Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson

Title: Invisible Things 
Author: Jenny Davidson 
Published: 2010
Source: Star Book Tours

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? (taken from
When I first picked up this book, I was incredibly confused. I convinced myself that there must have been a prequel I missed. Repeatedly, I googled the author and attempted to find out why on earth I was so lost. After searching and searching, it became apparent that there was no prequel. I reluctantly started the book again, hoping things would start to make more sense. No such luck. In fact, things only got worse.

Davidson's writing style makes an already complicated plot even more befuddling. The writing is by no means poor- on the contrary, it is so intelligent that it causes my brain to hurt. I had to reread numerous sentences to understand what the author was trying to convey. Foreign vocabulary and confusing syntax created an almost text-book-type feel. Her descriptions are lengthy and sometimes pointless, making for a very long read. It is obvious that Davidson is naturally a non-fiction writer, not a novelist.

Sophie, the protagonist, irked me. I don't believe the book ever states how old she is, and I could never figure it out. At points she seems old enough to be romantically involved with her friend Mikael. At others, she is as immature as a twelve-year old. Mikael is about as undeveloped as a character's romantic interest can be. 

Overall, Invisible Things wasn't my cup of tea. I was just as clueless at the end of the novel as I was when I read the first page. I guess that's what happens when you mix an alternate take on the history of World War II with some random supernatural elements and a bunch of eccentric scientists. If you think you might have the patience for this novel, consider giving it a shot. Otherwise, stay away. 

*I received this novel from Star Book Tours


Lauren M said...

Invisible Things does have a prequel; it's called The Explosionist. No wonder you found the book so confusing!
Still, you make an excellent point about Davidson's writing being, er, intellectual. Haha.
Hopefully the next book you read will be better! :)

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I've actually heard a lot of people saying they were confused and lost throughout this book. I love the cover and premise, but I'm not sure it's for me. Great review, Amber :)

Eliza Mellark said...

Sorry you had such an awful time reading this! I enjoyed your honest and intelligent review, which fully capacitated your thoughts about the book, you are a fantastic reviewer! :)

Eliza Mellark said...

That was supposed to be a seperate sentence: You are a fantastic reviewer! Haha, nevermind :P