Saturday, January 4, 2014

Karma Girl, by Jennifer Estep

Rating: 4/5
372 pages

Description: Investigative reporter Carmen Cole gets the surprise of her life on her wedding day when she discovers that her fiancĂ© and best friend are sleeping together—and that the two of them are her town's resident superhero and ubervillain. Shocked and hurt, Carmen reveals their secret identities and then decides to devote her life to unmasking every superhero and ubervillain who crosses her path.

A series of successful unmaskings lands Carmen a job at The ExposĂ©, one of the biggest newspapers in Bigtime, New York, a city that's full of superheroes and ubervillains. Carmen is in her element—until she gets kidnapped by the Terrible Triad, Bigtime’s most dangerous ubervillain team.

The Triad orders Carmen to uncover the secret identity of Striker, the leader of the Fearless Five, Bigtime's most popular superhero team—or else they’ll drop her in a vat of radioactive goo. With that threat hanging over her, Carmen sets out to unmask Striker, but what she doesn’t count on is falling for the sexy superhero. But with the Terrible Triad lurking around, this is one story that just might be the death of her....
(from Goodreads)

Review: This is a goofy, over the top, mixture of romance and superheroes. If you have any familiarity with silver age naming tendencies, the secret identities of most of the Fearless Five are pretty obvious, as well as the main villain's. And frankly, so is Carmen's eventual fate.

But, I enjoyed it. Partly because I'm a fan of both superhero comics and romance novels, and partly because it was a fun read.

I also appreciated that, despite the overall tone of the story, that the author did treat certain elements seriously. The reactions of various characters to one person's suicide and Carmen's reaction to a rape attempt are both treated with the seriousness I felt they deserved, without being jarring to the story. 

Its not a book that I'm likely to still be thinking about in a couple of weeks, if no one mentions it, but it was a nice diverting read and I don't regret buying the whole series as an ebook bundle. (Okay, the whole bundle was $1.06, including tax, so it would be hard for me to really regret it.)

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