Adult · Book review · Fantasy

Review: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

HeroineComplexHeroine Complex is the first book in an urban fantasy romance trilogy. Heroine Complex is the first book in an urban fantasy romance trilogy.
Evie Tanaka has never wanted to fight demons – she’s really good at being Aveda Jupiter’s assistant, and that’s all she wants from her life. But when Aveda gets injured and asks her to impersonate her for one night, many things change.

This book was a really fun read, but soon the writing style got too… much? Superficial isn’t the right word, because Heroine Complex wasn’t superficial at all – it talked about some important themes while never losing its humour. But the writing was too quirky, and it got tiring to read.

If I had known beforehand this was an adult romance, I probably wouldn’t have tried it, because this genre is full of amatonormativity and tropes I hate.
Heroine Complex wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it was still full of unchallenged amisic microaggressions: a character kept equating not wanting to have sex with being dead inside. Maybe don’t? There was also an instance of the narrator using “depressed” to mean “looking sad”, but it happened only once.

The pacing was all over the place. There is a scene that feels like the climax of the book while you read it, but then there are many more chapters after it (this book could have been shorter) and the true climax was underwhelming.

This book is really diverse, which is great – Evelyn “Evie” Tanaka is biracial Japanese/white, Annie “Aveda” Chang is Chinese-American, and their friend Lucy is a lesbian.

The best thing about Heroine Complex was the character development. It was nice to see that the Aveda/Evie friendship was as developed as the Evie/Nate relationship (dislike-to-love ship btw, if you’re into that). But I didn’t care about the romance (and the characters, really) at all. And the sex scenes were boring. I mean, I’ve read worse, but I started skimming them.

My rating: ★★½

Have you read Heroine Complex? If so, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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