Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex

Sarah Kuhn

Sarah Kuhn

By Carl Slaughter: Betsy Wollheim has a gift for discovering new talent.


by Sarah Kuhn

Heroine COmplex cover

The first in a DAW series on Asian-American superheroines.

Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder.

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. She’s great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss’s epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.

Unfortunately, she’s not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.

But everything changes when Evie’s forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest secret comes out: she has powers, too. Now it’s up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda’s increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right…or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.


“Sarah Kuhn creates characters you want to befriend, worlds you want to live in, and situations you can’t begin to imagine. Heroine Complex is at once fiendishly snarky yet colossally big-hearted.”

—Javier Grillo-Marxuach, writer and producer for Lost, creator of The Middleman

“Smart, sexy, and filled with beautifully fleshed-out/kick-ass women, Heroine Complex is the kind of read that sticks in your brain like a fanged cupcake…. I adored it.”

—Amber Benson, author of The Witches of Echo Park

“The superheroine we’ve been waiting for; the urban fantasy we deserve. Sarah Kuhn is the total package: comedy, tragedy, and sincerity. Grab your cape. We’re saving the city.”

—Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of the October Daye series

“Every page of Sarah Kuhn’s novel delighted me immensely…. Kuhn’s writing is bouncy and engaging, and Evie is very clearly spun into a captivating character. I also have to give Kuhn props for balancing romance and humour and drama, and making me wish that Heroine Complex would go on just a little bit longer.”

Book Riot

“Onomatopoeias? Check. Snarkiness? Check. Kick-ass Asian-American superwomen saving San Francisco from demon-possessed cupcakes? Check and check, Kuhn’s Heroine Complex is a ridiculously fun read.”

RT Reviews (top pick)

“Witty…. Kuhn starts of the novel with vivacity and a tongue-in-cheek narration.”

Publishers Weekly

“A fresh take on a superheroine story. Full of wit and of course danger!… This seriously was an entertaining read. The character development was superb.”

Boundless Books

“Love the humor and wacky hijinks, along with character development…. This is everything I’ve ever wanted in a book!“

Dreaming of Cats


Sarah Kuhn is the author of Heroine Complex—the first in a series starring Asian American superheroines—for DAW Books. She also wrote The Ruby Equation for the comics anthology Fresh Romance and the romantic comedy novella “One Con Glory,” which earned praise from io9 and USA Today and is in development as a feature film. Her articles and essays on such topics as geek girl culture, comic book continuity, and Sailor Moon cosplay have appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Apex Magazine,,, Back Stage, The Hollywood Reporter,, Creative Screenwriting, and the Hugo-nominated anthology Chicks Dig Comics. In 2011, she was selected as a finalist for the CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) New Writers Award.


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133 thoughts on “Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex

  1. Adding my own wishes here for Mike’s speedy recovery. Rest up and feel better soon!

  2. I’ve heard good things about Sarah Kuhn’s book. I’ve got a copy, but haven’t read it yet. Sounds immensely fun.

    Also, I want to add to the good wishes for Mike Glyer’s health and quick (and complete) recovery.

  3. @Jeff Warner:

    La’briute, Mr. Glyer!

    To your health indeed, good sir. Also: “à votre santé”, and “prosit”. (The other 6,500 languages will have to wait.)

  4. ZOMG, a hospital?? Those places are full of bacteria and weird smells and craziness. Hope you escape soon! The internet is just not quite the same without you

  5. I hope Sarah Kuhn sends Mike a nice gift or something, cuz I’ll be done with the book by the time Mike gets home. At least the page got stuck on something positive.

  6. Wanted to add late but heartfelt well wishes for your recovery, Mike – sounds like no fun at all but hopefully you’re on the mend and finding some good therapeutic things on the Kindle.

    I picked up Heroine Complex on my last trip europewise and it’s now sitting in my flat waiting for me to get back for good tomorrow – the reinforcement from this post is definitely pushing it to the top of the pile!

  7. @JKT

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

    Get well soon, Mike! We miss you.

  8. Mike, get well! Otherwise we will start composing memes at you or something!

    I’m sure he’ll be up and glying again in no time.

    Which makes me wonder–how many mikes could a mike glyer gly, if a mike glyer could gly mikes?

  9. Which makes me wonder–how many mikes could a mike glyer gly, if a mike glyer could gly mikes?

    Duh. 770, obvs.

  10. I finished the book and can report it is, in fact, delightful. Funny, charming, geeky, and more moving than I expected.

    The cover is a perfect illustration of basically Chapter 1.

  11. From Cassy B:

    Gly, glyer, glyest?

