[description from goodreads]
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?
I absolutely adored this book's predecessor, The Explosionist, but must admit that I was, sadly, underwhelmed by this novel. I wanted to love it, but there was so much that didn't work for me that I just couldn't.
My biggest problem was the horribly slow pace at which the events occurred. Sophie spends so much time sitting around, gathering information that it takes a while for any action to happen. The new information she gains is rather intriguing and helped set up a nice mystery, but there was so much build-up that went along with it. Build-up is great, but the build-up in this book didn't work for me. There would be dozens of pages spent on the mystery and intrigue, and at the end of each part of the book something extremely exciting would occur. And then right at the beginning of the next part, it was back to more build-up and no action. I was so frustrated that the most exciting parts were left alone after they occurred.
I was also a bit confused by the character relationships in this book-- the summary promises romance and I thought Mikeal and Sophie were supposed to be love interests, but their relationship seems so unbelievably unromantic that it, and the ending, made no sense to me.
However, there were a few things I did like: the setting and world are fabulous. I love the alternate history universe in which this world it set-- it's original and fascinating. I did enjoy the mystery, though I wish there was more action that accompanied it. I loved seeing Sophie figure things out, as she is such a fun, smart character. I also loved seeing her interact with her cat, Trismegistus, because I think YA fiction needs more cats.
Invisible Things was a decent sequel to the awesome The Explosionist-- the mystery was good but the entire time I couldn't help but wonder when I would get to the real action. I am hesitant to recommend this book, but I can't recommend its predecessor enough.
Book details: HarperTeen/Hardcover/$16.99