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The Invisible Hand

(Shakespeare’s Moon #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The Invisible Hand is about a boy, Sam, who has just started life at a boarding school and finds himself able to travel back in time to medieval Scotland. There he meets a girl, Leana, who can travel to the future, and the two of them become wrapped up in events in /Macbeth/, the Shakespeare play, and in the daily life of the school. The book is the first part of a series ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published February 22nd 2017 by Lodestone Books
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Whispering Stories
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed by Stacey on

Sam is new to boarding school and whilst during the day his life takes on the dullness of his studies, his nightlife finds him time-travelling.

Every time Sam goes to sleep he awakes in Medieval Scotland. Sam believes that he is having very vivid dreams until he meets a young girl called Leana, who seems to think he is a demon. Then Leana turns up at the school as a new student. It would seem that the two can time travel, Sam into the past, and
Dash fan
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 A Time Travelling Shakespearean Adventure Not to be missed!

When I found out that the The Invisible Hand was aimed at children to make Shakespeare more accessible I thought it was a fantastic idea.

I only wish someone had done this for me when I was younger. I might of been more inspired.

The Invisible Hand is a charming story about adventure, time travel, history, friendship, adventures, mystery and a sprinkle of romance.

We meet Sam. Sam is currently at boarding school.
But what is so mysterious
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
My thanks to NetGalley and Lodestone Books for a review copy of this book.

While not a re-telling, this book is a story that takes us between the modern world and the Scotland of Macbeth. This is the first of a trilogy titled ‘Shakespeare’s Moon’. Sam is a young boy studying in St Francis de Sale, a boarding school in England, as his father is away for work (archaeologist) and mother is ill. But St Francis is not an ordinary school and Sam finds when he falls asleep on certain occasions, he finds
Crystal Dawn
Hartley has provided a perfect gateway for children and teenagers to experience Shakespeare from a young age. Shakespeare isn’t remedial literature and certainly difficult at times, but with a strong character and a realistic environment, Hartley has created a conduit that gently introduces complex themes that parallel the life of a young teenager. While some of Shakespeare’s more severe themes are sacrificed to appeal to a more juvenile audience, a strong sense of mystery, a time-travelling ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Let me start by saying this book was not really written for a 30 something year old woman. It was written for a younger (11 to 14 year old maybe?) probably male audience. It was ok. I read it fairly quickly and the pace was decent though maybe as bit fast at times, especially the end. Though it is not a series I may continue, it did intrigue me so it's possible I may read sequels. I would recommend it to younger kids who may be interested but intimidated by Shakespeare as it has an interesting ...more
Dora  (Swift Coffee Book Blog)
Full review:

I started to read this series in irregular order: I started with the sequel, since I won it on a giveaway, and it made me curious about how it all started. I have to say, this book was more my kind than the second one. The reason is probably not (only) the books themselves, but the original Shakespeare plays: I like Macbeth (and most of the others) way more than Romeo and Juliet.

I found it fascinating, the way the story was intertwined with
Elliot A
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I was given this ARC by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

A cute story for a more younger audience. I wish I could have read this when I was 16 years old and not already in my thirties.

The premise and world building brought Shakespeare’s play Macbeth more to life and the world building was quite nicely done, yet the style was a bit too young for me.

The plot was more elaborate than I initially believed based on the description of the book, which I believed to be Shakespeare’s play retold
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
This is such a difficult book to describe, at first I was thinking it was time travel but then I realised Sam was travelling into a story called Macbeth. I remember this story well as it was forced on me for three years in a row at secondary school, in fact I developed quite a large amount of hate for it....Oh how I wish this book had been written when I was young, it brings the story to life much more so then any of the essays and opinions I had to read at school. The focus is on what happens ...more
Samantha Grubey (ABookHaven)
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
"The interlinked of events worked very well during the play as I said from back and forth between the two places. The pacing of the book was very fast paced but it worked with what was happening and I didn’t feel like it took away from the story or we were missing anything. The ending of the book was very good it linked with the second book which introduced the next character and the next story again it was in the format of the letter which I liked the cycle of starting and ending with the ...more
Karen Barber
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to NetGalley for granting me access to this series. As an English teacher I’m always on the lookout for books that will ease students into things they find daunting, such as Shakespeare.
This series interested me as I was curious to see how the author used the source material to frame each book. This first in the series is linked to Macbeth, but it certainly wouldn’t offer much insight to someone who hadn’t read/studied the original play.
Sam, our main character here, gets sent to boarding
Donna Maguire

I was intrigued by this book when I read the blurb and was really keen to get stuck in and see what it was about.

