Publication Date: March 5, 2015
Years have passed since the world came to know the Helpful Ladies—female superheroes with unique powers. The women have set up a Ladies’ Net and the world looks to them to solve difficult problems and save lives. Trish and Megan, the original American Goddesses have thrived and now have their own children, each with a daughter that may or may be on the cusp of realizing their own Helpful Lady powers. When Melinkova returns with an obsession to destroy Trish and Megan and gain indomitable power for herself, is she the one foe the Helpful Ladies cannot defeat?
I said of the first novel in this series [easyazon_link identifier=”B0086XGFTS” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]“American Goddesses”[/easyazon_link] that if someone was writing a book specifically for me, they could not have done a better job. I stand corrected. [easyazon_link identifier=”B00UCDKKKK” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Rogue Goddesses (American Goddesses Book 2)[/easyazon_link] is the next step in exactly the sort of thing Tammy loves to read. There are superheroes, great scenes of community connection, a great villain for whom any reader will feel sympathy and an overall engaging suspense story. [easyazon_link identifier=”B00UCDKKKK” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Rogue Goddesses (American Goddesses Book 2)[/easyazon_link] is a delicious treat of a novel.
Trish and Megan are settled in their relationships and lives and accustomed to their powers. Megan is called upon to ease a truck out of the mud and the Helpful Ladies pitch in by popping in and via their psychic network. Henry’s rich tapestry of Helpful Ladies from around the world gives a wider scope to this story to the overall character landscape. Where there is one Melinkova, a logical reader knows there will be more. In the immediate view of Trish and Megan is the coming of age of their own daughters. This natural progression is especially poignant for Trish who has feared the moment from the time her young daughter, Tammy, looked up into a tree only to find herself at the top of it before falling to earth. In a very human moment, we go with Megan and Trish as they introduce Megan’s daughter, Emma, to flying and also to the very real responsibility she faces as a Helpful Lady.
Melinkova is especially interesting. She awakes in the future to find herself in someone else’s body and bad situation and in complete control. She’s baffled by progress but what we know about her is that she is a truly damaged person who wants to control something. Melinkova also desperately wants a connection and it is in the connection with Rhonda Sue Skinner that we see Melinkova’s truest self. Rhonda Sue Skinner is also something of a masterpiece of a unique character. I’d like to say that we meet her at a low point but her life seems to be a constant low point. Her brother dies in prison, her ex-boyfriend comes into the bar with the woman that perhaps overlapped their relationship. That’s just the start of Rhonda Sue’s country song of bad luck. Rhonda is a character who clearly never helps herself and is sad yet fascinating to read.
Henry’s integration of the story into the future world is well thought out. Children are wearing musical shirts that project pictures; nano-smart phones are implanted into hands. There are teen trends, as happens. When Melinkova is thrust into the future, the world is simply a different place and women are driving that world.
I would be remiss not to mention my favorite character and storyline. Tammy Wilkins (word from the author that this character is named for me and I could not be more delighted) is wrapped in suspense. Helpful Ladies do not develop their powers until post-adolescence so what happened when Tammy looked up to find herself in a tree? She is an average and painfully shy girl who is wholly insecure and yet plays an integral role in “Rogue Goddesses.” Emma is convinced that she’ll be the greatest Helpful Lady of all of them. If she’s a Helpful Lady at all is answered within the course of the story in a way that is extremely intriguing.
Henry gives us time to savor with the women we know from the first novel while pushing an action packed storyline that I simply did not want to put down. I want more. [easyazon_link identifier=”B00UCDKKKK” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Rogue Goddesses (American Goddesses Book 2)[/easyazon_link] is a wonderfully thrilling story. [easyazon_link identifier=”B00UCDKKKK” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Rogue Goddesses (American Goddesses Book 2)[/easyazon_link] is a 15-star out of five-star read. If you like this sort of novel but haven’t read the first, the latter novel stands easily on its own. Pick both up today and plan a relaxing evening of holiday awesomeness.
You can read an excerpt and buy Rogue Goddesses by Gary Henry on:
Amazon U.S. • Amazon U.K. • Amazon Canada
Gary Henry served 20 years in the Navy as an enlisted PR specialist and retired as a Chief Navy Journalist. He also designed and taught a six-week course at a magnet high school in Nashville, Tenn., titled “Writing for Publication.” Now he is a house writer and writes everything, poetry to technical writing, and all points in between, including newsletters, blog posts and web content, ad copy, sales letters, trade magazine articles and more. He also runs the Honest Indie Book Review site.
For more information about Gary Henry and his work, visit his blog. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter @LiteraryGary.
Hi Tammy! Just got up this morning, switched on the computer and found your lovely, lovely review. Wide awake now! Yuh, protagonist Tammy Wilkins is most definitely named for you, in recognition of the support and encouragement you offered after AMERICAN GODDESSES. The very first review that novel garnered panned it — it evidently didn’t fit in with the reviewer’s preconceived notion of how the story should go, even though he liked the writing itself. It made me feel low, since at that time I hadn’t had much experience with reviews. Then I saw your wonderfully supportive, in depth review (http://www.rabidreaders.com/2012/06/28/american-goddesses/) and it really did save me. Since then, my skin’s gotten a little thicker with experience, but I have never forgotten the feeling of relief from reading your review. That’s when I determined to write a sequel with the world saved by a young lady named Tammy, just like I was saved. Your opinions, expressed in that review, also helped guide me in writing the sequel, validating ideas like the sympathetic villain. Well, I apologize for this lengthy comment, but I’m glad I’ve finally gotten a chance to explain a little about how you were involved in ROGUE GODDESSES. I was reluctant to do that before you reviewed the book, since I didn’t want you to feel pressured, but think it’s important you know just what a difference you made. Thank you again, Tammy, for both the “GODDESS” reviews, and for all the wonderful work you do as a reviewer. Speaking as an indie reviewer myself, I can honestly say that Rabid Readers Reviews is one of the best indie review sites on the web. Honest, balanced and personal — I’ve bought many a book on your recommendation, and plan to keep doing so.
Your friend Gary
OH wow. Thank you for telling me. I know not everyone likes everything but to say I adored “American Goddesses” is an understand and that I just liked “Rogue Goddesses” is an extreme understatement. Keep writing!