Asian-American superheroines Evie Tanaka and Aveda Jupiter protect San Francisco from perilous threats in the second book in Sarah Kuhn's snarky and smart fantasy trilogy • "The superheroine we’ve been waiting for." —Seanan McGuire
Once upon a time, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) was demon-infested San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine, a beacon of hope and strength and really awesome outfits. But all that changed the day she agreed to share the spotlight with her best friend and former assistant Evie Tanaka—who’s now a badass, fire-wielding superheroine in her own right. They were supposed to be a dynamic duo, but more and more, Aveda finds herself shoved into the sidekick role. Where, it must be said, she is not at all comfortable.
It doesn’t help that Aveda’s finally being forced to deal with fallout from her diva behavior—and the fact that she’s been a less than stellar friend to Evie. Or that Scott Cameron—the man Aveda’s loved for nearly a decade—is suddenly giving her the cold shoulder after what seemed to be some promising steps toward friendship. Or that the city has been demon-free for three months in the wake of Evie and Aveda’s apocalypse-preventing battle against the evil forces of the Otherworld, leaving Aveda without the one thing she craves most in life: a mission.
All of this is causing Aveda’s burning sense of heroic purpose—the thing that’s guided her all these years—to falter.
In short, Aveda Jupiter is having an identity crisis.
When Evie gets engaged and drafts Aveda as her maid-of-honor, Aveda finally sees a chance to reclaim her sense of self and sets out on a single-minded mission to make sure Evie has the most epic wedding ever. But when a mysterious, unseen supernatural evil rises up and starts attacking brides-to-be, Aveda must summon both her superheroine and best friend mojo to take down the enemy and make sure Evie’s wedding goes off without a hitch—or see both her city and her most important friendship destroyed forever.
About the Author
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 continuity, and Sailor Moon cosplay have appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Apex Magazine, AngryAsianMan.com, IGN.com, Back Stage, The Hollywood Reporter, StarTrek.com, Creative Screenwriting, and the Hugo-nominated anthology Chicks Dig Comics. In 2011, she was selected as a finalist for the CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) New Writers Award. You can visit her at heroinecomplex.com or on Twitter: @sarahkuhn.
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Excerpted from "Heroine Worship"
Copyright © 2018 Sarah Kuhn.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Overall the best reason to read Kuhn is for her characters. Personally I prefer Heroine Worship over Heroine Complex. Aveda/Annie is a much more complex character than Evie who really just reverted to a one-note personality in this book. I could really feel how itchy Aveda got as the days passed and the frustration of being the one living in her friend's shadow for a change started to eat away at her. Other characters got some good development in this story too. The awkward romance is enjoyable to read for all those who struggle with the subject. The plot is flat out crazy but what else would you expect from quasi-realistic superhero story?
I loved the first one in this series, Heroine Complex. It was fresh and different and I had connected with Evie. But Heroine Worship was different. It follows Annie Chang aka Aveda Jupiter. There’s still just as much danger and mystery throughout this story. Their dealing with the portal and some puppy demons. Even though it was intriguing. I didn’t get that sense of urgency like I needed to finish this story right away. Kuhn is a fabulous writer. But I felt that Annie aka Aveda has a lot of internal dialogue. I know that she’s struggling in a sense with her identity but I just wanted her to be Annie. She should be loving herself and not try to portray someone else. Her relationships have been strained because of that. As the story moves on, you see them all start to work together. Which was good to see, there wasn’t all the drama between. Unfortunately, though, the magic that was in the first one, wasn’t there this time. I didn’t emotionally connect with Annie aka Aveda Jupiter. It’s hard to really fully get into it, without that connection. Overall, I give this Two Boundless Stars. It was ok but it could have been better.
The sequel to the Heroine Complex series centers the other half of the dynamic superhero duo, Annie or as she is better known, Aveda Jupiter. Annie has had to face some difficult truths at the end of Heroine Complex, especially about how she was treating her best friend Evie. Now, in a demon-free San Francisco, Annie feels sort of extraneous and is itching to get some superhero action going. But when there is nothing to be done, she can’t help but wallow and try to be the best friend she can be. So when she is named maid of honor for a newly engaged Evie, her overachieving self throws all effort into making it a day for her best friend to remember. Annie makes great strides in this book, starting from a place where she feels being Aveda is the best representation of herself and eschewing her past as an insecure girl. She keeps people at a distance and her perfectionist streak doesn’t allow her to admit flaws or let anyone see them. So when Scott is back in her life, she starts to fear falling back into the patterns of being Annie. When a new form of demon starts attacking brides everywhere, she takes up the charge to protect Evie from it, thereby hoping to prove how brilliant Aveda is, and how being Annie is not the right thing for her. A lot of her insecurities pop from being a woman of color, having the need to constantly please everyone in her life, while also maintaining her position as a cool collected woman. Being loved is not something that comes easily to her, and she learns to give up the facade of being perfect and just being herself. The plot of this book is, well, ridiculous in some parts as it lends more to a comic style than a serious superhero movie (looking at you, DC) and there are some tropes I like and some that I don’t. Overall, though, it is a great sequel to an awesome book.