A light, fun, fantastic street view of comic book heros, I enjoyed KARMA GIRL
immensely. Carmen Cole is a heroine after any bookworm's heart, leveraging her organizational skills with intuitive leaps to make one heck of a reference librarian (though no librarian would travel with garbage bags full of Xerox copies, Carmen could benefit from the data-savvy of a few actual library science classes). Ultimately, Carmen learns that even without super powers, one must be careful to work for the side of good, and I enjoyed watching this most human of characters hold her own with the superhero/ubervillain big boys.
I definitely picked the word "light" to describe KARMA GIRL
for a reason, this book requires a certain amount of suspended disbelief. You will be repaid ten-fold, however, in a heroine who personifies grace under pressure (even amidst a nervous breakdown), a fun, well balanced look under the cape at some of the less convenient aspects of a world with super powers, and characters that entertain as they grow. KARMA GIRL
borrows freely from common romantic and comic book tropes, but these plot elements are never an excuse to skip on character development for the heroine. While the people in her life are a little larger than life and two dimensional, Carmen has enough nuance to carry this book without a missed step.
A much quicker read than Carolyn Crane's Disillusionist
series, I also found KARMA GIRL
to be easier to enjoy straight out of the gate. For anyone who likes to play in the superhero sandbox but was looking for a bit more fun and romance, Estep has written a admirable Gal Friday who teeters on the line between good and bad without ever losing her cool (or my attention). I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see if Carmen would given in to dispair or step up and embrace her inner superhero, and amidst all the spandex and radioactive mutations, it was Carmen's puzzle-solving mojo that saved the day for me.
Full review at All Things Urban Fantasy
: Several sex scenes.