This was fantastic. I was part of the Kickstarter for this and I am so happy that I made that decision so many months ago. When I read a little bit about the two girls before the book was finished, I was sure I'd be more drawn to Lola. She seemed to have the snarky strong girl traits that I love...a la Cordelia Chase. But as I read I was so astonished to realize that I didn't really prefer one over the other. Sure, one is mostly good and the other is mostly not, but both were full characters wit...more
An interesting, pulpy take on superheroes and fate, THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING is a fun beach read.

The narrative shifts between the two leads, Bonnie and Lola, hero and villain, are interesting, but Thompson doesn't spend enough time fleshing out the world surrounding them to support the weight and depth we're supposed to derive from them. Not shifting POV as much would have helped. They both hew a little too close to cookie-cutter archetypes, and Lola especially suffers too much from being a sh...more
The goodreads reviews were definitely spot on with this book. It's unlike anything I've ever read before. It's action packed, moving, original and creative. The writing is good and you understand the characters in this coming of age book about two superheroes. At some points you hate the super villain, other times admire her tenacity. You empathize with the good one and root her on in her quest. While it book takes itself seriously there are moments of self awareness and cheekiness.

The mytholog...more
I'm ecstatic.

I'm so happy to have finally read this book after getting the hard copy in December. I'm a sucker for superhero stories since I'm such a huge fan of Batman and Wonder Woman among others. This story follows two girls with extraordinary abilities and their journey. They're driven by two very different things: one saves people and the other kills them. Yet both are intriguing characters with their own struggles which allows for more depth than just good and bad.

Thompson knows how to wr...more
This book is everything I hoped for and more. I loved both Bonnie and Lola, Lesiel and Elizabeth. The main characters and the supporting cast are really strong and lovable, especially Lola, although violent, brutal and truculent and somewhat primal, she is still relatable through her struggles and obstacles and betrayals. I felt genuinely sad for her to go mad and end on her own. The story is action-packed, fast-paced and always enthralling, grounding you for hours at a time just turning pages a...more
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KELLY THOMPSON has a degree in Sequential Art from The Savannah College of Art & Design. Her love of comics and superheroes have compelled her since she first discovered them as a teenager. Currently living in Manhattan with her boyfriend and absolutely no pets, Kelly aches for a kitten, or even a goldfish. She has a name already picked out, suitable for either. You can find Kelly all over the...more
More about Kelly Thompson...
Storykiller Womanthology: Heroic Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them

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“Superpowers or not, a person should be allowed to be simply happy, without feeling like they need to strip off their skin.” 1 likes
“I wish my powers were good for things like picking out asparagus. Is there a way to divine where the asparagus came from? Why are some of them thick and some thin, and over there, there’s white ones. How will they taste? Do they all taste different? Which are the freshest? Oh my god, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” 0 likes
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