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Haunted Heroine
Heroine Complex #4
by Sarah Kuhn
DAW, $16.00, 400pp
Published: July 2020

The fourth book in the smart, snarky, and action-packed Heroine series follows Evie Tanaka, Aveda Jupiter, and Bea Tanaka as they combat a new supernatural threat.

Everything in Evie Tanaka's life is finally perfect. As a badass superheroine, she defends San Francisco from demon invasion on the regular. Her relationships with superhero partner Aveda Jupiter, little sister Bea, and hot, half-demon husband Nate have never been stronger. Maybe it's possible for a grad school dropout turned put-upon personal assistant turned superhero to have it all?

Just when she thinks life can't get any better, Evie learns she's pregnant. Everyone around her is overjoyed…but Evie has major doubts about whether she's cut out for motherhood. Before she can dwell on her dilemma, a local women's college reports a string of mysterious "hauntings," and Evie and Aveda are called in to investigate, going undercover as grad students during the creepiest time of the year: Halloween.

As she confronts terrifying ghosts and lives out a bizarre version of the grad school life she left behind, Evie can't help but wonder about the road not taken: what would her life be like if she'd stayed here instead of pursuing superheroing with Aveda? And can an overwhelmed pregnant superhero truly have it all?

She's about to find out.

Evie is pregnant with the first part superhero, part demon baby and while there is the normal nausea and slightly elevated blood pressure, Evie’s husband Nate is so overly solicitous that Evie is feeling like an experiment on a slab in his science lab.  It doesn’t help that she is feeling extremely amorous and Nate keeps turning her down so Evie is frustrated, incredibly frustrated, which is not helping her doubts about whether or not she can handle becoming a mother.  When an invitation to a reunion at the college Evie attended shows up in her email even though she is suspicious, after all she never even graduated, she and her crime fighting partner Aveda cross the bay for a girl’s weekend away. But, once on campus, Evie finds that not only must she confront the ghosts of her past life but real ghosts who are injuring students. When young student Julie is attacked and then disappears after telling Evie not to trust the college authorities, Evie and Aveda go undercover to find the truth and protect the students.

I have not read the first trilogy but there is enough backstory mentioned that it is possible to start the series with this, the beginning of the second trilogy of the Heroine Complex. The characters are well-developed, each with their own strengths and weakness as well as self-doubts and areas of confidence.  A fun series with characters you will want in your friend circle.  Since the next book does not come out until July, I am off to look up the first trilogy and find out even more about these superheroines. Recommended ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

For more titles by Sarah Kuhn click here

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