Friday, July 6, 2018

#Review - Heroine's Journey by Sarah Kuhn #Urban #Fantasy

Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: DAW
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy

The third book in the smart, snarky, and action-packed Heroine series completes the “Heroic Trio” as Bea Tanaka joins her sister, Evie, and diva Aveda Jupiter in their quest to free San Francisco from its demon portal problem

If there’s one thing Beatrice Tanaka never wanted to be, it’s normal. But somehow, her life has unfolded as a series of “should haves.” Her powers of emotional projection should have made her one of the most formidable superheroes of all time. And she should have been allowed to join her older sister Evie as a full-fledged protector of San Francisco, pulverizing the city’s plethora of demon threats. 

When a mysterious being starts communicating with Bea, hinting at an evil that’s about to overtake the city, she seizes the opportunity, hoping to turn her “should haves” into the fabulous heroic life she’s always wanted. But gaining that life may mean sacrificing everything—and everyone—she holds dear…

Heroine's Journey is the third installment in author Sarah Kuhn's smart, sexy, action packed Heroine Complex series. For those who read the first two books in the series, Heroine's Journey takes a leap (4 years) into the future from where Heroine Worship left off. In the Heroine Complex series, Asian-American superheroines Evie Tanaka and Aveda Jupiter must protect demon-infested San Francisco from perilous threats while dealing with their own tumultuous lives and relationships. 

13 years ago, a Demon Queen named Shasta attempted to invade and take over this realm. She sent a group of special demons with super powers into the world where they all died. When they died, they released their powers which ended up in those like Evie, Aveda, and Beatrice (Bea) Tanaka. As we open the story, Bea, who is now 22-years of age, is eager to join Evie and Aveda as being a trio of badass superheroines. If only her over protective sister would just say yes! After years of being told no by Evie, Bea walked away from working with the dynamic duo.

Today, Bea works at a bookstore called "It's Lit" as a worker bee reshelving books, slinging coffee, and being the resident bouncer putting the fear into anyone who steps out of line. Bea admits that she hasn't exactly had the most stellar record when it comes to her future. She dropped out of college, she's no longer Nate's apprentice which she was really good at & she's become a cartoon character in a state of goth rebellion. Bea has not one superpowers, but two. The ability to shift people's mental states, and Bea's scream which hasn't been tested or used since she helped defeat Shasta years before.

Bea is still considered to be the impulsive, tempestuous teenager who gets bored way too easily by her sister and Aveda, especially when she has so much potential to be or do anything she wants. Bea uses her powers to calm her workplace of the more difficult customers. Of course, she's really not supposed to be using her powers for this sort of thing, but hey, who is going to complain? Especially since her own sister believes she is a huge disappointment for not taking advantage of her intelligence and skills.

The positives in her life go by the name of Sam Fujikawa, her fierce academic rival who is one of the Hunky Hot Calendar Models, and an artist. Bea and Sam have had a competition about everything, and I do mean everything since they were in grade school. They even keep running tabulations as a way to keep things interesting. Her best friend is Leah Kim, who also works in the bookstore, and who is looking for a bit of romance, without Bea pushing someone in her path.

After helping Evie and Aveda end a particularly odd demon attack, Bea is finally allowed to be a superhero-in-training, with Aveda as her self-appointed mentor. But being a superhero isn’t everything she’s dreamed it would be. Then the strangeness begins. Bea believes she is hearing the voice of a woman who has been dead for 10 years. A woman who was her everything, and who stood as her best friend while Evie was busy doing other things. This is where the relationship issues between Bea and Evie are really exposed.

I don't think I am spoiling anything by saying that Evie picked up the mantle that was left behind by both of their parents. One who ran away to find himself, the other because of a devastating illness. She tried her best to raise Bea, do well in school, while also helping out her best friend Annie Chang aka Aveda Jupiter when they both found out they had powers. She also made sure that Bea had food on the table when she was hungry. One thing she never had a moment was is to let go of all the emotions that took a toll on her life.

Bea never fully accepted the loss, which leads to all sorts of bad mistakes when she starts using her recently upgraded powers as though she was Obi Wan talking to the evil empires storm troopers. I dare say that she has mommy issues that really needed to be resolved way before this point. But, I digress. As Bea goes on her own tangent, it once again leaves Evie and Aveda to help pick up their little gremlin and ensure she doesn't go all evil incarnate as she once did; briefly. I am ok with the relationship with Sam and Bea. I think that there might have been too much sexual situations, but I am usually in the minority when it comes to my likes and dislikes on that subject. 

One last comment; NO, this is not the final installment in the series. The author emphatically states that there will be more adventures from Evie, Aveda and Bea in the future. So, until then, I do recommend that you read these books as they were released and try not to just jump into any one book. There are wonderful secondary characters that you will fall in love with, especially Rose, Shruti, Scott Cameron, and Nate Jones.

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