    (I apologize in advance to rhyming purists. Stephen Sondheim, if you’re hanging around, please don’t read this.)

    Gly, glyer, glyest
    I may be biased
    But gly must be glyer before it can be glyest

  12. Well, the DragonCon ballot is out, and I’m keenly feeling the lack of a post here in which to discuss the nominees. So get well soon Mike!

    And the nominees are (no idea why some categories have 6, some have 7, and YA has 8):

    1. Best Science Fiction Novel

    Agent of the Imperium by Marc Miller
    Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
    Raising Caine by Charles E. Gannon
    The Life Engineered by J-F Dubeau
    Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson
    Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwitheriing Realm by John C. Wright

    2. Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

    The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
    Asteroid Made of Dragons by G. Derek Adams
    Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia
    Changeling’s Island by Dave Freer
    The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
    Grave Measures by R.R. Virdi
    Blood Hound by James Osiris Baldwin

    3. Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

    Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
    Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
    The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
    Changeling’s Island by Dave Freer
    Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley
    Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    Updraft by Fran Wilde
    Trix and the Faerie Queen by Alethea Kontis

    4. Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

    Chains of Command by Marko Kloos
    Allies and Enemies: Fallen by Amy J. Murphy
    The Price of Valor by Django Wexler
    Blood in the Water by Taylor Anderson
    The End of All Things by John Scalzi
    Wrath of an Angry God: A Military Space Opera by Gibson Michaels
    Hell’s Foundations Quiver by David Weber

    5. Best Alternate History Novel

    Germanica by Robert Conroy
    Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry
    1635: A Parcel of Rogues by Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis
    League of Dragons by Naomi Novik
    1636: The Cardinal Virtues by Eric Flint & Walter H. Hunt
    Bombs Away: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove

    6. Best Apocalyptic Novel

    The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
    The Desert and the Blade by S.M. Stirling
    Chasing Freedom by Marina Fontaine
    Dark Age by Felix O. Hartmann
    A Time to Die by Mark Wandrey
    Ctrl Alt Revolt! by Nick Cole

    7. Best Horror Novel

    Alice by Christina Henry
    Souldancer by Brian Niemeier
    Chapelwood by Cherie Priest
    Honor at Stake by Declan Finn
    Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay
    An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel

    8. Best Comic Book

    DC Universe: Rebirth
    Astro City
    Ms. Marvel
    Civil War II

    9. Best Graphic Novel

    Chicago by Glenn Head
    March: Book Two by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin
    Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia
    The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman
    Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine
    Virgil by Steve Orlando

    10. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

    The Expanse – Syfy
    Game of Thrones – HBO
    Daredevil – Netflix
    Outlander – Starz
    Jessica Jones – Netflix
    The Flash – CW
    Doctor Who – BBC

    11. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

    Crimson Peak
    Captain America: Civil War
    Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens
    The Martian

    12. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

    Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment
    Undertale by Toby Fox
    Fallout 4 by Bethesda Softworks
    XCOM 2 by 2k Games
    Darkest Dungeon by Red Hook Studios
    Metal Gear Solid V by Konami Digital Entertainment

    13. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

    Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes by Electronic Arts
    Fallout Shelter by Bethesda Softworks
    PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist by Outerminds Inc.
    Quaser One by Emre Taskin
    Hyper Burner by Patrick Cook

    14. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

    Monopoly: CTHULHU by USAopoly
    Star Wars: Rebellion by Fantasy Flight Games
    Blood Rage by Cool Mini or Not
    Codenames by Vlaada Chvatil
    Pandemic: Legacy by ZMan Games
    Talon by GMT Games

    15. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

    Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game (7th Edition) by Chaosium Inc.
    Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls by Flying Buffalo
    Mousguard 2nd Edition by David Petersen & Luke Crane
    Magic the Gathering: Shadows over Innistrad by Wizards of the Coast
    Magic the Gathering: Battle of Zendikar by Wizards of the Coast
    Star Wars: Armada by Fantasy Flight Games

    Do I spy some pup favorites?

  13. I am about halfway through the book at this point and enjoying it rather a lot :-). Having had a difficult friend or two myself (and perhaps having been a difficult friend a time or two) I can sympathize with the protagonist. Looking forward to the rest of it.

  14. @Bartimaeus – that’s a very long thread. Can you point to any comment links about where discussion starts?

  15. Having now finished the book, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Not quite 5 stars but a very strong 4.

    I also forgot that I had bought a paper copy while in Portland and mailed it to myself. Since my local public library is looking for donations of books for the recently-expanded shelves, I know what I will be doing with the extra copy.

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