You can find the full review over at The Founding Fields:http://thefoundingfields.com/2012/09/...
Shadowhawk reviews recent debut Adam Christopher’s second novel for Angry Robot in which he writes once more about superheroes but gives them centerstage.
“Adam Christopher has struck gold, again. If any SF novel this year deserves a sequel, its Seven Wonders!” ~The Founding Fields
January marked Adam Christopher’s debut on the publishing screen with his novel Empire State, a book that transcended various genres and drew them into a cohesive whole that also brought together several popular science-fiction concepts (Review). As my first Angry Robot title, it also set a trend for almost all the other titles I’ve read this year from them: that Angry Robot consistently publishes some of the best genre fiction out there. Pretty much all the Angry Robot books I’ve read this year have broadened my reading horizons quite a bit (historical fantasy, thrillers, urban fantasy, non-Euro Medieval fantasy, Vampires, etc) and Adam’s Seven Wonders is no exception to that. It is the first (full-on) superhero novel I’ve ever read, the only other being Empire State as best as I can recall. And you know what, its a mighty fine read indeed, certainly among the best titles that AR has put out to-date, even when compared against all the other fantastic novels they’ve published this year.
Seven Wonders follows ordinary guy Tony Prosdocimi as he stops a bank robbery and takes on the city’s greatest supervillain, The Cowl. Tony has recently begun manifesting some superhero abilities like super-speed and (he is not quite sure at this point) super-toughness among others and he figures he has a shot at taking down the big bad villain all by himself and save the lives of dozens of people in the bargain. Of course, things don’t quite go according to plan, for either Tony or The Cowl, and what follows is one of the most fun, enjoyable, and engrossing stories I’ve read this year.
The superhero angle is of course the big selling point of the novel, one that is not limited to the scope of a single superhero, but an entire team of them and then some. The Seven Wonders are one of the last remaining superhero teams on the planet and they’ve made San Ventura their home, a home where they are locked in a cold war with The Cowl, going on for several years now. That’s the part that really drew me in. It also helped that the first page of the book has a quote from The Cowl himself, and then we get a quick bio-intro to the Seven Wonders in an old-school newscast style, or in one of the old comics (by my best guess). The short descriptions of each of the heroes quickly drew me in.
The thing about superheroes is that creating new ones is a tough process, in that they need to stand out from existing ones. Aurora, Bluebell, Sand Cat, Linear, Hephaestus, SMART, and Dragon Star are characters who are reminiscent of some popular superheroes but they are also different in their own way. The focus on them isn’t as individuals but as a team that knows how to work together, no matter what, the individual perspective brought by Tony and The Cowl. In that respect, Seven Wonders could very well be a novel about the Justice League or the Avengers. Each member of the team brings something different to the table, and their individual differences define the team as a whole. That’s what was good in the Avengers movie by Joss Whedon earlier this year, and that’s how things have been in the first six issues of the new Justice League comics by Geoff Johns.