The Unseen World

All posts tagged The Unseen World

The Unseen World – Liz Moore

Published January 24, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Ada Sibelius is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David’s mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David’s colleagues. Soon she embarks on a mission to uncover her father’s secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood. What Ada discovers on her journey into a virtual universe will keep the reader riveted until The Unseen World’s heart-stopping, fascinating conclusion.

What did I think?:

The Unseen World has been one of my most anticipated reads in a long time. I have been so excited at the thought of reading it after seeing some amazing reviews out there and finally got round to it at the end of last year. You know when you just have a feeling that you’re going to love a particular book and it goes beyond even what you expected of it? This was the case with this mesmerising novel. Let me just tell you the synopsis does not do it justice. I got about thirty pages in and realised this story was something very special indeed. It’s about so much more than what “it says on the tin,” and I adored every single moment I spent reading it. It’s one of those books that’s automatically earned a place on my favourites shelf, I definitely plan on re-reading it in the future and I’ve already pushed it into the hands of a good friend and will continue to recommend it to others.

Our main female protagonist is Ada Sibelius who is twelve years old when the story first begins. Ada has a bit of an unusual family situation, although for her it is perfectly normal and all she has ever known. She has been raised by her father David, never known her mother and is home schooled often assisting her genius father in his laboratory where they are working on ELIXIR, the first Artificial Intelligence program. Like David, Ada is highly intelligent and proficient in coding, physics, technology and literature and counts her family as David’s lab colleagues who she can converse with like an adult about numerous subjects.

However, Ada is beginning to notice differences between herself and the average twelve year old girl in America and these differences become far more apparent when her father starts to lose his mental faculties and she is forced to live a whole other way. Before things get too awful, David left Ada a floppy disk that contains a code. If she deciphers what the code means she will finally discover secrets she could have never imagined about her father. As she struggles to unravel the puzzle she learns not only about her father’s mysterious past but who he really is as a person with clues for her own identity and this discovery is set to change her life forever.

I really hope I’ve made at least one person suitably intrigued about what this novel is about because it’s one of those books that just deserves to be read by anyone who loves literary fiction. I’m not into coding or computer based narratives at all but there’s something about The Unseen World that makes it so much more that just a geeky science narrative. Ada is a wonderful, memorable protagonist and her relationship with her father stole my heart from the very beginning. I loved that we also got to see much more of her life than you might do with any other novel i.e. we first meet her in the 1980’s as a twelve year old and throughout the novel the narrative shifts between this time period and the present time of the 2010’s when she is in her forties. It made me feel like I knew her much better as a character, watching her grow up and develop from a tentative teenager into a confident woman.

It’s a slow build up and a fantastic little mystery regarding David and who he really is and by the end of the novel I really felt like I had been on the most exhilarating journey that I just wanted to take all over again. I really cannot gush enough about how brilliant this book is and I’m actually running out of adjectives to describe how beautiful it is. If you love literary fiction and methodical character studies I’m pleading with you to trust me and please read this book!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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Book Tag – New Year, New Books

Published January 23, 2018 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone and welcome to a new book tag I couldn’t resist participating in. It was originally done by Lucy The Reader for Penguin Platform HERE but I originally came across it at one of my favourite book tubers channels, Simon from Savidge Reads HERE.

It might be a little late, we’re over halfway through January but the questions looked a lot of fun so here we go!:

1.) What was your first read of 2018?

I was on the blog tour for The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana and I really enjoyed it, giving it four stars. I finished this book on the 5th January according to Goodreads, making it my first finished read of 2018!

2.) Which books you read in 2017 do you want to share with everyone this year?

Well, where to start? I’m going to choose three (but I could choose many more!)

The Unseen World by Liz Moore was one of my top reads for 2017 (review coming very soon) that I absolutely adored and have already started pushing into the hands of other people.

I also adored Milk And Honey by Rupi Kaur, my first poetry collection for a long while. I know this type of poetry has had a bit of stick but I loved it and some parts of it really spoke to me personally.

Finally, I’d like to recommend The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley which absolutely blew me away. I’m reading her second novel, The Bedlam Stacks very soon and am very excited, anticipating great things!

3.) What is your reading goal for the year?

I’ve written an entire post about my Bookish Resolutions/Goals for the year but generally, I’d just like to really enjoy my reading this year and try not to put much pressure on myself. I have set my Goodreads goal for 200 books (perhaps stupidly) but I might revise this later on in the year when I see how I’m doing. I’m planning to read a lot of books from my current collection by participating in the Mount TBR Challenge, I’m on a book buying ban (other half and I are saving to buy a house and I have FAR too many books anyway). This of course doesn’t count any pre-orders I’ve already made, any vouchers I get for my birthday/Christmas or the books that I have to buy for my Kid Lit or Banned Books challenge with my sister, Chrissi Reads!

4.) Which new author, book or genre would you like to try this year?

There are two authors I’m particularly keen to try:

Can’t believe I haven’t read The Vegetarian by Han Kang yet. This year. THIS YEAR!

I’ve also heard so many good things about The Housekeeper And The Professor by Yoko Ogawa and as both this book and Han Kang’s are fairly short, there isn’t any reason why I can’t get to them both this year, right?

5.) Which reading habits would you like to change?

