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Invisible Things (The Explosionist #2)

2.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  166 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
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 li ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by HarperTeen
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(showing 1-30 of 1,091)
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My main complaint with The Explosionist was the sudden cliffhanger, which read like the author had abruptly run out of paper in the middle of a scene. Up till the end I had been quite enjoying that first book, so when Davidson produced a sequel I was all prepared to be forgiving. Unfortunately for my immortal soul, I was not called upon to produce any virtuous thoughts in the course of reading this. It has all the faults of the first book -- insufficiently explained alternate political history, ...more
Mar 14, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sffantasy, historical, ya
Doesn't that cover just SCREAM 'alternate history', '1930s' and indeed 'sequel'? Seriously, what the fuck, Harper Teen. The jacket copy is equally coy, and anyone who picked it up not having read the first one would be confused and pissed off in very short order.

I loved the first one so much that it pains me to give this three stars, but it was just so weirdly rushed, plus why would you think that your awesome alternate history is the right place to bust out your version of a Hans Christian Ande
I've waited a couple of years for this sequel to The Explosionist, and alas, it was a disappointment. The Explosionist was a fun blend of alternate history and thriller, with a clever and courageous heroine, Sophie, who was left in limbo by the somewhat abrupt end; I looked forward to seeing where she was headed.

Unfortunately, Davidson abandons a lot of what I liked about the first book. Much of The Explosionist was focused on the political scene of Scotland; here, since Sophie is out of Scotlan
I unfortunately wasn't able to read THE EXPLOSIONIST first. I dislike starting with a sequel, but sometimes it's fun to see how well the book works when you don't start familiar with the world. INVISIBLE THINGS did manage the set-up well. I liked that it was set in Denmark and other places that aren't often seen in English literature. Plus, the places were new to Sophie, who came to Denmark by way of a school in Scotland, so new readers wouldn't be lost there. The details of the steampunk world ...more
Gabrielle Carolina Nash
This was written by a non-fiction writer. It shows.

The sentences are too long structurely. The narration went on and on, dialouge was severely limited.

I did not finish it.

Sara Grochowski
Nov 24, 2010 Sara Grochowski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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 clea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 06, 2011 Doret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its 1938, after being snuck out of Scotland, 16 yr old Sophie is living in Denmark. Sophie knows little of her parents, scientists who died in an explosion, when she was very young. She was raised by her Great - Aunt Tabitha until she had no choice but to leave Scotland. In Denmark, Sophie is staying with Fru Peterson and her son Mikael, where she's surrounded by some of the top scientist of the world.

Sophie is trying to learn the truth behind explosion that killed her parents. She really wants
I didn't enjoy Invisible Things as much as The Explosionist but it was still quite good. The first bares rereading quite well, so I might have to try that with Invisible Things as well, when I can read at a slower pace and have more time to stop and smell the roses so to speak. Maybe at that point the Ice Queen will make sense, because that part of the plot seemed to be a rather large departure from the first book and even the first part of this book as well.

I really hope that Davidson decides
Jun 13, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
Invisible Things is one of those novels that you want to love. I mean REALLY love, but somewhere along the way from the beginning to the ending... you find that something is just missing. And this leaves you not too sure exactly what you feel about the novel as a whole.

The plot starts off promising enough. Sophie's parents die when she is quite young. Under circumstances that just do not seem right in her mind. In order to come to terms with her past, Sophie embarks on an adventure that will lea
Jul 02, 2012 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 30, 2012 Cassie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-in-2012
Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson is the sequel to The Explosionist.

The pros:

The characters are unforgettable. I truly loved Sophie, Mikkael, Arne and above all Trismegistus. (The Cat.)

I love the way Jenny Davidson writes. She uses longer and more formal words. Giving the book a feeling of authenticity as if this really was 1938 (in an alternate history.) But being a sesquipedalian myself I enjoy almost any well crafted story.

The plot is not your average "teen book". No vampires (Hooray!!!),

Off to a clunky start with too much straight out explaining what happened in book one. No complaints, though, as I already knew I did not like Davidson's writing style. Why did I bother to pick up this book? Because, in spite of the bad writing, there's a story here. Though Sophie started out as a candidate for cool girl protagonist and has seemed younger and more ineffectual as her story progresses, I still can't shake wanting to know what happens to her. I also can't help thinking that
Amber Skye
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.
Jan 28, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much like its predecessor The Explosionist, Invisible Things is a gorgeously written novel with many historical allusions. Like I mentioned in my review of The Explosionist, things can get quite confusing if you don’t recall much of your European history classes. I’d recommend reading the acknowledgements first to re-acquaint yourself with Jenny Davidson’s alternate history.

