Brought to you by OBS reviewer Vanessa
*Beware of possible Spoilers*
It’s hard being a regular police officer in Galilee Falls, a city with the highest concentration of superheroes and villains in the country. It’s even harder watching your best friend, the man you’re secretly in love with your whole life, planning to marry another woman. Detective Joanna Fallon has to contend with both. When the vilest supervillain in the city’s history, Alkaline, the former crime boss who can shoot acid from his wrists, escapes from the maximum security prison, the whole city is gripped by panic. Leading the pursuit is Captain Harry O’Hara, Joanna’s boss and secret lover, and the city’s champion superhero Justice, who caught the villain last time, much to Joanna’s chagrin. Before her father was murdered in a mugging twenty years earlier, Joanna worshiped the hero, but when he disappeared and failed to save her father, that adoration turned to contempt for all supers. After Alkaline attacks too close to home and targets Joanna as his next victim, tough-as-nail Joanna has to contend with her increasing fear while struggling to choose between her life-long crush and her new-found love.
At turns vulnerable and fierce, equally mordant and winsome, Joanna is an earnest yet emotionally damaged heroine, who despite the tough breaks of her childhood sees the good in people and vow to protect her beloved city at all costs. An ass-kicking petite firecracker with no superpowers of her own, she charges after super villains unflinchingly, never losing her wit even when facing her toughest fight. With a coy blend of whimsy and vivid imagination, she delivers both humor and thrills in an action-packed and edgy blend of comic book cool, fantasy-noir, and bitter-sweet romance.
There are not enough good things I can say about this book. Right from the get go Justice grabs you and doesn’t let go. From the first page you are drawn into the intense and gripping world of Galilee Falls. The storyline is exceptional and the descriptions & world building are phenomenal. I absolutely loved the main character, Joanna. She was a kick-ass character and she came alive right off the pages. Joanna wasn’t whiney like so many of the female leads I often encounter, which is a real pet peeve of mine!
A story about superheros and villain’s could easily come off cheesy and ridiculous but the author creates a believable world that’s both convincing and entrancing. Justice has something for everyone: romance, action, mystery and more. There are twists, turns and more surprises than I ever expected. Jennifer Harlow clearly isn’t afraid to push the boundaries in order to create a more believable story.
What I really enjoyed was that the secondary characters were just as well written as Joanna. They each had their own unique feel and were relatable in their own ways. I also didn’t feel that there were characters or elements that were just thrown into the story to lengthen or take up space. Every moment you experience in Justice is directly related to character growth or plot development.
I did end up figuring out a few of the plot twists (which I won’t mention!) before they were revealed in the story, but that didn’t in any way minimize my enjoyment. I found myself saying “just one more page” late into the night. There is something so captivating about Justice. The characters are raw and gripping and the story takes the idea of superheroes to a new level. Great pacing, a well developed plot and balanced characters really make this one of my new favorite reads.
I honestly think this would have made a fantastic film! Even if Justice doesn’t sound like your normal cup of tea, give it a try, you won’t regret it!