Frank Baden's Reviews > Intangible

Intangible by C.A. Gray
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it was amazing

“Intangible,” at heart and in form, is a genre-busting novel. Through sheer ambition, author CA Gray manages to craft an epic tale that is unhindered by the conventions of the young adult brand. Even more, it arrives seemingly undeterred by mere confinement to pages within a bind and leaps forward with the force of a photon explosion. In a word, it is exciting!

This transcendent work puts forth a quintessential allegory of good and evil that subtly entreats the reader to define it. But, unlike most epic medieval stories committed to paper, its scale is comfortably localized by relational banter and witty repartee. Wrapped around well drawn-out characters that harbor tangible fears, it reminds us that personal growth is not often pursued, but instead, finds us through testing and trials, which slowly reveal our character and true nature. The subtext argues for eternal worth in even the smallest of God’s creatures, who can, and often do, make an eternal difference in the lives of others, and for our collective futures. The indelible mystery of God’s plan for our lives is given a new context, but one which proves that no matter how difficult the obstacle, we always have an advocate in this world, or the next.

As a result, it’s easy to quickly invest in these characters and root for their cryptic cause, even if they’re figuring it out as they go. For in “Intangible,” their ultimate goal is intertwined with their journey of self-discovery. In fact, the former relies on the latter, and begs it inextricably closer. The author seems to inherently grasp the necessity of humility in the midst of great struggle, and humor amidst darkness. The human condition is realistically portrayed and played out, while cloaked in an other-worldly sheen, as if to infer there is always something out there, beyond our grasp or knowledge, to be discovered. It is an enigmatic, yet beautiful, painting.

Moreover, “Intangible” argues for the value of knowing history as a tool for solving modern natural, or supernatural, problems. As primarily a reader of historical non-fiction, this emphasis pleased my sensibilities. But not to deter, Gray’s usage of history is anything but dry. She peppers the narrative with Arthurian legend and folklore, weaving back story in and out of the present day action giving necessary motivation to characters in their titanic pursuits. It’s a creative and seductive melding of science, fable, and mysticism that heightens the senses because it’s grounded in mythical history, but more importantly, family history. The sins of the past haunt the present with foreboding malevolency, evil forces are always just on the cusp of using the past to alter the future, and a race to understand and exploit historical knowledge is alarmingly afoot!

Frankly, I don’t know what young adults are reading these days. I do know there is a plethora of literary dreck in an oversaturated market that serves only as momentary, vacuous entertainment to the unchallenged masses. “Intangible,” however, is a stand out with a soulful core that eclipses the genral cannon, and may actually achieve the lofty goal of enlightening as it entertains, and inspiring as it evokes. Plus, it’s got a hell of a cliffhanger…can’t wait for book two!

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 15, 2014 – Finished Reading
March 16, 2014 – Shelved

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