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Heroine Complex

(Heroine Complex #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  3,381 ratings  ·  752 reviews
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 tog
Paperback, 378 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by DAW
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  3,381 ratings  ·  752 reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
2 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I 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 boo
Book Riot Community
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 w ...more
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, fantasy
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 regularl ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, romance
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 —
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
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 ...more
Bookworm Extraordinaire
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

WOW, 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 st
Charlie Jane Anders
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 cra ...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
I wish I had this book when I was a teen. This book is bloody fantastic.

- 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 wh
Jacob Proffitt
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
Wendi Lee
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 abo
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
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 th
Sherwood Smith
Apr 16, 2016 added it
Shelves: fantasy

Copy received courtesy of NetGalley

If 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 abil
Fafa's Book Corner
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner!

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger Warning(s): Grief, abusive parent, toxic friendship, negligent parent, experimentation, racism, and bullying.

Reading Challenge(s): Book 13 for #StartOnYourShelfathon.

Rep: Evie and Bea are Irish-Japanese-American. Bea is queer. Aveda is Chinese American. Lucy is Puerto Rican-Mexican-British and is a Lesbian. Rose is Black and queer. Kevin is Black-Latino-Asian. Nate, Scott, Shasta, and Maisy are white.

My Thoughts Before Reading:
All Things Urban Fantasy
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-by-kate
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 siste
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 co
Kara Babcock
Jan 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 nex
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 / 5 Fangs

Heroine 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!

Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
New favorite feel-good series! I've never been particularly into superhero stories, but now I think all I was waiting for was one that featured women. Evie Tanaka is a behind-the-scenes girl, and she likes it that way. She’s the personal assistant to her childhood best friend Annie, who now embodies the persona of Aveda Jupiter, superhero and San Francisco celebrity. Aveda is flashy, flamboyant, and fabulous, and Evie is really good at playing second fiddle. Until suddenly she’s thrust into the ...more
This is an extremely fun, fast-paced paranormal romance featuring Asian lady superheroes set in San Francisco. That's a lot of buzzwords, but this book gets almost everything right. The primary focus of the plot is the relationship between superhero Aveda Jupiter and her best friend/assistant, Evie Tanaka, as Aveda continually saves San Francisco from minorly annoying demons who imprint on whatever's closest to them (think fanged flying cupcakes). The background of demons and superheroes is fun, ...more
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, own, paranormal, aoc
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!
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 wron
The only reason I'm not giving this all the stars is that couldn't stand Aveda and how she treated Evie. Yeah, it was done on purpose for character growth (which was done really well btw) and all but urg, it just brought me straight to anger city and I was ready to explode.

Otherwise, this book was hella fun and is definitely recommended because:
- one of my new favorite, most adorable ships, with their SEXPERIMENTS (seriously, so cute/funny) AKA casual sex
Lauren Stoolfire
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
DNF @ 25%

I desperately wanted to love this book because it sounds like it would be right up my alley. It has a lot to like about it, but stylistically it just wasn't quite working out for me. I have a feeling though that if it's available in audiobook format I may actually prefer it. I may be coming back to this story in the future in a different format.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Quite outlandish, but also quite a bit of fun.
Holly (The GrimDragon)
I just adore the artwork for these books so damn much! It reminds me of growing up. Like new-school Christopher Pike covers, but definitely *not* YA.

Found family, diversity, banter, sex, supernatural karaoke, ass-kicking superheroines & demonic cupcakes with fangs! OH HELL YES THIS IS FUN FUN!!

Heroine Complex is the kind of urban fantasy that we so desperately need right now! I'm excited to continue on with the series SOON!
Maire Magnus ♀
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lexxi Kitty
Hate leaving a review box empty. So… (sorry about the names, my digital book is dead at the moment, so I cannot get all of the names correct).

The book stars Evie Tanaka who is 26, half Japanese, and the assistant to a superhero named Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie – Chinese). Mentioning the Asian backgrounds is important because that’s how the two became friends – being the only two Asian children in their kindergarten and having the ‘white students’ pick on them and make fun of them (especially since
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
As a super hero sidekick, Evie Tanaka likes to fade into the background and cater to her best friend Aveda Jupiter's ever growing demands. However, things are about to change as Evie is suddenly thrust into to the limelight. This book was pure fun, with a wonderful relationship between these two women, a lot of twists and turns, some very creative demons (the opening scene has demons manifested as blood hungry cupcakes) and some sexy times as well. I think it is the closest I've come to Buffy th ...more
Megan Baxter
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Heroine Complex was completely, fluffily, intensely, fun. I'm not sure it's deep, although it is pleasingly about female friendships and family in ways you don't often see, and incorporates fashion and style in perceptive ways, and is just, all around, thoroughly fun. Which is to say that I'm not sure it's going to change my life, but if I need a lift, or something enjoyable to distract me, these books will now definitely be on my radar for that.

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld du
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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 contin ...more

Other books in the series

Heroine Complex (6 books)
  • Heroine Worship (Heroine Complex, #2)
  • Heroine's Journey (Heroine Complex, #3)
  • Haunted Heroine (Heroine Complex, #4)
  • Hollywood Heroine (Heroine Complex, #5)
  • Untitled (Heroine Complex, #6)

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