Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman review
Book links: Amazon, Goodreads
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Austin Grossman is the author of three novels: SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE, YOU, and CROOKED.
Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (June 5, 2007) Print length: 338 Formats: ebook, audiobook, paperback, hardback
I had a lot of fun listening to this book. It’s top-tier entertainment in which the villain is more likable and interesting than the heroes. Not uncommon in superhero fiction 🙂
Meet Dr. Impossible – the evil genius currently rotting in a federal prison. Throughout his career, he has tried many methods to conquer the world through the use of various doomsday devices (nuclear, thermonuclear, nontechnological ) and mass mind control. He has even traveled to the past to change history and to the future to escape it. All in vain.
Meanwhile, Fatale, a cyborg with memory loss, has joined the world’s most famous super team, the Champions. It’s her first day, and she’s eager to prove herself.
As expected, their paths cross.
The chapters alternate between their first-person perspectives. Dr. Impossible chapters are a pure delight – he’s a megalomaniac with a lot of charisma and some laugh-out-loud moments full of social commentary and self-reflection. He’s broken, but also incredibly likable. The heroes, on the other hand, are mostly unsympathetic and indifferent to the concerns of ordinary people. You’ll quickly notice that many of the main characters are basically comic book icons in disguise. Corefire is essentially Superman, Black Wolf is Batman and Damsel is Wonder Woman. This isn’t a bad thing, quite the contrary, especially if you’re interested in superheroes and their history.
As the plot unfolds, we learn that each character has their own secrets and that their origins are intertwined in mostly predictable ways. But that doesn’t stop the book from being an exciting journey. Thanks to its playful, tongue-in-cheek tone, it strikes the perfect balance between seriousness and silliness. At times it reads like a comic book, at others like a witty parody of the entire superhero/super villain genre.
As much as I enjoyed the ride, I’d have liked the climax to be more daring. We all know the tropes of superhero fiction tropes and the limitations of the genre itself. I’d love to see the villain emerge victorious (which isn’t uncommon in modern comic book deconstructions) but I guess the show must go on.
Soon I Will Be Invincible is one of the highlights of my 2023 reading. It’s immersive, intelligent, has great humor and a brisk pace. I had a lot of fun listening to it and highly recommend it to all readers who are in the mood for good superhero entertainment.