Thursday, August 30, 2012

Counting more than seven wonders

Books With Your Barista
Jared A. Conti

Counting more than seven wonders

I may never get to be the superhero I long to in my own mind: the sting of bullets bouncing off my torso, the rising temperature behind my eyes before heat vision kicks in, losing my breath running at mach speeds, or my absolute favorite, just seeing what this great city looks like from above, under the powers of flight.

No longer. Adam Christopher has taken care of that for me.

Christopher’s first outing turned detective noir fiction on its ear, bending and breaking where he saw fit with alternate realities gone awry in Empire State, a tough mystery at best. His second novel Seven Wonders, however, plays superheroes straight, and it reads like any good comic should.

From the get-go, we’re thrown into the action—our “hero” is just beginning to realize the extent of his newly-begotten powers and foiling (with little grace) San Ventura’s one and only remaining villain. Seven Wonders throws a new spin on the arch-nemesis, and I use hero loosely, because face it: sometimes learning how to use your newfound skill set is just as important as what you do with it.

A wildly imaginative cast is introduced in the super team, police force and the villain that for some reason they can’t seem to put down. At one point during the novel’s climax, Christopher spends a page or two listing off a roster of ancillary characters whom not only sound impressive in name, but even more fun comes from deciphering what their powers might be according to their codenames.

Seven Wonders keeps you guessing until the very end, as twists and turns abound amid the action. The story jumps out of comic panels with more excitement better than the latest issue of your favorite hero…or summer blockbuster.

Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher landed in stores August 28.

Jared A. Conti is a local writer, blogger and Lock Haven University graduate who spends his work time as a barista at Avenue 209 Coffee House. He would love to hear your suggestions on great books, movies or comics to review. He can be reached at


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