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The Invisible

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  18 reviews
It’s election time in New Babylon, and President Maggie Delgado is running for re-election but is threatened by the charismatic populist Ted Rust. Newly appointed City Commissioner Georg Ratner is given the priority task to fight the recent invasion of Synth in the streets of the capital, a powerful hallucinogen drug with a mysterious origin. When his old colleague asks hi ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published May 19th 2020 by Meerkat Press, LLC
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Average rating 4.42  · 
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Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was quite a strange book. I actually selected it based on the publishers who are known to put out some interesting and very different sort of literature into the world and this novel was definitely very much within those criteria. I’ve never read the author before, but having done some research afterwards, it turns out all of his books are set in the same universe, a world of city states and their complex politics. Although it stands to mention that this book read perfectly well as a standa ...more
May 21, 2020 added it
The Invisible is a noir police mystery set in the not-quite-New-York city of New Babylon. Georg Ratner is the police commissioner, and finds himself walking the tightrope of politics during an election year while investigating the murder of his former partner and the appearance of a new and mysterious drug called Synth. Not only that, but he also has to contend with a city-wide strike, a dead poet, and a secret society who believe that corruption is a living entity.

The mystery deepens when he f
Jodie "Bookish"  Cook
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Hepworth
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This gripping story is divided into twenty-three parts, each comprising a number of short chapters, many of which are just a page long, some just a paragraph. When I first started reading I did wonder whether this style would feel too disruptive but it never did, if anything I found that it added an intensity and urgency to the story-telling. I think this is testament to the virtuosity of the author’s writing style, his total control over his use of language, making every word count as, step by ...more
Vincenzo Bilof
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Death of a Poet

If Roberto Bolano and Kurt Vonnegut wrote a Dystopian novel, it would be The Invisible.

Politics and poetry, Dystopia and crime-noir; Sebastien Doubinsky’s latest concoction spins the speculative-fiction genre into a new dimension. New Babylon’s latest City Commissioner, Georg Ratner, is tasked with maintaining his city’s fragile social balance against the threat of a new, xenophobic regime that promises an economic rebound, while the current administration struggles against th
Heather Gadd
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Just last week I commented that I missed a good detective novel that made me crave a good cup of coffee. To my delight, The Invisible was that novel, gritty, full of coffee and whisky, it was what I call my literary “comfort food”. Despite its dystopian label and it’s Gotham-like atmosphere, New Babylon was a familiar landscape with a refreshing amount of optimism not usually found in this genre.

It doesn’t take long before you notice the political and social parallels, sometimes eerily similar
Alison C
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Georg Ratner accepts the position of City Commissioner in New Babylon, he knows it is largely a political position and one in which he is likely to be the scapegoat for any number of corrupt politicians. But he decides to take the job anyway, in particular to prevent his nemesis, Thomsen, from getting the position, which he would surely use for corrupt and racist ends. Sure enough, it’s not long before his superiors ask him to look into a new drug, Synth, which seems to be all over the city ...more
Ben Arzate
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, ebooks
Full Review

The Invisible is an engaging mystery in a fascinating setting. I had a lot of fun reading this and I look forward to reading more of Doubinsky's work. If nothing else, to learn more about the city-state universe.
Donald Armfield
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks-kindle, crime
Doubinsky continues his City-States with New Babylon’s election, sketchy politics, a dark drug circle, and a hidden question that lingers in this clever noir. The Invisible, is everything that stays hidden until the truth has to be exposed or banished.
Great Read!
sean mcevoy
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
My first venture into Seb Doubinskys intriguing world of New Babylon, and I want to return. The scenes are well painted, the soundtrack connects and the characters are engaging ( even if you would like to engage some with a swift knee to the face! ). I'm looking forward to finding out more, great read. ...more
Brian Mcclain
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a trip. Satire is rather effective when it both mirrors reality but also expands on it and that's certainly where this lives Our main character is a City Commissioner attempting to just keep his city together. He has to fight a rising xenophobic regime as well as a new hallucinogen sweeping the city.

The characters are interesting with different tidbits that make them real, like Brett (the commissioner's) love of music or his cop colleague being a famous poet. In the end this is much les
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A political crime drama set around a mysterious hallucinogenic drug, with people getting killed on the way for knowing too much. Politics, crime, poetry, fantasy, an alternate universe of noir. A place where the culprit is not a person, but a system. A strange book that I came across on Meerkat Press, a publishing house that comes out with some very different, but very good books.
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Slightly miffed by the abrupt ending that just screams "sequel" -- I mean, c'mon...finish the damned story, will ya?!

Loved the frequent nods to certain genres of music that I'm into -- especially krautrock!

Recommended. Will definitely read the follow-up, but really wish there wasn't a need for one.
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2020
Another simply wonderful piece of the Synth pie. Seb Doubinsky is brilliant.
Gerry Huntman
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from Seb Doubinsky without any strings attached. I am a friend of Seb’s and he knew I was interested in reading it.

The Invisible, by Seb Doubinsky, will be released in May 2020. I had the good luck to receive an early copy and dive into Doubinsky’s New Babylon universe (The City-States Cycle).

The book was a godsend for me, as I had just had elective surgery and I needed something to distract me from a painful post-operative recovery. Doubinsky has a po
Eugen Bacon
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This new offering is part of Doubinsky’s dystopian universe of the City-States series. But you don't need to read the series to find immersion in this fast-paced political thriller in bite-sized chapters. ...more
American Mensa
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In a present-day city called New Babylon, a frightening new drug is taking to the streets. It is a hallucinogen called Synth that allows users to create their own reality and also turn it off as they choose. The city’s government becomes increasingly nervous as they do not know all of the negative side effects and every lead as to the origin the drugs stops in a dead end. Georg Ratner, the city’s overworked and weary commissioner, feels the pressure beginning to build as not only is the situatio ...more
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: english, crime
I could not quite make out what this book was for.

For me, a book should have an end as well as an ending, and this one stopped quite abruptly – so abruptly, in fact, that I thought at first I was experiencing formatting issues with my e-book version. However, I have since learnt that this is maybe supposed to a cliffhanger of sorts, so we might expect a 2nd volume. It seems there’s a collection of short stories with the same protagonist and setting that might have to be read before this to under
Kris Stuart
rated it it was ok
Aug 31, 2020
Michael J. Wilson
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Aug 15, 2020
Meerkat Press
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Nov 27, 2019
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Feb 19, 2020
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I was born in Paris, in 1963, right in the middle of a western movie, of which my parents never saw the end. I have thereafter split my life between France and the USA, having spent most of my early childhood in Syracuse, and Seattle. After some studies, a lot of wandering and a few strange jobs, I have finally found myself teaching French literature in Denmark, where I have been living since 2007

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