Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman. Review by S.K. Slevinski

Book Cover

In Print
Austin Grossman pens an unevenly comedic tall of an alternative reality of superheroes and super villains, with Soon I Will Be Invincible.

As the novel opens, notorious super villain Dr. Impossible narrates his escapades past and presents as he sits in jail after his latest scheme for world domination ends in failure—an inevitable consequence of the super villain condition, as he explains. But Impossible harbors the seed of an idea for his next scheme, if only he can escape—an end which also seems inevitable considering he has broken out of jail twelve times before. Meanwhile, newly minted superhero, Fatale, a cyborg still adjusting to her half-unhuman body, is invited into the elite super hero squad called the Champions, who are regrouping in the wake of the disappearance of their headliner Corefire—the nemesis (perhaps not so coincidently) of Dr. Impossible.

Book Cover

On Audio
I found this novel to have its entertaining moments, but it suffers overall from a tension between parody and seriousness. The parodic elements are prominent throughout, but so is a sense that we readers ought to be taking the characters and story as seriously as if we were sitting down to a new issue of our favorite comic book. Combining parody with the essential drama inherent in good fiction is certainly an admirable goal; we want to care about the characters not just laugh at them. But this is a tricky balance to strike and Grossman does not accomplish the balancing act to my satisfaction.

This book is certainly worth a glance if you've seen it on book store shelves and are curious. I, however, didn't find a compelling enough story for my tastes.


S.K. Slevinski is senior editor for ARWZ Literary Magazine and a long time reader of alternative reality fiction. She is currently a graduate student, specializing in folklore.