Soon I Will Be Invincible

By Austin Grossman

Rating: 3 stars

This was rather an odd book, promising to deconstruct the superhero genre, I didn’t really feel it achived that aim. I don’t know if that’s because we’ve been exposed to so much of it over the decade or so since Marvel launched their Cinematic Universe, or just becuse the book isn’t as clever as it thinks it is.

We alternate two PoV characters – Fatale, a cyborg who’s just joined the world’s leading superhero team, and Doctor Impossible, a supergenius who’s just escaped from prison (again) and is Trying to Take Over the World (cue Pinky and the Brain music). It could have been really interesting being in the head of a supervillain, but when it comes down to it, we aren’t given the sort of perpective that would have made the book interesting. Fatale is a bit of a cypher too, having lost large chunks of her memory in her origin story and although being an outsider to the team should have given us an interesting point of view, it never really seems to.

The story is fun enough, but it just doesn’t really hang together as well as it should. There’s lots of random scene jumps (not helped by the formatting in my ebook, which didn’t make it obvious when such a thing was happening) and the climactic fight scenes at the end mostly took place off screen. There’s also a really weird fight between Mister Mystic (the team’s magic user) and Doctor Impossible which seems to be setting something up and then just fizzles out.

For a book that was supposed to be about the characters and deconstructing the superhero genre, I don’t think it achieved either goal, as the characters remained mostly stereotypes and the genre remains constructed.

2.5 stars, rounding up to 3 because I enjoyed it while I was reading it, and the flaws mostly came to light after I started thinking about it afterwards.

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