Thursday, April 27, 2017

Invisible Books

I'll admit it ... I like the supernatural. Angels, vampires, dragons, mermaids ... as I cycle through my various reads, I attempt to alternate topics, not reading two vampire (or whatever paranormal topic) books back to back, as it can get confusing, mixing up the storylines in my mind. I didn't read these three books featuring invisibility that close together, but being a rather unique topic, I thought I'd review them in one blog post... before they fade away in my memory (do you SEE what I did there?)

  • Things Not Seen: This was the first "invisibility" book I read. It was a while ago (Oct2015 ... thank you GoodReads for keeping track of my reading list.) My son (#4, in 6th grade at that time) had picked it up at school. I like to know what the kids are reading, so I gave it a go too. Here, Bobby had lived a normal life until one morning ... he wakes up and he's invisible. His parents make excuses for his "absence" (school, activities) while they try to figure out what is happening. Clothes are not invisible on his body, and as floating clothes would draw unwanted attention, Bobby goes around naked much of the time. He meets Alicia, who doesn't realize Bobby is invisible at first, because she is blind.  The story continues as their relationship develops and they search for an explanation, and a cure ... There are a couple follow up books (Things Hoped For, Things That Are) and my son read the next in the series, but I never got around to it myself.
  • Invisibility: I read this at the beginning of the year (Jan2017) ... or listened to anyway. Audio edition. Here, Stephen was born invisible ... if he puts on clothes, they disappear. Food that he eats disappears as it enters his mouth. Even "existing" seems to be a struggle. Having his voice heard, being able to touch or move things, he has to really concentrate to make those things happen. He's almost a ghost, except he's alive. A new family moves into the apartment building, and the teenage girl, Elizabeth ... can see Stephen. Stephan can't believe it at first, and Elizabeth doesn't realize that no one else can see him, only her. I really liked the first half of the book, as the alternating chapters/POV told their story. Then the book devolved a bit into a whole "search for the curse" which was a little weird. 
  • Transparent: Having read two "invisibility" books, and comparing/contrasting how things were handled, I was interested in the topic and jumped on the next book I found that dealt with invisibility. This one was FUN. Whereas the other two were dealing with invisibility in a more "realistic" setting, this one takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where similar to X-men, Heroes, Steelheart ... many people have developed abilities. Here we have a female protagonist, 16-year old Fiona. Like Stephen in Invisibility, she was born invisible, but like Bobby in Things Not Seen, clothing doesn't disappear (although food does, or even just putting something in her mouth). In this world of "mutants" she has no problem walking around, just floating clothes (and hat and gloves, to give a better sense of where she is) ... unless she's on a nefarious mission from her mob boss father ... in which case complete invisibility (nakedness) fits the bill better. She and her mother try to run and hide from this mob life, but that is difficult to do, even if (or especially if) you are invisible. This book was fluffy fun and I enjoyed it all. In fact ...

I bought the sequel. I'm cheap ... I don't buy many books because there are SO many free ones out there (from Amazon and the local library). This was only $2.51 for the Kindle download ... kind of a weird price point. Gotta get that extra penny!  While "Transparency" was originally marketed as a stand-alone, not a series, the author ended up continuing the story in a second book... "Blindsided."

This cover definitely portrays the slightly cartoonish feel of the book(series), and is actually a better match than the cover of the first one (which makes it look a little more sophisticated and series than it actually is.) Here again, more fluffy fun.

I'm sure there are more books out there addressing the sci-fi concept of invisibility. I've been reading "The Young Elites" series, and one of the characters there can create a camouflage of invisibility. And of course there's the cloak of invisibility in the Harry Potter series. I'd be interested to hear about any other books that feature the main character being invisible all the time though, just to see how in compares to what I've read already.  I'm also always interested in the titles ... what other play on words can authors come up with?

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