Title: Karma Girl
Several sex scenes
Investigative reporter Carmen Cole gets the surprise of her life on her wedding day when she discovers that her fiance 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 Expose, 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 …
A light, fun, fantastic street view of comic book heroes, 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 simpler read than Carolyn Crane’s Disillusionist Trilogy (which can be good and bad), 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 thoroughly engaged, waiting to see if Carmen would given in to despair 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.