The character development was great and I really enjoyed getting to know them, it was a great concept and I really enjoyed the story. I do wonder sometimes where the authors get their ideas!

Four stars from me - a really good concept and hope to get to read the rest of the series!
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m a huge fan of books set at boarding schools, that is why this book was a must read for me. It starts out with a letter from our main character, Sam to his parents after being at boarding school for almost a month. I thought this was a unique and enjoyable way to bring us into the story right away. The letter also contained some valuable background information.
I think the author is wonderful at world building, I felt like I could see everything around me while reading. I feel like each of the
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Sam, new to the boarding school, finds himself with the ability to travel (or are his travels dreams?)back in time to medieval Scotland. There he meets a girl named Leana who can travel into the future (Sam's present day) . Back at the boarding school, he meets Leana again and knows that his "dreams" might be more than just "dreams". Through their adventures, they find themselves entangled in Macbeth(the Shakespeare play) and with the boarding school. The story goes back and forth between Sam's ...more
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Invisible Hand
Within this novel we meet Sam and Leana who meet in an unusual way. Sam lives his life in one realm in a boarding skill filled with rules, taskmasters and students required to do strenuous activities in academics and sports on a daily basis. But, each time he hazards to fall asleep he winds up in an entirely different time period and realm. With the power to travel to Medieval Scotland the author introduces him not only to the era, the people and the customs but to one of the
Jacquie (Rattle the Stars)
Time travel, Scotland and Macbeth? Oooh…yes please!!! I love all three to tiny pieces and was totally interested when I started reading this book.

The story takes place at a boarding school in Britain where the main character, Sam, has basically been dumped as his parents are either too busy working or too ill to look after him. One night, Sam awakes to find himself in another person’s body and in the middle of a Scottish battlefield. Is it a dream? Will what happens in the past affect the
Kayla Reed
Feb 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, netgalley
I was sent this from Netgalley and Lodestone Publishing in exchange for my honest review. I'm sorry but I could not even finish this, it was so terrible. My full review is posted on my BookTube channel >>>
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Invisible Hand by James Hartley

. I love Shakespeare, but have to say that Macbeth is not one of my favorite plays. However I couldn't wait to read Hartley's The Invisible Hand and see how he had made it accessible, fun even, to the younger reader. I wasn't disappointed. Hartley's imaginative and inventive time- slip story skillfully interweaves present day characters, warmongering medieval Scotts and supernatural forces of elemental darkness in a unique and refreshingly different way.

Joselyn  Raquel Moreno Burke
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
at first it was hard for me to understands what was happening, but that was also true for our protagonists, as you advance more in the story you become one with it and want to know more and discover all the secrets that the plot is holding.

I became very fond of Sam and Leana and the little hint at the end of what play is coming next was so cool.

It has everything you need in a book, romance, intrigue, a little craziness and of course interesting characters, a must for fantasy and plays fans.
Ankita Singh
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
The Invisible Hand was a short and fun read. The characters were well created and likable. The storyline was pretty confusing yet not too confusing either.

I felt that the ending wasn't really an ending, but then again, that's how some books end, right? Only to begin again!

I'll be looking forward to the next book's release, and hopefully I'll get to read and review that too!

All in all, The Invisible Hand was intriguing, confusing in a good way, full of adventure and a fun read!
Michelle Quinn
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
The synopsis said that the main characters "become wrapped up in events in Macbeth" but that's not even 25% of the book, and also why I decided to read it. While this is a little dissapointing, since I was expecting the main characters to actually have more to do with Macbeth, I tried to make sense of the rest of the story.

Maybe this book is just not for me, but I didn't enjoy the writing style, the jumps in time, the way certain things were presented. One of my biggest issues where the accents
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
The first thing which caught my attention was the time travel concept of the story and the second point was the name, Shakespeare. After that I was intrigued and wondering how the author would incorporate both in the same story. It was different and seemed to not mesh when thought of so I was pretty curious.

