Sunday, April 15, 2007

Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep

COPYRIGHT: 2007 (May 1 release)
PAGES: 360
SETTING: Contemporary
TYPE: Paranormal Romance
SERIES: Estep's next book Hot Mama is connected to KG.

REASON FOR READING: I won this ARC in a contest at Jennifer Estep's website. Completely blows my usual complaint that I never win anything.


Someone has to pay for what happened to Carmen Cole ...

Bigtime, New York is not big enough for both Carmen Cole and the superheroes and ubervillains who walk its streets. An intrepid reporter, Carmen's dedicated her life to unmasking the spandex wearers, all because her fiancé turned out to be a superhero, and a cheating one at that — sleeping with none other than his nubile nemesis.

Exposing the true identities of the nation's caped crusaders and their archenemies has catapulted Carmen from her sleep southern hometown to the front pages of one of the country's biggest newspapers, The Exposé. Hobnobbing with modelizing millionaires and famished fashionistas is all in a day's work for the woman hot on the trail of the Fearless Five and Terrible Triad. But when Carmen gets the scoop of her career, her life comes crashing down around her. And even Bigtime's sexiest superhero, Striker, may not be able to save her ...

A book featuring a world populated by superheroes and ubervillains (and regular people as well) has to be a first for me since my comic book reading days. In KG every town in the world has its own superhero who shows up to rescue people from natural disasters and things like runaway trains, collapsing bridges and burning buildings. And of course every town also has its own ubervillain who wants to rule the world and cause lots of headaches for superheroes.

KG is a very solid read for a debut book and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Written in first person, it was a funny blend of comic book superheros and chicklit. I'm not a big fan of chicklit or lighthearted paranormals so I was a bit hesitant about reading this but a free book is a free book and the blurb sounded interesting. The humor was not laugh out loud funny, but rather more tongue-in-cheek as if Estep was poking fun of the wacky world she had created. And that worked for me surprisingly well.

Carmen Cole is the top investigative reporter for the town newspaper in Beginnings, Tennessee. On her wedding day she is shocked to discover her fiancé, Matt, and her best friend, Karen, in bed together. As if that wasn't enough she also discovers that Matt is a superhero and Karen is an ubervillain (because, of course, both of them are still wearing their spandex suits). She's extremely hurt by their betrayal so as an act of revenge she writes a front page article exposing their identities. And then she becomes a bit wacked out and goes off the deep end. She decides to make it her mission to expose the identities of as many superheroes and ubervillains as she can find.

She spends the next three years after the betrayal moving from town to town, newspaper to newspaper, leaving a trail of unmasked superheroes and ubervillains behind her. Eventually she makes it to Bigtime, New York, where a group of superheroes, the Fearless Five, and their enemies, the Terrible Triad, are legendary throughout the world. Carmen sets to work on exposing them and eventually unmasks the identity of one member of the Fearless Five, Travis Teague (aka Tornado). But shortly after, Travis commits suicide and Carmen realizes she has gone too far and comes to deeply regret her vendetta. Carmen is consumed by remorse, and her life and career take a downturn. Bad karma, she figures.

There are lots of wacky superheroes and ubervillains who provided some comic book moments and it was all a little silly to me but had me smiling quite often. Kind of like watching a Batman or Spiderman movie. I really wanted to cut right to the romance but Carmen and Sam (aka Striker) don't meet until about 50 pages into the book. But once they get together their chemistry was great and the action really takes off. It was no mystery figuring out the identities of members of the Fearless Five and Terrible Triad and sometimes the whole thing went over the top and I caught myself rolling my eyes. But overall it was a fun change of pace. Carmen and Sam/Striker are likeable characters and the best part of the book.



nath said...

This sounds like such a different and interesting book :D I'll be keeping my eyes open around the first of May :D

ReneeW said...

It was a very different book from what I usually read but I liked it anyway.

Jennifer Estep said...

Hi, Renee. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. And thanks for reviewing it on your site. I'm going to link to you on my blog. :-)

ReneeW said...

Jennifer: :) Thanks for the ARC!

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