Archive for Seven Wonders

Seventh Heaven


Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher

The second novel by British writer Adam Christopher is actually more of a pure superhero story than his first one was. This one is set in the city of San Ventura, the only place in the world where there’s still a functioning superteam — the Seven Wonders — because it’s the only city where a supervillain — the diabolical Cowl — still operates.

We’ve got a pretty wide collection of characters to follow. There’s Tony Prosdocimi, working class schlub, who suddenly finds himself gaining superpowers; his somewhat mysterious girlfriend Jeannie; the Cowl himself, perplexed by the slow loss of his own powers; Blackbird, the Cowl’s sidekick; Sam Millar and Joe Milano, hard-working cops on the Cowl’s trail; and the Seven Wonders themselves: the powerful leader Aurora, the telepathic Bluebell, the speedster Linear, the alien powerhouse Dragon Star, the godlike technologist Hephaestus, his robotic creation SMART, and the shapeshifting warrior Sand Cat.

Once Tony discovers his powers, he becomes obsessed with becoming a hero, so he can defeat the Cowl and confront the Seven Wonders about their negligence in dealing with the murderous villain. At the same time, the Cowl is following a scheme to get his hands on a weapon so powerful and destructive that the Seven Wonders hid it and then made themselves forget where it was. And there’s an even more dire threat looming on the horizon — a crisis so dire it will force heroes and villains to unite to try to stop it.

There’s not a lot more I can tell without giving away spoilers. But I will note that more than one character switches sides, from good to bad, and from bad to good. Lots of people die — and some of them even come back from the dead.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a good, rollicking story, excellent action, mystery, and intrigue, and it reads pretty dang fast — it’s real easy to keep the pages turning.

Characterization is, at times, very good. Some of the characters are very interesting and well-created. Others are contradictory — several of the characters who switch sides appear to have done so just so the plot could have some characters who switched sides. While it keeps the plot moving, it can be very jarring. “Well, I was a good guy — time to embrace monstrous evil!” And some of the characters seem just barely sketched-in — they seem to be there to fill a spot on the stage, to help with battles, or to die somewhat dramatically.

It’s also a bit of a shock when our viewpoint character completely exits the story for about a third of the book.

I guess this is a certain amount of nitpicking, because, like I said, I did enjoy the book quite a bit. But I also wished I’d enjoyed it a little bit more

Still, certainly worth reading for fans of superhero fiction. Go pick it up.

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