Book Reviews

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Manhattan Book Review

Star Rating: 5 / 5

I’ll get this out of the way first: I liked this book in part because I like Avengers fanfic. Not that Déjà Vu is Avengers fanfic, but there were enough similarities that it was the first connection I made, and that connection was one which enticed me further into the book. After all, the book is something like a comic book made into a novel. It follows a hidden group of superheroes, primarily an enhanced soldier from World War II.

There, however, the similarities stop. For one thing, the enhanced soldier Daniel Hecht, also known as Lionheart, is Jewish, which raises the stakes considerably for his past. For another, none of the other members of the team bear such similarities to the Avengers; their abilities tend more toward typical comic book fare.

For yet another, this book is less a superhero movie than a romance. There’s still plenty of action, but the plot is as much about the growing relationship between Daniel and his new neighbor, Nina Asher, as it is about the possible end of the world.

Daniel first meets Nina when he helps her move in, and he finds himself inexplicably fascinated by her. His fascination only grows when he finds she works with the hidden group, though they don’t know what her abilities might be. In fact, they know nothing about her. She was found with complete amnesia about her past, and the only clue anyone has about her is that she can speak Sumerian. As the book goes on, she learns more about who she was, but that knowledge causes trouble for her blossoming relationship with Daniel. Her true identity is not at all the woman Daniel believes her to be, and the woman he found himself falling in love with seems to be vanishing.

And the end of the world? Well, anyone who knows the superhero genre knows that will be averted, but the truth is that even the protagonists don’t know whether the world’s about to end or not. They just know that strange insect-like things with venomous stingers are after them, and it sure seems like something apocalyptic is happening.

Overall, I loved the book. It was a fun ride, and the relationship between Daniel and Nina has the perfect balance of heat and humor. However, comic books don’t always translate well to the written word, and there were times when I wished something had been illustrated rather than written. Also, the beginning could have used more exposition to help me understand the world. Despite that, I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it just as much. -- Reviewed by Jo Niederhoff

Kirkus Reviews:

This isn't your average superhero story... Daniel and Nina’s nascent romance eventually becomes the main focus, culminating in engagingly steamy chapters at the end of the novel.


"Janowsky's prose is adept and well-crafted, with a very skillful balance of action, interior monologue, vivid setting details, and nimble dialogue...Janowsky's story is unquestionably original and wonderfully imaginative, incorporating diverse aspects of history and mythology into a romance that transcends time."

Self-Publishing Review—Book 1: Déjà vu:

“Romance and mystery fuse in this supernatural thriller that is perfectly timed for the tastes of today’s readers, but also touches on classic themes in multiple genres…[T]here are flashes of brilliance in the writing…It is this beauty in the prose that carries the book, even with a riveting story and unique take on the superhero genre.”

The Prairie’s Book Review—Book 1: Déjà vu:

"Readers will experience heightened tension in this first installment of the fantasy romance series as shocking mystery unfolds, leading to a heartfelt climax. Janowsky skillfully reveals the duo’s intricately complex attraction to each other, allowing their romance to develop with sensuality.”

The Prairie’s Book Review—Whole Series:

“Skillful characterizations, heated romance, and a good dose of fantasy… Janowsky delivers an exciting series!”

Amazon Customer—Book 1: Déjà vu :

"Karen Janowsky’s debut novel and the first of her trilogy, “The Persistence of Memory,” is a beautiful story and, in my opinion, something totally new in a crowded field of superhero stories; an adult work of fiction that takes the characters seriously… “Déjà vu” is a remarkable and gorgeously crafted debut novel. Ms. Janowsky solves the Rubik’s cube of how to blend the science fiction, superhero, fantasy and romance genres seamlessly into a deeply satisfying story that won’t disappoint lovers of high-adventure or romance."