Surfer Girl

In her first adventure, Jo Tanis managed to save Earth by foiling an alien invasion. But now she’s getting her “ass kicked by a pair of pimply thugs” in a dark alley. It’s obvious that she still has a lot to learn about being a superhero.

That’s because until recently Tanis was a superhero in name only. Known publicly as Surf, she was part of a performing troupe who participated in highly rated skirmishes on television. Her superpowers were real, but the fights were choreographed and fake. She was simply a celebrity who looked good in spandex as she streaked across the sky.

But give her a little bit of credit. When space aliens came to town, she got her priorities in order. With the help of a hastily assembled crew of superhumans, she was able to negotiate a resolution to the crisis. On that day, the world lost a sexy pinup model and gained an honest-to-goodness superhero.

Now there’s another crisis on the horizon. A couple of rogue supers have vowed to destroy various cities around the world (starting with Erie, Pennsylvania, apparently) unless they receive a suitcase filled with $50 billion cash money. A showdown is arranged between Tanis and a guy named GroundPounder in the Nevada desert. And this time the skirmish won’t be televised or fake.

There’s plenty of super action in this book. But the author is more interested in her characters’ inner lives. Tanis, of course, is the number one navel gazer of the bunch. But everyone’s got issues to resolve, even the bad guys.

There’s also a big romance brewing between Tanis and one of her teammates. Deep down all she wants is “true love, peace and happiness for the world.” But the sexual tension she feels for Hunter Dillon is driving her crazy. “I know one thing,” she says just prior to her mano a womano bout in Nevada, “I’m not going to die without at least getting laid once.” Everyone needs a little inspiration in life. It’s nice to see that Jo Tanis has finally found hers.

[Heroes Without, Heroes Within / By Sheryl Nantus / First Printing: January 2012 / ISBN: 9781609285746]

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