Author: JB Garner
Title: Indomitable (The Push Chronicles, Book One)
Genre: Superhero / Sci-Fi / Fantasy
‘Irene Roman never wanted to be a hero. She was a scientist living an otherwise normal life and that was enough. One fateful evening, though, Irene discovers a betrayal that undermines everything. One event that, in a literal blink of an eye, changes not only her life, but the future of the entire planet.
Now the world is inhabited by people with powers and abilities far above those of mortal men and women. The repercussions of superhuman battles on the Earth are great and terrible as lives are shattered, communities destroyed, and mankind’s destiny is plucked from its grasp. At the center of it all is Irene, who not only is one of two people on the planet who knows the cause of this unbelievable change, but is one of the few people who may be able to stop it. The only problem is the only other person who does know will do anything in his vast power to keep the world in its terrible altered state.
Actually, this is a pretty good cover. The sketch is skilfully done and there are enough hints of the tale within to make the image relevant. I particularly like the upside down shadowed figure towards the top of the cover. I didn’t notice it before – thought it was a sword! – but having read the story that makes sense. And I have a clear (I think) preference for covers that do this.
Scientist Irene Roman has been working on a piece of tech for several years which is subsequently stolen and used to change the very fabric of the world she lives in. When she next wakes up the world is full of superheroes. Pushed. People with crazy abilities straight out of comic books. And she is one of only two people who knows how this happened.
The book follows Irene as she first tries to understand the process, then decide whether or not she should attempt to reverse it, or live with it.
Actually a bloody good idea. I like the story a lot and the rest of the series has a lot of potential with this as a spring-board. Buuuuut (I know, I’m sorry, there always is one) I think there is a strong potential to alienate folk who don’t or never have read a comic. And comic-to-film adaptations don’t count here because reading a comic is fundamentally different to watching a film.
There are many references to the tropes of comics and the background machinations of various bad guys and good guys. All well and good if you know something about comics, but if you don’t, it can feel a bit clumsy and expositional (I don’t know if that’s a word – I made it up!) which can distract from the very good story happening in the forefront.
As the story kicks off there are a fair number of characters but these are the ones I should talk about most I guess.
Irene Roman. The Voice of Reason. The one woman beside the source who knows what happened to give so many people a host of superpowers. This new reality is weird and broken and she has been massively affected by it though not in the same way as the new superheroes (the Pushed). She is… likeable. The repeated dips into the inner workings of her body are interesting the first few times – because that’s the sort of character she is -but as the story progressed that sort of detail took up time that could have been spent looking deeper at the real woman. I like her, but I don’t know her. I’m hoping future books will cover that.
Eric. The Visionary. Eric’s motivations are sweet on one level, heartbreaking on another. It gives weight to what he tries to do and the actions that follow but I ape what I said before about comic book references. It seemed to… easy for me. I don’t read a lot of comic books but I’ve been exposed to them by the readings of others and all the ingredients are there. But something about Eric felt false/fake/forced. One of those. All of those. Not sure.
An odd writing style that the writer in me insists could be handled with a bit of editing, but otherwise a clear and easy read. Some of the science swept over me (but that’s good! I don’t feel that I should understand every small thing) and other elements of the action felt lifted straight from any of the Marvel Movies (Iron Man, The Avengers, Thor).
But the fact remains I’ve not read anything like this before and that gives it automatic points up in my book (…no pun intended).
Average across all scores 3.75 with rounds out into 3.5 stars.
Yeah. I’m interested, so I would like to keep reading just to see if Irene really does go on as she started, but I don’t think the series will be leaping to the head of my TBR list.