Monday, November 29, 2010

Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson

  • Reading level: Young Adult
    Hardcover: 272 pages
    Publisher: HarperTeen (November 23, 2010)

    Summary: Sixteen-year-old Sophie knows there is more to the story of her parents' death. And she's on a mission to find the truth. To aid her in solving the decades-old mystery, Sophie has enlisted her best friend, Mikael, whose friendship has turned into something more. It's soon clear that Sophie's future is very much wrapped up in the details of her family's past, and the key lies with information only one man can provide: her parents' former employer, the elusive billionaire Alfred Nobel.

    As the threat of war looms in Europe, dangers to Sophie and her loved ones grow. While her determination to solve the mystery doesn't waver, forces beyond her control conspire to keep her from her purpose. Then, news of her great-aunt Tabitha's death sets off a chain of events that leaves Sophie questioning everything.

    The more Sophie learns, the more she realizes that nothing—and no one—in her life is what it seems. And coming to terms with the dark secrets she uncovers means imagining a truth that she never dreamed possible. Full of gorgeous settings, thrilling adventure, and romance, invisible things is a novel that dares to ask, what if?

    My review: I find historical novels are gaining on me
    The more I read, the more I enjoy them. Invisible Things was a pleasant surprise. As a child, Sophie lost her parents in an explosion where she was the only survivor. Now at sixteen she is living at the Institute for Theoretical Physics with her friend, Mikael, and his housekeeper mother, Fru Petersen, Sophie had to flee her homeland of Scotland when the threat of war made scientists search for refuge to escape new racial laws in Europe. Yet her life is anything but quiet as she soon discovers. Her aunt dies, unveiling a huge secret to her, and Sophie begins to doubt the memory of her parents and their legacy. 
  • Invisible Things was engrossing, rich in history and descriptions. The party scene where the guests are attacked was so nicely described my mouth watered along with Sophie's over the numerous dishes and desserts. Sophie herself is an interesting character, an outsider in a new home, surrounded by intelligent scientists. Niels Bohr is the director and Alfred Nobel turns out to be an important character to Sophie as the story progresses. There is the mystery of how her parents, Alan and Rose Hunter, really died and if the plans for a nuclear weapon they were developing, along with Elsa Blix, still exist. Blix played a prominent role towards the end of this intriguing story. Sophie travels to meet with the conniving Elsa and Davidson made her quite devilish as a real Ice Queen, complete with an ice house. I also enjoyed Sophie's closeness with the cat, Trismegistus, and how they were both relocated from their homes and sought solace with each other.

    Invisible Things may not suit all tastes but the story was engrossing and entertaining. I did expect something more to come from Sophie's mention of her seeing spirits. There was a neat twist at the end I won't divulge. I also wanted to see more happen in Sophie's relationship with Mikael. 

    Rating: +++1/2

    Favorite quote: ""Sophie," Mikael began, but before he could say another word, Sophie found herself flat on the floor, the wind knocked out of her. The air was filled with a strange, sinister hissing sound and a popping and pinging like nothing she had ever heard before in her life, and over the babble of frantic voices could be heard the sound of a woman screaming.

    She risked a glance at Mikael, who put his hand up to his face and touched a rivulet of blood running down from his temple to his chin, then looked at his fingers. He went very pale, a sort of whitish green, and began to sway. A moment later, he fell to the ground in a dead faint. She took his hand and began to say his name, not loudly but over and over again until someone came to help her away." Pages 138-139.

    Cover comment: Cute but I'm not sure how a close-up of Sophie worked into the book. I would have liked to have seen some other things, like scenery, some type of diagram of plans, even a ghost, to imply what the story was about. I liked the typeface.

    Book source: Star Book Tours


  1. I love a novel rich in history and descriptions. I'll have to add this one to my list!

  2. Our lists--they're always growing, aren't they? I think you'll enjoy this one! Let us know:)