A stand-alone superhero book.

Publication year: 2007
Format: Audio
Running time: 10 hours and 17 minutes
Narrators: Coleen Marlo, Paul Boehmer

This was great fun and highly entertaining! But it is a comic book in a book format. If you like the troupes and clichés, you’ll most likely love this one. But don’t look for anything else.

Doctor Impossible is a supervillain, an evil genius who wants to conquer the world. His nemesis is Corefire, who is indestructible. Dr. Impossible has even kidnapped Corefire’s journalist girlfriend from time to time. He’s fought superheroes for years with various gadgets but he’s been in prison for the last five years. As we soon find out, he carries a lot of baggage: he was bullied in grade school and he was a loner in collage, always misunderstood by his peers and teachers. His bitterness and determination come from his past.

Fatale is a new superheroine. After an accident, she was turned into a cyborg and then employed by the NSA. Now, she’s on her own and eager to join a super team. The Champions were the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes before they broke up some years ago. But now some of them are getting back together and Fatale has been invited to join. She’s thrilled: she has looked up to these people for years. She’s also a bit intimidated to work with them. She doesn’t remember anything about her past before the accident and that disturbs her somewhat. But mostly she’s looking forward to the future, and especially working with Blackwolf.

The reason the heroes are back together is that Corefire is missing and the heroes immediately suspect that Dr. Impossible is behind it. Unfortunately, a pair of junior heroes interrogate the villain who manages to escape.

Dr. Impossible and Fatale are narrators in alternating chapters. Both are written in first person but in the audiobook they have different narrators so it’s easy to tell them apart. The book’s present is in present tense, but the many, many flashback aren’t. Some parts are fast-paced, but others very slow. One chapter tells the history of the Champions. Fatale sits down to watch a DVD about it. Both narrators also reminisce about their past in detail.

The New Champions’ lineup: Blackwolf (no superpowers, supreme athlete and detective), Damsel (flight, strength, invulnerability), Feral (part tiger), Rainbow Triumph (teenagers with strength, speed, flight), Lily (a former villain who was born in the far future, translucent, strength, invulnerability), Mr. Mystic (magic), Elphin (very old elven warrior), Fatale (cyborg).

These heroes aren’t unique and the book doesn’t bring anything new. This world is used to supers and both villains and heroes have their own culture. There’s not character development; the heroes have their past but nothing is resolved in their personal lives. The dialog can be corny, something straight out a comic book. But it was highly entertaining to me.

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