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Book #5: Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman - Chronicles of a Hereditary Geek [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Book #5: Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman [Feb. 3rd, 2009|10:54 am]
Darth Paradox
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#5: Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman

I got this as a gift from Jeremy, and neither he nor the book made any pretenses about what the book was: a good old-fashioned superhero tale, written as a novel rather than the more traditional visual formats. The story is told from two viewpoints at once: the mad scientist whose ambition is the book's title, and the junior member of the team of superheroes determined to stop him.

I think this story worked far better as a novel than it would have as a comic book. It was easy for me to visualize the imagery described in the narrative, but it avoided bogging down the rest of the story. The textual format was helpful in getting inside the characters' heads and understanding their motivations, and the non-viewpoint characters were just as compelling. The author makes all the heroes seem human and even sometimes vulnerable despite their powers, without saddling them with the gigantic pile of flaws and demons that Alan Moore used to humanize the heroes of Watchmen.

It was very entertaining to see the mad scientist's plan come together. Despite his first-person viewpoint, he doesn't actually reveal the details of what he's doing to take over the world until the climax of the story, when everything comes together in an ingenious way that still makes perfect sense. And of course, the slight twist of an ending was fun without feeling contrived.

Ultimately, this book was everything I was hoping it would be, and nothing more than that. It's a fun, relatively quick read, and I definitely recommend it.

Next up: Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth. I've had this on my list for a while, and my little sister was looking for historical-fiction recommendations, so I'm deciding whether to suggest this to her.
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