Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The art and science of superhero unmasking

Great Moments from last night's reading
Book: Karma Girl
Author: Jennifer Estep
Spoiler level: low

I enjoy learning new things in my books, and author Jennifer Estep, a reporter herself, provides interesting and authentic details of main character Carmen’s reporterly life. Yet Carmen exists in a world that contains superheroes and ubervillains. In fact, she’s a kind of expert at unmasking superheroes and ubervillains. (Her ex-fiance was a superhero. Ended badly.)

It’s hilarious the way author Estep uses common superhero cliches as everyday facts of life. Like:
Superheroes loved Oodles. The store gave them discounts on everything, and in return the superheroes tried to keep their building-leveling battles away from the historic structure.
Here she’s talking with Striker, the love interest (first sex scene: mask and leather costume on! And he whips out a condom lightening fast.) But I digress. A favorite moment, is where Carmen is trying to get Striker to think of who ubervillain Malefica might be:
“Good and evil always balance each other out. Superheroes and ubervillains are always connected in some way. They’re like magnets, attracting and repelling each other. It’s fascinating. Malefica is somewhere in your life. She might be a friend, a girlfriend, a business partner, maybe even your wife. You just don’t know it or refuse to see it.”

Striker paused. His eyes turned inward, mentally sorting through every person in his life, trying to figure out who might fit the mold.

“Come up with any suspects? Anybody sneak off in the middle of an important business meeting? Any girlfriends fail to show up for dates? Any so-called friends have odd. Unexplainable injuries?”

“No,” he growled.
And the ubervillains, of course, have this insane headquarters where they transform animals into monsters.

Another thing: I love the engaging first-person voice here. This is a bright, totally delightful read, especially if you were paying attention at the movies.

ALERT: I visited Estep's website yesterday, and she's having a contest that ends tomorrow (Valentine's day). Win free books and t-shirts!


lisabea said...

Did someone say contest?????

Sarai said...

Well damn yet another book to think about. My head is swimming from all the good books recently reviewed!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Estep said...
Thanks for the great review! Glad you enjoyed the book. :-)