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Hurricane Heels

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Five ordinary girls discover magical powers in this new series of interconnected short stories from Isabel Yap

When Alex, Ria, Aiko, Natalie and Selena met at summer camp, they never expected the goddess would ask for their help, enlisting them as soldiers to protect the world from the forces of darkness. Gifting them each with a different object of power—a bracelet, a rin
ebook, 190 pages
Published December 6th 2016 by Book Smugglers Publishing
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  99 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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And this is how you write a book full of diversity and not think this will be enough for people to like it. Wow. This is really awesomely done.

First, Hurricane Heels isn’t actually about diversity, it’s just inherently diverse. This book is about growing up, about friendship, about women and diverse characters fighting for a better world.

But as you might have noticed by looking at the tags, there are two Asian characters. Two different Asian characters. One from Manila in the Philippines and ano
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable New Adult magical girl story told from the perspective of the five girls that make up the team, interleaving a present day storyline leading up to the wedding of one of them and flashbacks of how they got their powers and significant events early in their lives. Overall, the characters were enjoyable and the climactic battle was satisfying- definitely recommended if you like this genre.

One note- my ebook copy, an EPUB from Kobo, duplicated almost the entire third section, s
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fucking brilliant. On the surface, it's just a regular story about girls fighting monsters. But it's really about the transformative power of friendship and knowing one's self. We are all magic girls, with the power to fight evil.

This is also perfectly diverse, in that it is diverse without calling attention to it. It's just no big fucking deal. Amen.
A stunning series of short stories about love, hope, and enduring hardship. There was intense action and nuanced emotions and when I finished my heart felt so, so full. It also felt incredibly REAL and made me want to get together with my best friends for the biggest hug ever!
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Five interconnected short stories, each told by a different woman In a group of friends with "magical girl" type powers. The book is currently out of print, but the individual short stories are available on the Book Smugglers' blog. ...more
Marianne (Boricuan Bookworms)
Magical girls, friendship, diversity, feels, action... need I say more? Full review to come but I really enjoyed this one ♡♡
Jessica Strider
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Pros: diverse and multi-layered characters, great world-building, excellent storytelling

Cons: minor confusion at times

Five thirteen year old girls are chosen by the goddess to help fight the Grey, an entity created from terror, rage, and destruction. Now 25, Alex, Ria, Aiko, and Natalie help Selena prepare for her upcoming wedding. As the big day approaches, they reflect on their past as magical girls and wonder how long they’ll have to keep fighting.

Hurricane Heels is a a collection of 5 interc
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Currently road tripping so this will be short, but I am so happy I decided to read this set of stories. I grew up with Sailor Moon and magical girl stories. I liked that in this book, the magical girls were growing up and dealing with young adult stuff and all the emotions that are normal and kind of finding/affirming their own identities. SO MANY FEELINGS

Hurricane Heels is a collection of five interconnected short stories. Together, they tell the formation of a group of five ‘magical girls’ (Sailor Moon, Puella Magi Madoka Magica etc.) and their lives now that they’re in their mid-20s and one of the girls is getting married.

It was really fun and interesting to read about this kind of character years after we would usually be with them. We do see how they get their powers through flashbacks, but there's much more emphasis on the girls reflecting
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
(Kindle copy needs better copy editing and you can tell it's bad if *I* noticed.)

That out of the way, I'm really enjoying the upsurge of superhero narratives in book form that ask all these interesting questions about saving the world and what it means to be chosen and to fight. Yap's book is less interrogative than some of the others that have come out the Book Smugglers' initiative: she's not interested in the moral complexity of super powers or in the way that good and evil are handled, she c
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
(I forget who recced this, so apologies for not tipping my hat yr way.) This has a really great range of characters (we get a pov section from each) and is an interesting take on the Magical Girls trope/how that interacts with growing up.

I think I was expecting a little more of the romance between two of the girls than we actually got in the book, but the balance of detail with all the characters and their relationships was very even throughout so that wasn't anything the book promised without
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: novella, read-2016
You only get to be a hero to the people who know, which isn’t very many, and on the hard days you start to wonder how much is too little, while your scars pile up in places others can’t see.

