Sunday, August 4, 2013

Review for Justice by Jennifer Harlow

by Jennifer Harlow
Galilee Falls Trilogy, Book 1

Genre: Urban Fantasy (Superhero)
Publisher: Devil on the Left Books

Date of Publication:  5/13

ISBN: 978-0-9893944-0-6 ebook

Number of pages: 320

Cover Artist: Damonza

Buy Link: Amazon
"Ms. Harlow’s character development is superb, the plot moves at an engaging pace and the bittersweet romance is heart gripping." 

Book Description: 

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. 
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My Review

While I’ve never been a huge fan of graphic novels, I will admit to a certain fondness for a good super hero movie.  Being over a certain age (yeah so not telling you how old I am), and watching plenty of horrible super hero adaptations, I can quite honestly say that Justice by Jennifer Harlow is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read in years.  Ms. Harlow’s character development is superb, the plot moves at an engaging pace and the bittersweet romance is heart gripping.  While strictly fiction, Justice is full of what I can only assume to be Ms. Harlow’s commentary on society, the fight between good versus evil and just what it takes for us to change the world we live in.

Growing up in a city like Galilee Falls, Detective Joanna Fallon knows what it’s like to watch the battle between good and evil on a daily basis.  A city inhabited by a number of “super heroes and villains”, Galilee Falls is also home to Joanna’s best friend, Justin Pendergast, the city’s golden boy and the man she’s secretly been in love with for twenty years.  While dealing with crime is hard, having to watch, and even take part in Justin’s upcoming wedding to someone else is even worse.  Just when it doesn’t seem things could get any worse, Alkaline, the city’s worst villain, escapes from his maximum security prison and terrorizes the city.  Something Joanna is determined to put an end to.                       

Leading the investigation against Alkaline with her partner, Joanna has to deal with her boss, Captain Harry O’Hara, her secret lover, and with Justice, the super hero who caught Alkaline and put him in prison the last time he was on a rampage.  Both men are concerned with Joanna's "kick butt" attitude and her personal safety. Unfortunately Joanna could care less what Justice wants, she's no longer a fan of his because he let her down when she was just a child.  

Told from the first person perspective of Joanna, Ms. Harlow introduces us to a strong willed woman who won’t take no for an answer – regardless of the personal cost.  Determined to prove that the police are the best answer to dealing with evil, and that they need to do away with all “supers” and “super villains”, Joanna is relentless, hard working and more driven than everyone around her.  She’s also vulnerable when it comes to her heart, afraid to make a choice about her love life, and incredibly judgmental about herself.  She is her own worst critic and takes responsibility for everything bad that happens around her or in the lives of those she loves.

Besides giving us an incredibly strong and very human heroine, Ms. Harlow gives us great dialogue (both internal and external) and a heroine with a snarky sense of humor.  I seriously fell in love with Joanna within a couple of pages.  The secondary characters, from Justin to Harry, make great contributions to the story and it’s easy to see why Joanna is attracted to both (though Harry is her senior by more than 10 years).  

The villain of the story is seriously evil – just like he should be and Justice is the hero everyone wants him to be.  Even though his secret identity was easy for me to figure out – it took Joanna almost to the end of the book to discover it.  Her reaction is just what you would expect it to be too.  

Will Joanna and the police prove they can capture a super on their own?  Will Justice end up making more than one sacrifice to save Galilee Falls?  And will Joanna finally make up her mind about her love life?  You’ll have to read Justice to find out, I loved it and can’t wait to see what takes place in Galilee Falls next. 

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I was provided a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way for my opinion of the reading material provided.  


  1. Great review and you are such a tease. I love my supers and I need to get this book. :)


  2. Oh this sounds fabulous - will have to check it out.

  3. Wow...what a review! All right, I'm checking it out!