Monday, March 26, 2012

The Bigtime Trilogy by Jennifer Estep

Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep

Completion Date: March 17, 2012
Reason for Reading: Fun!
Bigtime, New York, is not big enough for both Carmen Cole and the superheroes and ubervillains who stalk its streets. An intrepid reporter, Carmen's dedicated her life to unmasking the spandexwearers, 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 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.
I discovered Jennifer Estep at the end of 2011. I have been reading her Mythos Series. When I was at the second-hand book store the other day I found a copy of this book and Hot Mama, so I wanted to see what her adult books were like.

This trilogy is about superheroes and ultravillains. I like that Jennifer Estep picks different subject matters for her books. This first book centres around Carmen Cole. At the beginning of the book Carmen should be having one of the happiest days of her life, but instead she has this sinking suspicion that something is wrong and decides she has to know before she walks down the aisle. What she walks in on leaves a very angry Carmen bent on revenge. Her revenge is a bit different, though, because she becomes determined to unmask the superheroes and ultravillains of the world. The newspapers fight over the chance to have her reveal the ones in their towns. This brings her to Bigtime.

In Bigtime there are many superheroes and villains. The biggest of them, though, is the Fearless Five. She becomes obsessed with this group in particular, but when she reveals the identity of one of the group things do not go quite as she expected. He winds up committing suicide and she winds up doing society news. She puts her investigating on a back burner, but some people are not willing to leave it there. This ends up in lots of adventure and even some romance. In the end it will also explain the title of the book. I have to admit that I found this book to be a lot of fun. Carmen Cole is not about to be a damsel in distress if she can help it. She is a strong female lead that you cannot help appreciating. I found myself caught up in the story and how it was going to all play out. It was a fun diversion.

That being said, this book was not perfect. It was a bit clichéd at times, which was almost laughable. You couldn't help a little groan when some of the superheroes reveal how they went from 'normal' to super-human. The book was also a bit predictable, but that didn't take away from my overall enjoyment. I think my biggest problem was sometimes Carmen was a little too 'super-woman'. She annoyed me some times and I almost wanted to shake her to get back to the point, but that only happened once in a while. I am really happy that Estep puts so much stock in strong female characters in her novels. That is not to say the men are not appealing, too!


Hot Mama by Jennifer Estep

Completion Date: March 18, 2012
Reason for Reading: Carry on with the Series.
By day, Fiona Fine is a successful couture designer, catering to the high society players of Bigtime, New York. By night, she's Fiera, a member of the heroic Fearless Five who can create and manipulate fire with her bare hands.
Fiona's personal life, though, isn't so hot. She still misses her fiancŽ, who was killed by ubervillains a year ago. Still, men admire Fiona's smoking assets, and she decides to get back in the dating game- especially after she meets Johnny Bulluci. But this notorious playboy has plenty of secrets to go along with his sexy smile. And, with two new ubervillains in town who are intent on raising hell, Fiona's love life might just crash and burn.
Then, we get to this book. I hadn't read the back of the book, so I was expecting a continuation of Carmen's story. Instead, the book focuses on Fiona Fine. She is the female member of the Fearless Five and she is quite the character. I have to say, though, I wish she had got a better title for her book. I find this one a bit silly and not as suited to the books as book 1 and 2's titles are. That's just a small quibble. I actually really enjoyed Fiona, but I didn't enjoy the book overall quite as much as the first book. With the first book I hunkered down and read it almost in one sitting, but this book I kept putting down without any major regrets. I still read it relatively fast, though; so it wasn't terrible.

Fiona is fun, though. Just the amount that she needs to eat is jaw-dropping. She has a very fast metabolism. It was refreshing to read a book about a woman that eats instead of one that doesn't. Of course, she still has a perfect figure, but that is genes pure and simple. There were times where Fiona got on my nerves a bit, but it could have been a lot worse. Overall it was another fun addition to the trilogy, but I liked the first book better.

Jinx by Jennifer Estep

Completion Date: March 22, 2012
Reason for Reading: Carry on with the series.
Bella would feel better about being born into a family of superheroes if her own superpower was something she could control-or at least use. But static electricity? That's less a power than a jinx. Then she stumbles on two things no supergirl should be without: an ubervillain and a dashing-if shady-stranger named Debonair. Bella's about to learn just how well love and danger mix.
Then, there was this book. This book annoyed the heck out of me, folks. Bella was so annoying! All she did was bitch and complain. I was ready to throw the book somewhere and never look at it again, but I was determined to finish this trilogy and not have it hanging over my head. But, honestly, I wanted to slap Bella over the head with any object handy and get her to stop. She doesn't like superheroes. In a series based around superheroes that is not what you want to put up with. And, if you have to, it is better for it to be a secondary character and not the main one going on and on and on. She did things that just were so unnecessary. There were interesting parts to this book, don't get me wrong, but Bella soured the whole experience. I can't even force myself to talk about this book any more because just thinking about Bella is making me get annoyed all over again.

I have to say, though, I wish there were more books in the series. I have some guesses on who some of the other heroes and villains are in real life, so I want to know if I am right or wrong. It's a really fun series so far and there is lots left to explore. So, hopefully in the future she will return to writing for this series.

Overall, I do recommend it for enjoyment, but be prepared for some imperfections and Bella. Estep has written a lot since this trilogy, so I think if she ever returned to it there would be a vast improvement in the areas that bother people with this trilogy. The good thing is that she showed a lot of potential with this trilogy.


  1. Glad that you gave Ms Estep a chance, Kailana and that overall, you enjoyed the series :)

    I liked the theme/subject of this series: superheroes and villains. It was interesting to see it in a novel format as oppose to comic. And the direction Ms Estep chose was fun :) The only problem I see is that she couldn't have been able to stretch it for too long. Which I guess everyone realized :)

    All in all, just a fun series :)

  2. I have never heard of Jennifer Estep before. You reviewed 3 of her works straight away, you must really like her.
    The stories sound fun but a bit too cliche for me.

  3. This series is completely new to me. Sounds like huge fun, I'll keep an eye out at the library,

  4. I have this trilogy on my TBR list! I've read the first book in her urban fantasy series called Spider's Bite and I LOVED it! I'm eager to read more by her so I can't wait to pick these up :)


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