I’ve got to stop these crazy dreams that I’m a costumed superheroine! I dream that I fly and shoot power bolts from my fingers as I battle a menacing supervillain. Weird comic book artwork spam arrives on my laptop while I dream. Stranger still: media reports of actual supervillain sightings. Am I, Chloe Cole, struggling webcomics artist, the cause of real-life chaos? My life is falling apart, so I’ve got nothing to lose when a television superhero game show in New York City claims I’m their contest winner—though I never entered the contest. Meeting all the big names in the comics biz is just the start of my wild adventure as the chosen one to save two universes from a supervillain with a bad attitude. I’m only a temporary superheroine, right? Just to save the day. But can I do it?
The first novel from Vartanoff, a longtime comics creator, offers multiple inside references to engage the attention of comics fans, but there's little else of interest. Chicago indie webcomic creator Chloe Cole, the protagonist of her roman clef, has been dreaming for months of appearing in a starring role as a heroine battling a sinister villain. The mystifying dreams are being echoed by real-life disasters as well as by comics panels that appear on her computer, in an unrecognizable style not at all like hers. Chloe is prompted by Roland Kirby, her ex-boyfriend, to discover the artist and source of the drawings. She's also manipulated into appearing on a comics-centric reality television show that provides her with opportunities to quiz several prominent figures in the field and dig more into her own personal connections to classic comics creators. Chloe repeatedly voices her frustrations with the flawed logic of some comic book tropes and devices, but the work fails to deliver any new insights or ironic commentary and is further marred by a romantic angle that feels intrusive and forced. (BookLife)