The Unseen World

Thoughts tuwbylm by Liz Moore, WWNorton & Co. 2016, 451 pages

Challenge: TOB Long List
Genre: Contemporary Lit
Type/Source: Hardback / Indie Bookstore
 Why I read this now: (shrug)

MOTIVATION for READING: I adored the author’s book Heft.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: I have typed and deleted, typed again and backspaced it all gone. Am going to provide the blurb on goodreads because I do not feel adequately up to the task.

Or… Shall I try as if I’m having a conversation  — maybe I should do an interview for this one?

**** SPOILERS ****

A young girl has been brought up by her eccentric and brilliant father, a director of a science lab in Boston. When he starts exhibiting signs that his brain is unwell (alzheimers), our protag, Ada, is worried but the ask for help will only bring on even scarier scenarios, so she does nothing, until it is too late.

INTERJECTING HERE – if you know you are on a decline, please please take care of business and have those extremely uncomfortable chats with those you love!

SO, dear ol’ Dad disappears on a Friday and Ada has to take refuge and start the process of admitting Dad is unwell. Did I already use that word — unwell — ugh. Yes, you see it, right? The cops are called, the state looks into why this child is not in school, yada yada yada,

going to school sucks when you are too smart for adults and ‘school’, and

WAIT!  Dad really isn’t who he has claimed to be all these years!  WHAT?!  Well, who IS he?

Why is he somebody else?

Goodness gracious. Dad dies, Ada doesn’t get closure, Dad actually did leave a clever puzzle for Ada that she finally figures out YEARS later, but she actually figured most of it out way back because she uses her smarts . . .

Blah blah blah,

………End of story; book ends.

Did I promise the ‘blurb’? Yep, I did. Here’s what goodreads says:

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 after 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’s GOOD:  OH. Hands clasped at heart... I bought in! I loved ADA! I yearned and ached with Ada! 

What’s NOT so good: It just fizzles. This book starts great and then dilemma and tense situations and then mystery! Then. . ., well, things get sorted out, explained, and drawn out and it just fizzles out or something. The ending falls flat.

There was no heart-stopping fascinating conclusion! or it was slowly calmly buried at the 3/4 mark.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I really was disappointed. Not enough to kill it on rating because I loved most of it and I’m an uncritical, more ‘feeling’ kind of reviewer and I’m sure I could read all sorts of insightful reviews that outline exactly the problems with the plot construction and the ending, but what would that gain me except to tell me how not very smart I am? so RASPBERRIES.

Maybe I was expecting too much. Oh that delightful deceiving imp — the god of expectations!

There are some lovely technology bits that fascinate and I must connect to the fun coinkydinks with All the Birds in the Sky. “Smart computers”… (Isn’t there a word for computers that are as smart as humans? something besides Artificial Intelligence. I was thinking it was prescient but the definition doesn’t feel right.)

When you read so many books fast, have you noticed that there can often be found strands or sentences that link them one after the other? Oh yes, I have had quite a few linking thoughts (but sadly fail to take findable notes! Grrrr)

RATING: Still giving it 4 slices of BANANA PIE and will read whatever Liz writes next.




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4 thoughts on “The Unseen World

  1. I loved, loved, loved Heft but I haven’t read this one yet. I skimmed your review to avoid the spoilers, but sounds like it didn’t live up to Heft overall. Too bad. ;(

    1. Ya know, I recall other people had issues with the ending in Heft but it worked for me. And this really is getting lots of terrific love so it appeals to many. May you be another that enjoys it, too.

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