My Rating: 4 Stars
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.
But Evie and her superheroing partner, Aveda Jupiter, insist on seeing Bea as the impulsive, tempestuous teenager she used to be–even though she’s now a responsible adult. And that means Bea is currently living a thoroughly normal life. She works as a bookstore lackey, hangs out with best friends Sam Fujikawa and Leah Kim, and calms her workplace’s more difficult customers. Sure, she’s not technically supposed to be playing with people’s mental states. But given the mundanity of her existence, who can blame her?
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…
Beware spoilers ahead!
Trigger Warning(s): Grief, racism, manipulation, and bullying.
Reading Challenge(s): Book 16 for #StartOnYourShelfathon.
Rep: Evie and Bea are Irish-Japanese-American. Bea is queer. Aveda is Chinese American. Lucy is Puerto Rican-Mexican-British and is a Lesbian. Rose is Black and queer. Kevin is Black-Latino-Asian. Shruti is Indian-American. Leah is Black-Korean-American and queer. Sam and Nicole are Japanese-American. Nicole is queer. Nate, Scott, Letta, and Maisy are white.
My Thoughts Before Reading: I’ve owned the Heroine Complex series for years. I had initially bought the books because I heard that they would be fun. Also in part because of the rep and the superhero aspect.
I am happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it!
What I Liked: For this review I’ll be listing everything that I enjoyed in points. Rather than full paragraphs.
- Bea and Evie’s relationship is the most tense that it’s ever been. Despite fours years passing since the events of Heroine Worship, the two of them haven’t changed their views about each other. Evie still views Bea as a brat, and Bea still views Evie as an annoyingly suffocating older sister. The two of them finally decide to work on their relationship after Bea gets promoted to superheroine in training. There were many bumpy rocks, but they finally work things out. They also decide to see a therapist, so that they can work on their grief.
- It was great to read about her relationship with Aveda! The two of them didn’t really interact in the previous books and I was happy to read about them. I also loved that one scene with Nate.
- I loved Bea’s relationship with Leah! They were so supportive of one-another. We stan positive female friendships.
- Bea’s ex best friend Nicole plays a fairly big role. It was annoying to read about their interactions in the beginning. After some time I started to like what the author was doing. It was nice to see these former best friends reconcile and own up to their faults. I would really like this to be in more novels. Rather than always relying on the mean girl trope.
- Sam and Bea were fun to read about! I liked their easy going relationship and their academic rivalry. I liked seeing them being more with each other. Opening up to one-another in a way they didn’t do earlier. And eventually becoming a couple.
- I loved Bea’s growth! I didn’t enjoy reading about her abusing her powers, but I’m glad it happened so that she could grow as a character. I was sad to read about her going to Maui, but it made sense for her character arc.
My Criticism(s): Absolutely nothing!
What I’m Looking Forward To: At this point I’ve already read (and thoroughly enjoyed) Unsung Heroine. Though I am excited to read Haunted Heroine!
Conclusion: Overall I loved Heroine’s Journey! I highly recommend this series.