Friday, July 8, 2011

Book #43

Soon I Will be Invincible, by Austin Grossman. Hardcover.

I am a fan of the growing body of super-hero novels, novels not specifically based on actual comic book characters (or not necessarily) but that take place in a world with some powered individuals. Perhaps this golden age was kicked off with Michael Chabon's Kavalier & Clay novel, which won a Pulitzer.

This novel focuses not on the. super-hero, but on the super-villain, in this case Doctor Impossible. Told in alternating first-person POVs, this novel tells the dual stories of Doctor Impossible's lastest attempt to take over the world, and the cyborg woman Fatale's first job working with the reformed super-hero team, the Champions.

The world's strongest superhero, CoreFire, has recently disappeared, and everyone blames the recently escaped Doctor Impossible. They were nemeses, after all. But the villain didn't do the deed, and as a matter of fact, he wants to find out who did. The disappearance has caused the Champions to reform, with new member Fatale joining the team.

Grossman does a good job moving the plot forward, and he works backstory into the plot with only a few bumps -- the scene where Fatale watches a video telling her (and us) the history of the Champions was especially clunky. But the major characters have their moments, and we certainly get to know where both Doctor Impossible and Fatale come from, as they are telling us the story, but other characters have their moments, as well.

As an avid reader of comics for decades, the story itself did not tread new ground, but for someone coming to the story just as a reader of novels, the story may be more unique.

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