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Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson

Invisible Things (edition 2010)

by Jenny Davidson

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614286,768 (3.5)3
Title:Invisible Things
Authors:Jenny Davidson
Info:HarperTeen (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:hardcover, summer 2013

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Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson



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I hadn't known there was a sequel to The Explosionist. I liked the first book, it was a nice SF mashup of alternate history. Invisible Things was not quite as good. I do like that Sophie continues to be a strong, smart woman, but I wish there was more from this book. Maybe a third book would be better. ( )
  callmecayce | Jan 4, 2013 |
Jenny Davidson's sophmore novel, INVISIBLE THINGS, is one of the most beautifully written novels I've read this year. That, coupled with regular mentions of characters like Niels Bohr and Alfred Nobel, cause the reader to feel as though they're peering not only into the past, but into something terribly important.

Part one of the novel begins in Denmark at the Institute for Theoretical Physics where our main character, Sophie, resides. Sophie is a teen surrounded by brilliant minds and it's clear she may someday join their ranks. She is an orphan with a mysterious past... and she wants answers. The deeper she digs, however, the more complicated things become. Not only is her past more knotted and manipulated than she ever would have assumed, Europe itself is falling to pieces... which presents unwelcome obstacles.

The one aspect of this novel that I wasn't as taken with as I would have liked was the romance. I only point this out because romance is mentioned in the synopsis, which greatly heightens my expectations. Once I reconciled that this aspect wasn't as prominent as I would have liked, I enjoyed the novel much more.

I'll be taking the time to read Davidson's first offering, THE EXPLOSIONIST, and, if you favor atmospheric novels with a rich, historical setting, I highly recommend you pick up INVISIBLE THINGS as well. ( )
  thehidingspot | Mar 31, 2012 |
I was pleasantly surprised to realize midway through that this book is essentially a retelling of the Snow Queen fairy tale. I absolutely love a good fairy tale retelling, and this one didn't disappoint. I am also still impressed by the care that went into the alternate-history that Sophie lives in.

I was really pleased that my absolute favorite aspect of Sophie's personality, her love of science, was on full display as she settles in with an international community of scholars and scientists. We need more science-nerd-girls, YA fiction! I also appreciate that she questions herself and her world, really and truly *thinking*, not just about science, but about everything. She is such a thoughtful, inquisitive, and awesome protagonist. I love this character so much!

I do feel that I ought to also touch on some of my disappointments. I suppose if I had to sum it all up, I would say that I felt certain aspects, themes, or plots from The Explosionist were pushed aside or short-shrifted in the sequel. For one thing, while the scientific aspect of Sophie's personality and the story takes the forefront, the fantastical aspect is pushed so far into the background that you almost wonder if the last book was a one-time fluke. I also felt this book was quite different thematically - while The Explosionist is a type of dystopic novel, Invisible Things is a fairy tale retelling that does not follow up on the dystopic themes of The Explosionist as much as I had hoped. The most frightening threat in The Explosionist to me was the IRYLNS program, and I was frustrated that everything to do with IRYLNS in Invisible Things was entirely off-screen. A lot of the gender issues, especially in Sophie and Mikael's relationship, I felt were similarly dropped.

In spite of having some of my expectations frustrated, I was still glued to the page and think Invisible Things is a worthy sequel to one of my favorite books.

longer review here: http://legxleg.livejournal.com/345129.html ( )
  legxleg | Jan 17, 2011 |
Originally posted here: http://www.goodbooksandgoodwine.com/2010/12/review-invisible-things-by-jenny-dav...

Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson is an alternate history sort of historical fiction. Set prior to World War II, Scotland is crazy militant. Girls get brainwashed into being something like sex slaves for high power government employees. The European mainland countries have banded into a confederation. However, some elements are the same as actual history. For example there is the rise of the Nazis. Plus there are actual people from history in this book such as Niels Bohr and Alfred Noble. The main character, Sophie is a refugee from Scotland who lives in Niels Bohr’s institute. Her parents both died when she was very young in an explosion at the factory where they were employed.

To be quite honest, I spent the first 30 pages or so of Invisible Things incredibly confused. Then after a bit of backstory and browsing online the story started to fall into place. Turns out Invisible Things is a sequel to The Explosionist, which would have been nice to know before reading. I have not read The Explosionist, so I can’t say how Invisible Things works as a companion novel or a sequel. I can only judge it on it’s own merits, not in comparison.

Once I got past my initial confusion, I found Invisible Things to be a decent read. I have a thing for science. I don’t understand it at all, but I find it to be interesting and like the idea of knowing scientists. Sophie, as you saw from the top paragraph lives with one of the most famous scientists in the world. Her interactions with Bohr and the other scientists are intriguing. It’s nice to see those people with personalities outside of what they are famous for.

I would say don’t go into Invisible Things expecting a romance. Really, I guess this book ties up loose ends from the previous book and sets up for adventure in a third book. In essence, this is a transition book. ( )
  booksandwine | Dec 6, 2010 |
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In loving memory of Helen Hill, and for Becky and Francis Pop
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Dusk came early at this time of year in Denmark.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In an alternate 1930s Europe, sixteen-year-old Sophie and Mikael, now more than a friend, investigate her parents' death, setting off a chain of events that unravels everything she thought she knew about her family, and involving them in international intrigue and the development of the atomic bomb.… (more)

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