Book Review: Jennifer Estep’s Karma Girl

Posted May 28, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jennifer Estep’s Karma Girl

Karma Girl


Jennifer Estep

fantasy that was published by Berkley on May 1, 2007 and has 360 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Jennifer Estep, Venom, Tangled Threads, Touch of Frost, Spider's Revenge, Kiss of Frost, Hot Mama, By a Thread, Dark Frost, Widow's Web, Crimson Frost, Deadly Sting, Midnight Frost, Heart of Venom, The Spider, Killer Frost, Tan­gled Dreams, Tangled Schemes, Spider's Bargain, "Poison", Spider’s Nemesis, "Wasted", Web of Death, "Web of Deceit", Black Widow, Poison Promise, Cold Burn of Magic, The Spider's Trap, Dark Heart of Magic, Bitter Bite, Unraveled, "Nice Guys Bite", Bright Blaze of Magic, Snared

First in the fantasy series, Bigtime, set in a New York City-like location.

My Take

When I first started reading, I was enjoying it thoroughly. Estep had such an hysterically funny comic book writing style going. I could definitely imagine this as a graphic novel. But then I started getting irritated with the Carmen Cole character. She seemed like such an intelligent woman…how could she not get that she was destroying superhero lives just to feed her own sense of betrayal? Then her passion for Striker just was too over the top. Too easy. Her dithering over the attraction she felt for him versus her past experience was all surface.

As for discovering who Malefica was in real life…oh please, even I had it figured out by the end of the first chapter. Carmen is supposed to be so brilliant at figuring out the superheroes’ secret identities and it took her until almost the very last chapter?

Then the scene in the garden when Striker pops the two big questions and she runs out on him. Puh-lease. She knew he was in love with her back at the ice cream factory! Then when she has the encounter at the party with Fiona, lord, what? This ability to be so incredibly stupid is another of Carmen’s super powers??

Hot Mama is next in the series but I don’t know if I’ll be reading my way through it.

The Story

Exposing the true identities of the nation’s caped crusaders and their archenemies has catapulted the vengeful Carmen from her sleepy southern hometown to the front pages of the country’s biggest newspaper, The Exposé. Hobnobbing with millionaires and famished fashionistas is all in a day’s work for a woman on the trail of the Fearless Five and 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.

The Characters

Carmen Cole, a.k.a., Karma Girl, is a reporter for The Exposé and is determined to take down the superheroes and ubervillains who stalk its streets.

The Fearless Five are…
…the superheroes. Striker is Bigtime’s sexiest superhero. Fiera, the fiery superhero, is very concerned with her image and her carefully orchestrated posing. Chief Newman is in charge of the Bigtime Police Department, Fiona’s dad, and Mister Sage, the psychic superhero. Henry is also Hermit, the tech superhero.

The Terrible Triad are…
…the ubervillains and two of them are Siren, whose voice melts men and women into puddles who will do anything to please her. Intelligal is the brains in the outfit.

The Cover and Title

The cover certainly suits the story. There’s Karma Girl in her basic black party dress catching sight of the superhero spotlight against a backdrop of the big city in a cartoony format.

The title and her superhero name definitely suit the power of Karma Girl, I just wish Estep hadn’t felt the need to pad the story so heavily with the word. I felt like “karma” was showing up every other page. Thought maybe she had some keyword padding going on…!