Tony Prosdocimi lives in the bustling Metropolis of San Ventura — a city gripped in fear, a city under siege by the hooded supervillain, The Cowl.
When Tony develops super-powers and acts to take down The Cowl, however, he finds that the local superhero team Seven Wonders aren’t as grateful as he assumed they’d be…
I've been reading a lot of superhero novels lately and each book handles this subgenre differently. With Wild Cards you have very political driven stories and with Matt Forbeck's Brave New World series, you get a lot of action-packed entertainment. Now with Seven Wonders you have a story that stays true to its comic book origin and one where you can feel just how passionate the author is to these stories.
With a name like Seven Wonders, you might mistakenly think that the book is about the exploits and adventures of the superheroes in the title like the Fantastic Four or the X-men. In fact this story follows the rise and fall of Tony Prosdocimi as he suddenly develops super-powers. Tony tries to put an end to The Cowl, the last supervillain left on Earth and asks to join the Seven Wonders but realises that the local superhero team may not have the city's best interest at heart.
There is a wide variety of superheroes featured in this book. There's the aforementioned Seven Wonders, each with their own distinctive style and ability that makes for great reading. Towards the end of the book we are shown just how big the superhero family on Earth is when they gather up for the final showdown. I thought all these backstories would be great additions to Angry Robot's WorldBuilder project and was surprised that Seven Wonders hasn't been included in it. I guess that since the world isn't as unique as it is in Empire State maybe that's why Seven Wonders wasn't included into the project.
As we all know superheroes alone do not make a great comic story, we also need villains that we despise but secretly love and The Cowl fits perfectly into this role. There are certain points in the story where we see events through The Cowl's eyes and learn of his failing superpowers and later of his redemption. Christopher has seized these opportunities to expand and add a lot more depth in The Cowl and made him into a fully fleshed out character that you will not forget.
When I was reading the book, I was reminded of Nolan's Batman movies. The reason is that the story just keeps on giving. Just when you think the main villain has been stopped, you realise there are actually more afoot and the story continues on this fantastic yet unexpected journey.
The book was such a joy to read and the scenes were so vivid that I swear it was like reading the comic book version. I'm sure any superhero fan would appreciate and love this story too. This is a brilliant story that would make a great standalone novel but I wouldn't be surprised if we visit this setting again at a later date.