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Soon I Will Be Invincible    by Austin Grossman order for
Soon I Will Be Invincible
by Austin Grossman
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2008 (2007)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD

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*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

While superhero stories are not new, there seems to be a trend lately of writing them in novel rather than comic book form. Austin Grossman is the latest author to try this technique in his debut novel, Soon I Will Be Invincible.

Doctor Impossible is your classic evil genius. A scientist who met with a bizarre accident giving him an impenetrable exterior, he is bent on creating doomsday devices and taking over the world. He has been trying - when not in jail - for the past three decades. On the other hand, Fatale is a rather new superhero. After being crushed by a garbage truck while on vacation, she is transformed by a secret quasi-government agency into a cyborg. When the agency that created her mysteriously disappears, Fatale joins the New Champions, superheroes made up of members of the original Champions along with new members who may or may not be trusted. Together, the New Champions plan an attack on Doctor Impossible in retaliation for the death of the villain's longstanding nemesis CoreFire. However, Fatale believes that Doctor Impossible, who was incarcerated at the time, may not be responsible for CoreFire's demise. Plus she is finding hints that she may have a deeper connection to the mad genius than anyone realizes.

Like many of the more popular superheroes today, Grossman's characters all have human flaws. Unfortunately, Doctor Impossible's seems to be that his scattered thoughts are long-winded, so the chapters that he narrates tend to read like long monologues that randomly jump between events - which slows the pace of the novel for the reader. However, for me at least, Doctor Impossible is more likeable than Fatale, who seems very unsure of herself and focuses more on observing others than taking direct action at least until the end. Soon I Will Be Invincible could have been an outstanding book if it had moved a little faster. As it was, parts of the story were tedious. However, Austin Grossman has talent for creating unique characters, so I look forward to his future efforts.

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