Friday, February 27, 2009

Superheroes in Bigtime, New York

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

Bigtime, New York, is not big enough for both Carmen Cold and the superheroes and ubervillains who stalk 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 sleepy southern hometown to the front pages of the country's biggest newspaper, The Expose. Hobnobbing with modelizing millionaires and famished fashionistas is all in a day's work for a woman on the trail of the Fearless Five and the 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...

Title: Karma Girl
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Bigtime Superheroes, Book 1
Start & Finished: 11/8/08- 11/9/08
Published: 2007
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 360
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Having "always loved superheroes" but hated the fact that "the women just never seem to realize their boyfriends are superheroes," Jennifer Estep set out to create a series of books set in the fictional town of Bigtime, New York with larger-than-life superheroes and ubervillains as main characters. The first book in this series is called Karma Girl and stars a Lois Lane type of reporter who has become quite adept at uncovering the secret identities of the “spandex-wearers” then goes and falls in love with one of them!

Every kid dreams of having superpowers at one time or another (mine was being able to fly, I always knew how to in my dreams but that knowledge left me whenever I woke up- something to do with spinning really fast is all I remember) so I know this book would appeal to a lot of people. Superheroes however, were always something I knew about only vaguely because although I had heard of Batman, Superman, Spiderman, the X-men, etc. I didn’t really know anything about them. Little by little over time, I became curious and then the great, big summer blockbuster movies based on the heroes started being made. Although I never did become a rabid fan, I also never quite went back to my sheltered existence… I was bit by the superhero bug.

There were a couple of things that irritated me about Karma Girl like how easy it was to guess the secret identities of the superheroes and especially how just about everyone in Ms. Estep’s world had such odd alliterative names (which the author has said she did on purpose as a sort of homage to the comic books that inspired her to write this). In addition, the names played an important part in the reader being laps able to figure out what took the heroine over half the book to do. I would have liked to have been able to put myself more firmly in Carmen’s shoes instead of yelling at her to open her eyes rather than relying on facts while the while the heroine and the Fearless Five blundered around looking for the ubervillains to fall into their laps.

Still, I sincerely loved reading this book with its imaginative characters in this creative world. True, I had figured out all but one twist before part two of the book had even started but the characters and the plot was so cool I couldn’t help but be sucked in. I had never read anything quite like Estep’s story before and I was so glad to learn that there are two more books set in the world of superheroes in Bigtime, New York even if they do feature different heroines (she had originally planned for all of the books to feature Carmen Cole as the main character but an editor suggested that “maybe each book could be about a different superhero” and the author liked that idea even more).

Bigtime Superhero Series
Karma Girl (2007)
Hot Mama (2007)
Jinx (2008)

~Note: I won Karma Girl from Carolyn Jean over on The Trillionth Page. Thank you again!

Links: Author Blog, Karma Wikipedia
Interview: Popin's Lair, Fantasy Debut Author Spotlight, Paranormal Romance Superhero Worship

Slight Spoiler Fan Video:

Picture Explanations
Karma Wheel: Carmen is a great believer in Karma and this is one of the symbols of Karma
Brighton’s Best Scotch: Very expensive bottle of scotch that Malefica seems to enjoy
Frost’s Freeze Gun: Like Batman’s nemesis Mr. Freeze, one of the Terrible Triad is called Mr. Frost and he has a freezoray gun too.


  1. What an interesting sounding book. Not one I might have read but your review and info I think has tempted me! Good job!

  2. Hi Ladytink :) Stopping by to say hello. I love the title of the makes me smile. It sounds like a fun book too.
    Have a Great Weekend!

  3. It sounds like a fun book, even if predictable. I loved the little video clip.

  4. "(mine was being able to fly, I always knew how to in my dreams but that knowledge left me whenever I woke up- something to do with spinning really fast is all I remember)"

    No, no, you've got it all wrong. LOL It had to do with running really, really fast until you eventually just flitted and hovered above the ground. :P

  5. Great review. I enjoyed the fan video too, but wonder why the song's in French.

  6. I hadn't heard of these books but they sound like something I might like. Great review!

  7. I LOVE this series. The books are a lot of fun and Estep is one of my new favorite writers. Jinx is still in my TBR pile but towards the top.

  8. This sounds really interesting. I have never heard of this series before. I will have to see if I can get it from the library!

  9. Bingo: I wouldn't have normally picked it up either but I'm so glad I did :)

    The Chic Geek: Thanks, hope your weekend is great too.

    Wendy: It was! I really think Jane did a great job on the video too.

    Cherie: Mine was kind of a hover too but not a flitting. It was like if I spun fast enough, the gravity would no longer hold me down- weird huh?

    Bermudaonion: I wondered that too! It bugs me that I don't understand it either :(

    Samantha: Thanks, I hope you do try it!

    MonieG: Jinx is a good one too. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it as much as this one and Hot Mama since Bella is kind of quiet but I did like it!

    Serena: Just love that name, don't you?

    Kailana: Oh I bet you'd enjoy it if you can get past my little nit picks.

  10. I own the first couple of books in this series, and have done for ages, but I still haven't managed to read them!



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