July 15, 2013

Braine Reviews: Justice by Jennifer Harlow

Series: Galilee Falls Trilogy 1
Format: Digital ARC
Release Date: May 18, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Source: Author
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

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 supervillains 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.

Jennifer Harlow's latest novel, JUSTICE, book 1 of her brand new series, Galilee Falls in one word is INSPIRED. Yes it's a superhero story but it's nothing like those 2D cartoon shows I grew up watching where everything is wholesome. Good and evil are clearly demarcated and punches and hits are accompanied by cartoonish POWs and BAMs. JUSTICE is dark as it's funny with demigod characters who are as flawed and human as the rest of us. 

I see Galilee Falls as a town every fanboy and girl would love to live in, it's like Marvel Town or Gotham City with all these supers running around causing havoc to an otherwise idyllic place on a regular basis. And the conflict-resolution, the soul of the story, is frickin' SUPED UP! I cannot articulate how clever, dramatic and spectacular the entire thing is. Like I said JUSTICE is frickin' inspired you HAVE to read it to understand. All the scheming, conspiring, double-crossing is so brilliant  I can only list superlatives to articulate myself. Yes it's that good!

Joanna Fallon, the anti-heroine in the story. I call her as such because she's deliciously snarkastic, judgmental and jaded. Not by choice but by a combined experience of a rough family life and bearing witness to various atrocities courtesy of Galilee Falls' creme de la scum. Joanna is not a big fan of supers because 1. it makes her job harder with all these supers acting above the law; and 2. she simply dislike their kind. Especially JUSTICE

Joanna, grappling with her old hurts, friendships, relationships and everything else in between is well drawn out lead. JHarlow spared no detail as far as Joanna's character growth is concerned from her minor lash outs to all those major confrontations she had with Justin, JUSTICE, Alkaline and semi-boyfriend and boss, Harry. For the purpose of comparison, Joanna is more like Catwoman than Batgirl in that she always has this internal battle going on. Whether it's trying to like Rebecca, ensuring her relationship with Justin remains platonic or admitting Harry's position in her life. I love her internal monologues, she's very self-aware, very honest and embraces her flaws with barely any apologies and still manages to remain loyal and fair to those people around her. 

JUSTICE. We all know that this is nothing but a secret identity. JUSTICE to an extent is your traditional superhero, a very upright model citizen of Galilee Falls, patient considerate and... super. JHarlow made him very human which made his character easy to identify with. JHarlow didn't make him bulletproof, instead she made JUSTICE the Kevlar vest of the story both in and out of costume. As Alkaline's arch nemesis, JUSTICE was the target unfortunately JUSTICE wasn't very good in covering up his tracks as Alkaline managed to track him down and exploited his weaknesses by going after those people who are most dear to him. In short, there was a heartbreaking bloodbath that  ensued mid-way paralyzing the core lead characters instantly turned JUSTICE into an emotionally dark superstory. 

I'll leave it at this: If Christopher Nolan wrote an original superhero story, JUSTICE by Jennifer Harlow would be it.

Purchase Justice

Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virgina home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.

Fan Girls & Boys Welcome


  1. This sounds good! My first Jennifer Harlow book was What's a Witch to Do? which I loved! I need to check this one out.

    1. Oh you have to check out her FREAKS series too! She's so snarky I love it!

  2. Oh wow! This is such an interesting concept!! Not usually my cup of tea but sounds interesting!

    1. Give it a try Ning, I have a feeling you'll like it.

  3. This sounds freaking awesome. Just added it to my TBR <3

  4. Thanks ladies. Hope you enjoy it too!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the complimentary copy.

  5. Omagosh. This sounds amazing! I am the biggest superhero nerd. The Avengers is my favorite movie. :D I checked it out on amazon and Amazon has a different cover than Goodreads or here. If I buy a paperback, which cover do you think it will have? Because I am in love with this cover.

    1. Oh man! You'll totally love this if that's the case.

    2. *grab hands* AAH! I want it SO BAD. lol. When next I get book money, this is on the TIPPY TOP of my wish list. :D aaah. SO EXCITED. O.O


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