Tuesday, June 26, 2007

KARMA GIRL - Oodles-o-Fun!

The cover to KARMA GIRL doesn't really resemble today's comic books, but it has a sort of nostalgic appeal for the older, 6 color comics of yesteryear. The black dress turns out to be significant. As I said in an earlier post, you'll find this book in the Romance section, with the cover out (at least at Barnes and Noble, you will).

Before I dive in, I want to congratulate Jennifer Estep on her website. It has fabulous graphics and sound (and I ordinarily like quiet websites), and is just stuffed full of information. I'm going to have to devote an entire post to her website alone.

As for the novel. I found the opening chapter just a tiny bit rough. The events seemed rushed and tried to deal with all these angsty themes of heartbreak and betrayal with the same breezy voice that characterizes the rest of the book. However, Estep really couldn't have handled it any other way and that was the only rough point that I've encountered so far. Even in sad parts further in the novel, the writing is smooth and transparent.

And need I say hilarious? I have not had so many laugh-out-loud moments with a book since I read Huck Finn. It helps if you know a little comic book trivia. The little old lady superhero was a hoot. And there seems to be a lot of kindly widowed aunts mentioned as well.

But back to the story. I don't think I'm giving anything away here, because most of it is covered in the cover blurb. After Carmen Cole (there are a lot of alliterative names in this book, reminiscent of Peter Parker and Otto Octavius) finds her finance in bed with her best friend, she makes the startling discovery -- courtesy of their super suits that they are wearing under their wedding clothes -- that they are in fact a superhero and an ubervillain. She snaps some photos of them with a handy camera and unmasks them both -- thus launching her unmasking career.

(I love the term "ubervillain". It's so much more perfect than "supervillain".)

Most of the action takes place in Bigtime, New York, where superhero battles level buildings on a regular basis. When you go shopping at Oodles-o-Stuff, you're likely to encounter superheroes, because they get special discounts in exchange for protection against superfights.

It's a blissful three years for Carmen, but all good things come to an end, and her unmasking career ends in tragedy. She barely hangs onto her job. However, certain ubervillains--who seem to have been following her career--decides that she needs to take up her unmasking mantle once again. And they know who her next target should be.

However, Carmen Cole is the master unmasker, and she has a plan. More on that in the next post.

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