Invinciman by R. T. Leone, 424 pages, Leoneum Inc, March 9th 2017, Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy/Superheroes. Warning: Contains Spoilers.
Review by Leigh Holland.
Invinciman is a story in the “Superheroes” genre. At it’s heart, it’s about a protagonist fighting a villain, and the journey each took to get there. Naturally, Ray Martin and Daniel Darque were best friends. Both men went to college together and became engineers. Each one’s strengths were different and they complemented each other. They worked together to build Robox, the most popular gladiator show in the world. Robox features advanced robots, designed to represent various nations, facing off in a ring. Ray and Daniel have different moral and political agendas, leading to a struggle between them.
First, what I liked about it. The plot, writing style, and structure remained true to what one would expect of a book in this genre. It’s quirky. The book is written in an alternating timeline style. One timeline is in the present and the other recollects the past. As the present moves forward, so does the past, and the two streams finally meet at the climactic moment. Events unfold and the motives of the characters are revealed. Pacing was fairly even and the desire to understand how the past led these men here kept me turning the pages. I had many questions, such as “How did Ray survive a bullet to his head, being buried alive, getting his arm hacked off, and nearly bleeding to death?”, and “Is Ray a robot?”, and “Wait-who is supposed to be the hero here?”
Leone presents Daniel Darque in a sympathetic light. He’s a man seeking justice in an unjust world. I found myself agreeing with a couple of his ideas. If I’d faced the things he suffered, would I have turned out to think the same way? Likewise, Ray Martin is a bit of a privileged, upper middle class guy. He’s never suffered. He’s had the luxury of maintaining his code of principles most of his life. It’s clear he believes he’s morally superior to his best friend. When their worldviews crash into each other, it leaves the reader questioning which man is the hero. Who is betraying whom?
Now, what I think could be improved. It never explained where Ray got his amazing superhuman ability to live through things no mortal man can survive. Indeed, this was what I considered the first hook that kept me reading. I wanted to know how Ray survived. While it’s not an absolute genre requirement, it helps suspend disbelief over the long haul to give an explanation, even if it’s only an acknowledgement that he doesn’t know how he survives such things but always has.
The reader has a reasonable expectation that a book will have a beginning, a middle, a climactic moment, followed by resolution. This story builds the reader’s excitement up to the climactic moment. The climactic moment never occurs nor does the resolution. Instead, the book is followed up with an afterword by the author in which he explains why he’s letting the reader decide which ending they prefer.
This book can be found at Invinciman.
Rise Against the Machine!
In this psychological thriller, you become Ray Martin—an engineer left for dead and looking for answers. Don’t take too long, though! As life drains out of your body, you find yourself hunted by both the government and a terrorist organization. Are you a solution to the problem, or THE problem to their solution? Meanwhile, you put the pieces of your puzzled life together, and find that your best friend is at the root of your suffering. Once upon a time, you two built a robot-fighting empire that became the biggest thing in the world. Superpowers like the United States, Russia, and China resolved world conflicts in your sport, but something was off. Consequently, you took the fall. Now you must rise.
Do You See the Arc?
A switch must be flipped. You have the tools at your disposal. You must design, engineer, and build your robot as minutes run out in your life. After all, you’ll need to transfer your consciousness into it! You need to become the superhero you were always meant to be, because that’s the only way you’ll stop them. You’ve dealt with self-learning artificial intelligence before, and know what challenges lie ahead. The question is: once you get to the end, will you flip the switch? Or will your journey change your destiny?
A Superhero to Save Us All
Invinciman is a modern-day folktale with universal themes that have always existed throughout time. Loyalty, betrayal, honesty, and injustice. R. T. Leone delivers an introspective adventure that sees the hero start from nothing, and work their way to the end—using environmental analysis, problem-solving, and strategic decision-making: a video game in a book. The author succeeds in intoxicating the reader with a hypnotizing story, causing them to question everything, as he ultimately pens a dazzling novel that will stand the test of time.
Are You Ready to Enter the Maze?
Then, stop. Take your deepest breath. And…
About the Author:
Ricky Tony Leone is an ultramodern author based in Toronto and best known for his debut novel, “Invinciman.” The psychological drama follows a protagonist, targeted in a mass conspiracy, who looks to rebuild himself in robotic form as the world disintegrates. Leone’s education in design and engineering has created a fusion of creative and logical thinking which informs his fable making, and allows Leone to achieve his desired innovation in the literary world.
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