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A World Invisible by Joanna O'Neill
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A World Invisible (2008)

by Joanna O'Neill

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2711569,786 (3.77)14
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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This is a first novel for this author, I will be looking out for more from her.

Set in the realm of contemporary England, three distantly related people are brought together by an ancient puzzle which must be solved in order to keep two dimensions separate. They find that they are not the only ones with knowledge of the puzzle and it is a race to see who can get there first. What they will do when they get there?

I enjoyed this read quite a lot, even though the characters were lacking in warmth. I had the feeling that the author was trying to emphasize their "otherness," but it made them hard to cheer for. There was so much in this story which I wish had gone deeper and further. I'm thinking the author has more books in this world planned. Some intriguing characters had barely a page, and much was left unsaid and unexplained. Even so, the world and idea was terrific and kept me thinking about it when I was unable to read. ( )
  MrsLee | Jun 15, 2016 |
This is a story about Rebecca who meets Michael in the Victoria and Albert Museum and then through Michael meets Connor. These three characters experience strange inspirations, sensations and events that draw them together to solve a puzzle that will lead them to the entrance to a parallel world.

There's lots of questions throughout the book that keep you wondering and turning the pages. It's a fun story and I found the easy-going writing style very absorbing and easy to identify with. Now it's on to the sequel, A World Denied. ( )
1 vote katylit | Jan 6, 2011 |
Despite a throbbing toothache and my 11 week-old American Bulldog puppy galloping around the house, I felt it necessary to write this review before any more time passed. With its appealing characters and captivating story line," A World Invisible" is a book I would highly recommend. A fantasy involving an alternate universe and quantum physics that can attract readers across continents is sure to require a sequel, even if it weren't left with many unresolved issues. The main characters that the story revolves around tantalize with their complex personalities and familial quandaries.

Michael, the catalyst who brings the three cousins together is handsome, enigmatic and apparently ageless and teenage Connor is difficult, brilliant and unexpectedly tender,especially towards Rebecca whose pixie haircut and querulous nature does nothing to distract from her bewitching looks.

Together they form a clever, astute alliance as suggested by an ancient manuscript. Their quest is to find seven objects left by long ago ancestors. The objects when used properly will help the three to discover the mystery of their lineage, which O'Neill only hints at being exceedingly strange. It will also set off a series of events that ultimately saves two worlds, our world and the alternate world that was discovered by their ancestors. The biggest problems the three face do not come as a surprise. They each come with their own set of emotional issues and frequently step to the forefront as their own worst enemies. O'Neill adds some minor characters to move the story along but Michael, Rebecca and Connor interact in much the same way that the objects that unlock the alternate universe interact. There is more to O'Neill's story-telling than the mere relating of the story. I suspect that quantum entanglement in "A World Invisible" refers to the relationship between three lonely people who find that in working together they discover amazing revelations they never suspected existed in the world they inhabit. Read this book! You will be left anticipating a sequel in the same way that Michael, Rebecca and Connor anticipate using the hard-won objects to uncover "A World Invisible". ( )
  mmignano11 | May 25, 2010 |
Here we are somewhere between Pullman's His dark materials and Kostova's The historian. Except that at 253 pages and with a medium sized font, A world invisible is beach reading, rather than something that will take you all winter.

The gist is that a starving artist's art has gotten out of her control. She meets tall-dark-and-handsome (also an artist, but not starving) in an art museum. Turns out they are distant cousins, and will she please help him save the world? A third distant cousin -- starving poet this time -- shows up, too. To different degrees, the three have some magically ability, bequeathed them by their common ancestor, a visitor from the invisible world of the title. They are also devastatingly handsome, not prone to aging, and get looked at funny by the rest of humanity. The villain is a money-grubbing real estate agent with a penchant for quantum physics, who ends up being more irritating than dangerous. Clues and magical ability lead the three all over London's museums, on excursions to the British countryside, and on a weekend trip to New York City, to find and retrieve objects needed to keep this world and the other one separate and safe. They do save the day in the end.

Joanna O'Neill has provided just enough, and no more, to keep us latched into the story. The sparse prose sometimes left me wanting a little more description, a little more detail about what was going on or what the characters were up to. I'd have liked to know more about Rebecca, Michael, and Connor's back stories and inner lives. Especially Michael. We only catch glimpses of his life and thoughts, and with him being the oldest character and the most in the know, I wanted more from him. Sparse prose does not mean bad prose, though; the sentences and paragraphs are well-constructed and will not distract the reader from the story.

Shorter length, chastity, and lack of reliance on long art and art history descriptions make this an appropriate book for a younger audience, as well as for the well-read adult looking for something less deep-thought-requiring in this genre. If your 11 year old kid is wanting to read The da Vinci code, hand them this instead. For adults, a weekend vacation or a rainy day would be all it takes to read it through.

And do I sense a sequel? The epilogue is like a snippet of fairy tale and leaves us with "And now, Connor thought, we'll see..." What do Michael, Connor, and Rebecca do next? Will we see?

Note: passes the Bechdel test. ( )
  rowmyboat | May 10, 2010 |
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England was created for one purpose: to hide the seven objects that were clues to the location of the door to a parallel world. Three cousins - Rebecca, Michael, and Connor - must solve the puzzle of the items to prevent this other world from spilling into ours. Misdirection and surprises are around every corner as they must find the door and stop it from opening. In the course of their journey, they discover some surprising insights into their shared ancestry.

This was a very intriguing read that just kept pulling me farther and farther into it. I keep wanting to call it "cozy sci-fi" as I wanted to sit on the couch with a pot of tea, a cat on my lap, and just surrender to the call of the book. A World Invisible is a lovely puzzle wrapped up in speculative fiction - do not pass this book by if you have a chance to read it. The only downside I found was that there are certain threads that are not neatly tied up in the end - I hope this means Joanna O'Neill has a second book in store. A definite 3.5 stars out of four. ( )
  anneb10 | May 2, 2010 |
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First words
"The glass lid closed quietly on the wooden base and the key turned with a soft click and scrape. The curator clipped the ring of keys onto his chatelaine. 'And that's the last.' "
Quotations
‘Suppose that magic was around, that it existed – just twists and flickers of it. Suppose it strayed in from somewhere and drifted around like smoke. Maybe it might find its way into men’s brains here and there – drop an image, forge a link, ignite a spark. Men would start doing strange things – painting on cave walls, for example, or burying the dead with tools in case they were going someplace. Make up stories. Wonder.’
‘Hold on.’ Rebecca leaned forward. ‘Magic from where?’
‘From a place where there was so much magic that it could afford to lose some, not even realise it had gone.
From some place next door.’
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http://www.a-world-invisible.com/


Fantasy novel set in contemporary London. (277 pages)

“You’re telling me the Victoria and Albert Museum only exists because seven guys needed to hide a handful of objects for a hundred years?”

Finding herself unable to draw anything but vines, 19-year-old Rebecca reluctantly puts her ambitions as an illustrator on hold when she is drawn into the machinations of a Victorian secret society founded to make safe an interface between parallel worlds.

But first Rebecca has to grow up.

Dragged into helping a cause in which she still barely believes, Rebecca finds herself playing Hunt-the-Thimble amongst England’s oldest institutions; over the course of her twentieth summer she will break a code, discover her astonishing ancestry, and half fall in love – twice.

But what begins as a game will shake her to the core.
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