Karma is a...

Tin Can Press // April 30, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0993939600
paperback, 300 pgs
source: review copy from the author

About the book:
The first book in the COSMIC BALANCE series
Megan is a typical university student trying to figure out her place in the world, except instead of hoping to pass the bar or get into med school, she’s studying to become a licensed vengeance demon.
Nineteen-year-old Megan Aequitas is the only vengeance demon and trickster hybrid ever born. In a world where vengeance demons are respectable, rule-obsessed guardians of the Cosmic Balance, and tricksters are playful, happy-go-lucky perpetrators of chaos, being half and half is, well, tricky.
Determined to prove herself worthy of her vengeance blood, Megan enrolls in University of Demonic Studies’ prestigious co-op program. Wreaking karmic revenge on wrongdoers from cheaters to crooks sounds fun and simple, if it weren’t for the unsuspecting human roommate, Megan’s flamboyant trickster half-brothers, a changeling-raised fellow outcast, and a trio of evil wannabes. Then one assignment turns deadly when Megan discovers a plot to unleash an ancient force so authoritarian, most creatures would be deemed too unworthy to exist.
After a lifetime of being embarrassed by her trickster tendencies and striving to fit in vengeance society, Megan now has to learn to embrace both of her worlds if she wants to save them.

My thoughts:
Totally out of my typical reading, this book came to me and after reading the synopsis, I decided I had to give it a try. It just felt really interesting and like it would move along quickly. Urban fantasy is not my thing, but I figured it was time for me to spread my wings...
I am so glad I decided to branch out and read this!

Let's start with the concept. Um, hello, I love it. The idea of a cosmic balance - vengeance being served up for all your sins to cleanse the victims of their burden. This idea is awesome. It is like karma amplified! I felt like the vengeance demons are the answer to "karma is a bitch"... the idea of ultimate good and evil and finding a balance is clever. It just makes sense in our world and the book almost helps readers to rationalize why there is good and evil in the world, as well as playing off the idea that even if people do bad things to you, you should just let karma (or in this case, vengeance demons) take care of it. Don't stoop to the evil-doers level, let someone else clean up that mess and you just carry on with your head held high. Makes this common sentiment ring true!
The characters. Oh, so cool. Megan is wonderfully developed - I love her mixed blood, reminding me (of course) of Hermione being a mudblood. Both are intelligent and highly skilled at their magical abilities, but both are judged because of their heritage. This theme plays well into society and the unfortunate reality that is out there. Overcoming those roadblocks that are thrown at Megan (and Serafina- can't wait to read her story) are what make her a powerful female lead for this novel. Strong, willing, able, and proud- even if others look down on her- are the pieces that make up Megan and allow her to be a wonderful role model to young women. In addition to the way she is developed as a character, I really liked the way Louisa developed the family and the two competing blood lines that merge into one stunning creature! The differences between Trickster and Vengeance is bold and well explained. I am super intrigued to find out more of both histories.
Okay, so let us talk conflict - it is BIG and it is engaging! It seems like one thing, but it really is another... a lot of smoke and mirrors, but done well and not doing all hodgepodge thrown together. I was so interested in what the whole vengeance side was doing, but also really intrigued to find out what the bigger problem was. There was a lot brewing beneath the surface, and I could feel it, it was very intense. I liked that. The intensity carried throughout the book, but didn't overpower so much that you couldn't focus on the story.
Overall, I am super happy with this book. It was interesting, well paced, fully developed, had great social impact, and incredibly intense.
I am pretty sure that Louisa Lo just sold me on urban fantasy (well, at least hers). I LOVED this book and absolutely recommend it to everyone - fans of the genre or not. Being a person who isn't an urban fantasy fan and loving it just tells me that this is a really good book. I think readers will enjoy the pace and the concept. Pick it up!

About the author:

I live with my husband and cat in Toronto. I’d wanted to be a writer for as long I could remember, but it took a long time before I learned to trust that little voice in my head. But here I am now, and I can’t “un-friend” my passion anymore than a bird could stop flying. In my other life, I’m an entertainment accountant, with experience ranging from royalty calculation for The Hunger Games to sales projection for The Lego Movie. On top of providing a nice little pay check to cover the various vet bills, my day job also ensures that in the happy-but-one-in-a-million-chance event that I do become a superstar, I know enough about contracts and numbers not to get ripped off. I hope.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

FTC I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Book cover image, synopsis, and author image & information from author Louisa Lo's website.

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