Not very interested in the world and all the monster fighting but ALWAYS very into girl gangs. Especially when they're 25 and it's more quarter-life crisis than teen angst.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Gritty magical girl stories are my fave. I loved everything about this but think the writing could’ve been a bit tighter, there were quite a few typos and the transitions into flashbacks were kinda sharp. But really great reflections on growing up as a woman, gaining new powers, and maintaining friendships.
Miss Susan
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia, poc-author
i did not know that what my heart needed above all else was a story about magical girls as adults and all the little bits of life and growing up you go through in your twenties alongside the burden of fighting evil but indeed it did. ty isabel yap

4 stars

p.s. the ending is perfect
Sweet baby Jesus, I love this book. It’s a fantastic exploration for the magical girl and friendship and connection, and I had the best time reading it. I also really appreciated the Arashi reference, bless you Isabel.
C.L. Marr
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: related-books
I loved this collection of stories. At first it feels like it's just a set of interesting stories about these women, but it all comes together in a great way! ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is gorgeous. There is *so much* here, I would love to see it further developed and fleshed out!
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok

I'm sorry, a chainsaw? what sort of weapon is that? Nobody actually goes to war with a chainsaw unless they have no choice.

But my biggest problem with this book is that all the voices sounded exactly the same. Each story could have been the same narrator, there was absolutely nothing that separated them from each other. And it was all boring, there was nothing innovative or creative here at all.

Zodiac Starforce and Agents of the Realm are much better variants on this.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it

So Book Smugglers hooked me up with an ARC of Hurricane Heels by Isabel Yap, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. If you’re into a dark re-imagining of Sailor Moon with great representation of POC and LGBTQ folks, this is the book for you. Prepare yourself for a lot of wedding talk, bachelorette parties, and monster guts.

The concept behind this book is pretty straightforward at first blush. It is a “magical girl” novel, following tropes of the anime genre that gave rise to such classics as Sai
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read with a lot of heart. I've enjoyed Isabel Yap's short fiction and this is no exception. I kind of hope she may revisit this universe some day. Give it a shot if your interested. ...more
This was fantastic. Yap explores what happens when a magical anime girl grows up in this series of five linked short stories. The women who had gained magical powers and the duty to fight the Grey for the Goddess when they were 13 are now 25. One is on the verge of getting married. They're holding down jobs, trying to have relationships, and are pretty tired of fighting.

Yap explores duty, loyalty, friendship, and family in these stories. And she does so masterfully, in a world where magical girl
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"The problem with slaying the forces of evil as a high schooler? You didn’t get to put saving the world in your extracurricular activities; you didn’t get to include it in your college essays. You couldn’t tell your mom about narrowly avoiding a snapped neck, and you had to deal with her asking why your jeans were always crusted with dirt. You only get to be a hero to the people who know, which isn’t very many, and on the hard days you start to wonder how much is too little, while your scars pil ...more
Annie Chen
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff
This was great! It looks at what would happen if five regular girls became magical girls but still had to deal with real life. It deconstructs the magical girl genre (nowhere near as dark as Madoka though lol), but it also reminds you why the genre is great--it's fundamentally about female friendship, and how it can overcome any obstacle, even the dimensional war between the forces of light and dark, good and evil.

It's told via five interconnected first person stories. My favorite was Aiko's.

Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
It was okay. I feel like the book would have been better had it not been a short story and not focused around the wedding of one of the girls. It could have been amazing to even just read a straight up short story about how magical girls feel about being magical girls 10 years after they first gained their power. It was really just okay.
I enjoyed the set-up more than the ending. I think I'm just not that into magical girl mythos? ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't stop crying!!!!!!!! ...more
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: prose
Excellent magical girl with realistic stakes. I love how the relationship between all five unfolds so well in the different stories.
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I feel really torn about this, and I wish I had liked it more than I had.

I love mahou shoujo, so I felt like this was written just for me, but there are a few things I wish were different. For one thing, having the girls reference magical girl anime felt borderline to me, but having a blonde character named Selena who was the only one of the group of five with a steady boyfriend, and then have other characters directly/repeatedly reference Sailor Moon? Come on. The direct/named references would
Sara Saab
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Isabel's gift for writing friendships is out in force in this series of five stories from Book Smugglers. My favourite is probably Natalie's story ("Only Fools Fall", #4), for the nuance of falling in love guided by Isabel's hand.

The world here is in places meta, self-referential, and in places the meta collapses into in-world magical girls / Good v Evil archetypes. I preferred it where the meta, wink-at-the-camera stuff came through clearly. One of the more interesting aspects of the world-buil
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Isabel Yap writes fiction and poetry, works in the tech industry, and drinks lots of tea. She grew up in the Philippines, and has lived in San Francisco, the Bay Area, Boston, and London.

In 2013 she received her degree in Marketing from Santa Clara University, and also attended the Clarion Writers Workshop. In 2020 she obtained her MBA from Harvard Business School. She likes reading manga, playing

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