I’d like to stop feeling so guilty when I have to reject an author’s request for me to read their book. I’ve got so many books on my TBR and ones that I’m excited to read and when I first started blogging I got myself into a situation where I didn’t enjoy reading so much as I was only reading author requests and not books that I really wanted to read for myself!

6.) What’s your most anticipated release for this year?

I have a couple I’m really looking forward to:

(synopsis from Goodreads)

One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost.

Where will their ambitions lead? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?

In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

 

And that’s it for the New Years, New Books tag! I’d like to tag anyone who would like to do this and hasn’t done so far or if you have, leave me your post linked in the comments, I’d love to take a look.

Mid Year Freak Out Tag 2017

Published July 18, 2017 by bibliobeth

Hi everyone! Now I don’t normally do tags but I’ve seen this one hopping around blogs and book tube videos and it just looked too fun not to participate in. Here are my answers!

1.) The Best Book You’ve Read So Far This Year

Aaagh, this is so hard already! According to my GoodReads stats, I’ve awarded twenty books five stars this year so far and there were quite a few contenders for the crown. I’ve gone with The White Road by Sarah Lotz however as it’s a book I’m still thinking about months after reading it. SO GOOD.

2.) Your Favourite Sequel This Year?

Tastes Like Fear is the third book in the Marnie Rome series by Sarah Hilary. I could quite easily have picked the fourth book as well but again, if I only had to pick one, this would be it. I loved the plot of this novel and don’t even get me started about how amazing the characters are.

3.) A New Release That You Haven’t Read Yet But Really Want To?

There are so many fantastic books on my TBR but this one in particular I’m really looking forward to getting to. It was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize For Fiction earlier this year and I’ve only heard great things about it!

4.) Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year?

Regular visitors to my blog may not be surprised at my choice! If I had to choose ONE author over all others, it would be Stephen King every single time. This new novel is a collaboration with one of his sons, Owen King and I literally cannot wait. Although I’m going to have to as I’ve banned myself from buying anymore SK’s in hardback which means I’m going to have to wait for the paperback release. SOB 😦

5.) Your Biggest Disappointment?

This is a very recently finished graphic novel for me and SUCH a disappointment. I was really hoping I would love it and if it hadn’t been so short, I would probably have DNF’d it to be honest. I will be doing a Mini Pin It Review with more of my thoughts about it at some point.

6.) Biggest Surprise Of The Year?

Conclave by Robert Harris. I wasn’t expecting to like this book at all after being disappointed with a previous read by this author. I was so shocked and pleasantly surprised when I thoroughly enjoyed it! Who knew that the process of electing a Pope could be so thrilling?

7.) Favourite New To You Or Debut Author?

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt is a novel based on the real story of Lizzie Borden whose father and step-mother were murdered with an axe, allegedly by Lizzie but other culprits are also suggested. It’s macabre, shocking, disgusting and AMAZING. I will now read anything Sarah Schmidt writes!

8.) Your New Fictional Crush?

To be honest, I don’t really get fictional crushes. If I had to choose someone that makes my heart beat slightly faster when I’m reading however, I’d have to go for Roland Deschain from Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower series.

9.) New Favourite Character?

Can I cheat and have two?! Robbie and Emily from Together by Julie Cohen were adorable and I loved reading about their relationship.

10.) A Book That Made You Cry?

The Snow Child was a recent re-read for me and really affected me on a personal level this time round. I actually upped my rating to five stars (from four stars previously) after I had finished. It’s such a stunning story and you can never go wrong with a bit of fairy tale!

11.) A Book That Made You Happy?

I don’t read very many “happy,” books, I’m afraid I tend to verge towards the darker, more depressing tomes but reading The Essex Serpent recently made me so happy. The writing was out of this world and the plot and characters made me feel like I was in bed all cosy with a hot cup of tea.

12.) Your Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation That You’ve Seen This Year?

I haven’t actually watched a book to film adaptation recently, I always worry that it’s going to be nothing like the novel! I did recently re-watch Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone which is always excellent!

13.) Favourite Book Post You’ve Published This Year?

I found this question so tough! I never know how my blog posts are going to be received – sometimes I write one that I think is really good and I don’t really get a response then I write one I’m not so happy with and I get a really brilliant response. One of the reviews I most enjoyed writing this year was The Birds by Daphne du Maurier for my Short Stories Challenge. It’s easily one of the best short stories I’ve ever read.

14.) The Most Beautiful Book You Have Bought/Received This Year?

Again, there were a few contenders for this crown! I’ve been lucky enough to receive/buy some really gorgeous books this year, my Penguin Clothbound Classics come a close second but I had to choose Idaho by Emily Ruskovich. It looks even better in the flesh and I can’t wait to get to it.

15.) What Are Some Books That You Need To Read By The End Of The Year?

This has been on my TBR for the longest time and I really need to get to it by the end of this year. I will, I will!

I got this book for my birthday after wanting it for ages. I’ve heard some terrific things and it needs to be read.

Another book I’ve only heard great things about and it’s just crying out to me at the moment from my shelves!

Non-fiction feminism? Yes please! Will. Read. Before. End. Of. Year!!!

So that’s my answers, thank you so much for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed my choices. Let me know in the comments if you agree with me or tell me what you might choose yourself. I’d like to tag my sister Chrissi Reads to do this tag as I think it’s something she would enjoy and anyone else who would like to do it, consider yourself tagged!