Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Book review: Soon I Will Be Invincible

I just finished reading Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible, and I want to recommend it. It's the story of the arch-villain Doctor Impossible and his nemeses in the superhero gang The New Champions. It's told from two viewpoints, with alternating chapters telling Doctor Impossible's story and the story of Fatale, the newest member of the New Champions. Doctor Impossible is an Evil Genius -- or, rather, he suffers from Malign Hypercognition Disorder -- and his goal is total world conquest. Fatale is a cyborg warrior, new to the team and with no memories of her pre-cyborg life. Their reflections on their lives are amusing and humanizing, and the book as a whole is a different take on the life of the villain and hero. It's not only worth reading, I think I'll have to re-read it in a few weeks.

Given that it's the author's first book, it's very well written. The author had to make a lot of choices about how to fit things together, where to tell us things, how to keep the pacing interesting, and he made them all well. The story only dragged (depressingly) for a few pages, and even that was all about what makes our villain tick. The book is probably funnier the more you know about comics and superheroes; I thought it was great satire. So, if superhero satire sounds good, give this a try. I enjoyed reading it, and I suspect you will too.

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