While Invisible Things wasn’t quite as exciting or inventive as The Explosionist, it did nicely incorporate the Snow Queen
Jan 09, 2011 Yani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firsts-reads, arc
“What if” is not the question of this book. Its more like just “What???” When I first started reading I kept looking around and going to the front to see if I had skipped something. Still, even after having completed the book I felt like there are many unanswered questions and not the good kinds that make you anxious to read the sequel. Maybe I had too much expectation for what seemed like a unique and thrilling storyline as it is described above. First, there was no mission, things happened to ...more
May 31, 2011 meeners rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, ww2, fairytales
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bethany Miller
In Invisible Things, the sequel to The Explosionist, sixteen-year-old Sophie is living with her friend Mikael’s family in a flat above the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Denmark. The Institute is run by Niels Bohr, and many of Europe’s most prominent scientists work there. He and the other scientists are working on designing the atomic bomb, which they hope will put an end to war. Sophie’s parents, who were killed in an explosion while working for physicist Alfred Nobel when Sophie was a b ...more
Anthony Larusso
Mixed. Too-mild lengthily descriptive scenes with heavy exposition in beginning and at end. The Alternate History of the War, I actually found very interesting. The Main Romance didn't compel me: Mikael isn't developed enough. The most interesting -- and, indeed, very compelling -- component is the discovery of Sophie's past and the characters she very specifically interacts with to make a difference. So be patient with some of the languorous scenes; Sophie ends up -- and she *does* have a delig ...more
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 m ...more
Nov 03, 2012 Fia-Sophia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 7th-grade
hmmm.... i liked this book, not as much as the first one, but it was still good. i want there to be another book, because this one also ended with a cliff-hanger. elsa blix kind made me nervous. she had this sinister, powerful vibe, and she always made me question things, and the way she hypnotized mikael and sophie's mother freaked me out. i was upset when mikael was kidnapped by her, but i was angry at him for being so unkind to sophie in recent days, although that wasn't his fault, it was tha ...more
Aug 22, 2012 Zoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved The Explosionist. I loved Sophie and her relationships with the other characters. I loved the mystery. I even loved the alternate Scotland idea.

Sadly, Invisible Things did not measure up to the expectations I set for a sequel. It left me feeling confused, and there was far too much plot- the mystery didn't seem to be any closer to being solved, in fact it seemed only to deepen. And there was a significant lack of build up on Sophie and Mikael's relationship.

That said, Invisible Things
May 24, 2014 Kristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining book with gorgeous historically accurate language, smooth pacing, memorable characters, and vivid sensory imagery. I read it as a standalone, only realizing it was a sequel until I was well into it. Would love to read the first book! I would have liked to know how a few certain details were tied up at the end, but I definitely recommend it for the history enthusiast. I could see a possibility for a 3rd book, which, if the author ever wrote one, I would love to read!
Theodosia of the Fathomless Hall
Perhaps it is a bit telling how a lot of books are marked "Slightly dizzling." Indicative that I may benefit from, ahem, more thorough reads?
Not nearly as much fun as the first one, since nothing exactly happens in here except an explosion and a lot of travel (and conversation) (and CAKES! Lots and lots of cakes. Boy did this make me hungry). Still, I enjoy spending time with Sophie and her loyal cat, and get a kick out of any book that includes this sentence: "During the week that followed, Sophie was unusually aware of the miasma of metaphysics that seemed to permeate the whole city of Kobenhavn."

I sincerely hope there will be a t
Not a bad book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first. Almost zero paranormal/spiritualism, which seems like a waste since Sophie was shown to be such an incredible medium in book one. I also found Mikael tedious, and wasn't at all invested in his rescue. And after the reveal of the IRLYNS in book one, the atom bomb seems a let down. We have those in this timeline, so having basically the same thing in Sophie's time, compared to some of the other technology Davidson alludes to, seems unimag ...more
Maureen E
I really enjoyed The Explosionist–alternate history! mysteries! Scotland!–and so I was expecting to have the same reaction to Invisible Things. Unfortunately, I wasn’t nearly as entranced. I’m not sure exactly why this is, and plenty of other reviewers have liked it just as much as the first book, so take my reaction with a heaping pinch of salt. But the sudden weaving in of a certain fairy tale was sort of jolting, and I found Sophie less sympathetic.
Set in 1938 Denmark on the eve of WW2, Sophie is entangled with many of the scientists working on the atomic bomb: Niels Bohr, Alfred Nobel, etc.

Apparently I need to brush up on my history as I didn't realize it was an "alternate history" until I read the author notes at the end. I'm just going to hold on to the idea that it was because it was such a close parallel to the true history that I didn't catch on.
May 04, 2015 Sera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a good book!!!
Samantha Dawson
Mar 29, 2011 Samantha Dawson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Omgeez the dialogue in this book made me wanna throw up. It was.. It's just wasn't. Even the gushy scenes really sucked by the crappy dialogue. I won this book off of facebook and I didn't know there was a first. I will read it but as for this book I'm like just load the gun and shoot me. It was painful to make myself read 120 pages of this book and after that I couldn't go anymore.
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Jenny Davidson is a professor at Columbia University and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is the author of the novel HEREDITY (2003); two YA novels, THE EXPLOSIONIST (2008) and INVISIBLE THINGS (2010); and several academic books.
More about Jenny Davidson...

Other Books in the Series

The Explosionist (2 books)
  • The Explosionist

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