The story includes the boarding school concept too so that's another point which had my interest from the beginning. The starting was a bit slow with Sam's school life with a bit of time
Jo Barton
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Written for a young adult reading audience, The Invisible Hand explores the themes in Shakespeare's, Macbeth, thus making the story accessible and hopefully readable for a modern young audience for whom Shakespeare's more ponderous prose can often seem insurmountable.

I liked the idea of setting the story in a boarding school,with a young protagonist who thrives on adventure, and even though Sam is challenged by his time travel experience, and who wouldn't be alarmed about landing in medieval
Rachel (Rae)
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy time slip/time travel stories so once I read the description for The Invisible Hand I was very intrigued. Now I will confess I'm 33 years old so maybe not the in the ideal age range for this book. However I thought that the story was fast moving and had the right amount of mystery for people of any age to become intrigued by. As well as showcasing a Shakespeare play within the story and making his work more accessible to a possibly younger audience. James Hartley gives key points ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I gave this book 4 stars, because I really enjoyed it as an adult, but I didn't quite know where to put it on the children's market. I know it's aimed at children, but I did struggle to think of what age group it would fit, as different parts of the book are more in depth than others, and it is a lengthy book, so with my teacher hat on, I did find it hard to think of the young readers that would enjoy it. My son, who at ten is a very advanced reader, is now reading it so I shall be interested to ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
The Invisible Hand is the first in a series of semi-paranormal stories that relate to Shakespeare's most popular works. It is suitable for a middle school and upward audience. It is clean with mild reference to violence as must be in any historical reference.
The story introduces us to the boarding school in which this series takes place.
Sam, the main character, is there because his mother is ill, possibly mentally ill, although no one wants to say it straight forward. And after Sam's
Kimelene Carr
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such an original and intriguing read that can stimulate a love for Shakespeare in the minds and hearts of young ones... and even adults.

The characters and setting of Macbeth can be well resonated through this story and readers have the added enjoyment of a thrilling adventure whilst learning characteristic scenes from Shakespeare's Macbeth.

This book will do well for young ones in grasping an understanding and appreciation for Shakespeare.

I enjoyed reading The Invisible Hand and look forward to
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I received a free copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

I was kind of drawn by this book, because I have a soft spot for Macbeth. I liked how this book wove the play into a more contemporary story. However, I did find it hard to get invested in the main character, which made it harder to get into the story. It is clear that the chaotic storyline bears resemblance to the actual play, and was needed, but together with my slight problem with the MC it made that the book left me not
Kim Shelley
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Firstly thank you to James Hartley (@jameshartleybks)and Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources (@rararesources)for letting me be a part of this blog tour.

At the start of the book you are thrown into the world of Sam, he has been put in a boarding school whilst his father is working as an archaeologist and unfortunately his mother is in hospital with a mental illness. One night he goes off to sleep and we are in the world of Shakespeares Hamlet in Scotland. How he managed to get there was never
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I’ve always really liked Shakespeare – even at school – which is strange because I remember hating most things I was forced to read for school. Shakespeare always seemed more interesting though. I enjoyed having to decipher the language to discover the meaning, but I also totally understand why people dislike it, and why children and young adults find it difficult.

I’m therefore always pleased to see more accessible books based on Shakespeare, and its
Angela L
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. Firstly I should say that I am not the target audience as this is a teen book really. I thought the concept was really interesting - Sam travels whilst he dreams during a full moon and finds himself in Scotland and in the castle of MacBeth. The idea of introducing Shakespeare in an accessible way is a worthy notion but the book whizzed about a little too quickly for me. One minute we're in the present day, then in MacBeth's court, then looking for ...more
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James was born near Liverpool, England, on a rainy Thursday in May 1973. He moved to Singapore when he was seven and has lived in Oman, Thailand, France and Scotland doing various jobs. He now lives in Madrid, Spain, with his wife and two children.

The Invisible Hand, the first book in the Shakespeares Moon series, was published by Lodestone Books in February 2017. It is stocked at the National and

Other books in the series

Shakespeare’s Moon (2 books)
  • Cold Fire: Shakespeare's Moon Act II