Doctor Impossible, evil genius, diabolical scientist, wannabe world dominator, languishes in a federal detention facility. He's lost his freedom, his girlfriend, and his hidden island fortress.
Over the years, he's tried to take over the world in every way imaginable, using doomsday devices of all varieties (nuclear, thermonuclear, nanotechnological) and mass mind control. He's traveled backwards in time to change history, forward in time to escape it. He's commanded robot armies, insect armies, and dinosaur armies. A fungus army. An army of fish. Of rodents. Aliens. All failures. But not this time. This time it's going to be different.
Fatale is a rookie superhero on her first day with the Champions, the world's most famous superteam. She's a patchwork woman of skin and chrome, a gleaming technological marvel built for the next generation of warfare. Filling the void left by a slain former member, we watch as Fatale joins a team struggling with a damaged past, having to come together in the face of unthinkable evil.
Soon I Will Be Invincible is a thrilling first novel, a fantastical adventure that gives new meaning to notions of power, glory, responsibility, and (of course) good and evil.
©2007 Austin Grossman; (P)2007 HighBridge Company
"The realm of comic book heroes and villains gets a dose of realism in this whimsical debut....Grossman dabbles in a host of themes - power, greed, fame, the pitfalls of ego...broadening the appeal of an already inviting scenario." (Publishers Weekly)
"Austin Grossman has a superpower himself - it's called writing. This book is a new, winning, smart and funny way of interpreting our world. It's terrific." (Douglas Coupland)
Very well done. Here's an author who clearly realizes that the best superhero stories are origin stories, so he found a structure that allowed him to give us about 20 of them in one novel. The book is told in first-person from the point of view of two characters, and both of them find plenty of time to relate to us tales of their earlier exploits and those of their colleagues. It's a clever conceit that only occasionally wears thin. But the main story itself is highly entertaining and suitably grand as well.
The audio narration is superb. Coleen Marlo does a good job with the less exciting Hero role, but Paul Boehmer's rendition of Dr. Impossible is positively a tour de force. He completely inhabits the role, and his just-this-side-of-hammy performance is note perfect and adds a huge amount of enjoyment. In terms of narration not only supporting but actively enhancing the author's words, this is right up there with James Marsters' take on the Dresden novels.
To the reviewer who noted several botched pronunciations: there were a few. For instance, I can only assume that Ms. Marlo is from Boston given how she says "Celtic". However, regarding Dr. Impossible's phrase that you mentioned: he was actually saying "coup de theatre", and as far as I can tell it was pronounced correctly.
Cranky old man Lived in 5 countries
I was very surprised at how fast the author "hooked" me and how loathe I was to put it down and get back to work. A novel of Super Heroes and Vilians with a human & humorous twist. The Super Heros are interesting but it's the life of the Super Vilians, as glimpsed through the mind of Dr. Impossible, that caught my imagination. What does it feel like to loose, again, in a super fight? What drives a genius to viliany and where does he get the money for his fancy lairs? What do villians do in ther spare time? I found myself laughing out loud in several places and sounding like an idiot trying to explain some of the funnier bits to my ever-patient wife.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. The characters were wonderful, the setting was great and the humor was top notch. The story however was just run of the mill. And while the writer clearly stretched his writing muscles with the characters, he really did not give them a different direction to go. Which for me lead to a story conclusion that did not come close to matching all the other great elements of this book.
I grew up as a child reading comic books in the 60's and 70's as my favorite past time. A local store owner would tear off the front cover and sell us all the comic books we wanted for 5 cents. I would spend all day collecting beer bottles from trash cans and sell them for my comic book reading habit. Oh the wonderful memories of Spiderman, Batman, Superman, and my favorite Dr. Fate. Watching them fight evil and living mixed up and confusing lives just like mine. This novel brings back some wonderful memories as they describe so many different superheros and supervillians. I must confess I am a supervillian fan and enjoy Paul Boehmer's rendition of Doctor Impossible. His voice is fantastic and he is very dramatic and make you feel he is really his character. I'm actually going to search and see what other books he has narrated on Audible to hear more of him. I hope we get more novels from Austin Grossman. This is one of the best novels I have read. Collen Marlo was also excellent in her narration, but Paul brings down the house as they say. You will not be bored listening to this wonderful novel of Supervillians and Superheros.
There's nothing terribly new or original here. It was a fun, fast-paced superhero story that doesn't quite hit the mark in terms of originality or innovation. It read like an indie graphic novel in a "new universe" setting -- the characters are all a lot like those we've seen for years, just with different masks and costumes. Had this book come along earlier, it would probably have been much more popular, but there have been a fair number of superhero novels written since the 80s and 90s, and this one felt mostly like a retread. I did enjoy it, but it's nothing special and not something I would recommend except for a few hours of light escapism.
I was sceptic when I first saw this title recommended. I'm not a fan of superhero comics. (I love graphic novels however). The ever-repeating, simplistic story, the villain caught for the umpteenth time, the same mad schemes, making the same mistakes, never learning; it gets on my nerves.
And maybe that is exactly why I have so much fun listening to this book. Yes, the author takes his characters very seriously. But hearing the villain asking himself "why do I always explain my schemes?!" made this worthwhile.
I am a long-time fan of comic books and super-heroes in particular. I've read many of the available super-hero novels, and until now, I've found them exceptionally juvenile and in most cases, poorly-written.
"Invincible" is a novel about superheroes, not a superhero novel. A certain suspension of disbelief is necessary--the characters are all comic heroes and villains, after all--but the story is actually very touching.
Like so many other reviewers, my favorite character was the villain. Dr. Impossible reveals a great deal about himself without intending to. Everyone who was once a dateless high school nerd can identify with the good doctor.
This is the best comic book novel I have heard/read.
I will not argue that it is perfect, but then I don't know if any comic book fiction can be. The alternating narrators -- between an old school world-conquering super villain and a new modern age cyborg superhero just coming into her prime -- allows for great contrasting viewpoints as they describe their world and experiences.
Have you ever wondered what happens when Dr Doom is put in jail or when Lex Luthor is out of money and down on his luck? Or maybe you're curious about how a rookie superhero is able to make the big leagues? Or about behind-the-scenes stories and conflicts in the world's greatest super-team? It's all here.
Story-wise, there are a few flaws. Doctor Impossible's powers and intelligence seem to vary a bit over the course of the story. Fatale occasionally whines more than she should as a protagonist. And I prefer to ignore the chapter where Impossible meets Mister Mystic, which makes little sense. But when all is said and done, the flaws are minor compared to the fun of the story.
And like all good comic book tales, when the story ends, the future is full of possibilities.
Highly recommend it. Doctor Impossible is the best bad-guy to come along in a lo-o-ong time. It's worth the time and money just to listen to his narrative. I will instantly buy the next book by this author.
This book was a blast. I wish there were more superhero narratives like this to read. Modern comics have gotten so dark that it was really refreshing to find a book with such an old school fun mentality like this one.
The book has two narrators depending on the point of view. The Doctor Impossible parts were far better than the Fatale sections but hers weren't bad. The Doctor Impossible narrator gives a really bombastic larger than life take on the character, while still retaining his surprisngly human qualities. I found myself rooting for Dr. Impossible, despite him being an evil genius bent on taking over the world.
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