Action, adventure, mythology, magic, science, time travel and so much more!! And I have again found an instance of time travel that I can deal with – and that is a rarity! Anyone familiar with my reading habits, reviews, and general thoughts about stories knows that I don’t do well with time travel. In fact, in the forum I used to be heavily involved in related to another wonderful set of books (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott) it became widely known that reading about time travel risks my head exploding! But here – given the way time traveling occurs, I am not at risk of that. I like this kind of time traveling.
We got more of the same in Invincible. And that is a good thing. The elements of the story worked in the first installment and it was nice to see that continue in the second. While this is really a filler book, the set up for the final act, it was a wonderful set up. We got action, travel to Egypt, more magic and more mystery. Everything seems poised for what will hopefully be an awesome ending. The characters grow and we see more of their relationships. We get more magic in some great big ways. We see more physics and we learn more about King Arthur and the history behind these adventures. We get more of Peter (both as an annoying teenager and as a potential hero), more of Lily (her erratic behavior and her developing feelings for Peter), more Bruce (awesome is the only word I can find to adequately describe him), more Isdemus (more mystery, in my opinion), more Kane (more stupidity and bravery too). And let’s not forget about warping – teleportation that comes across to the non-scientifically inclined (yes, I am pointing at myself here) seems to have a total logical and possible explanation.
The battle scenes are what need some special kudos in this installment. How often do we read about someone using a pyramid as a weapon to kill someone. And not as in a stage – you know, they were standing on the pyramid using the power from it – no. I mean the pyramid itself being used like a baseball bat – beating down on someone. It was awesome. The notion that Peter can suspend time to imagine the myriad of possibilities to save some made for a quick paced, yet slow enough to digest, battle scene. And the acknowledgement by Peter that he isn’t really all that creative was stunning (in a good way). It reminded me of when Ferris Bueller turns to look at the camera to tell the audience to stop and look around or life will pass by. It was a great way to acknowledge the reader (or at least this particular reader) and what I was thinking anyway, yet still play a role in the story. It was also pretty cool to learn some of the limits on the magic and Peter’s ability when talking about going back to save Sully. All the individual threads of the story came together, and not in a contrived way. It is such a wonderful treat to have a story come together in a way that feels natural and not one where it feels like the author manipulated or stretched things to get it all to turn out the way they wanted. Here, it really felt like if magic were real, this could have happened in just this way. I think part of this is owed to the tie in of physics. Again, it’s a acknowledgment by the author of the real world around us without being patronizing and allows her to build a world that feels like it fits within the one we are actually living in.
The only issue I had, and it is a teensy tiny issue is with a few instances of the British-isms, as the author dubbed them in the acknowledgements in Intangible. There were moments when they felt a little clunky and forced, or rather sort of in-your-face. I am not sure I would have noticed if they were missing. I have read a bit of stuff by Brits, where the story takes place in England and the British-isms are all over the place. I don’t know that they added anything and I don’t think if they weren’t there they would have detracted. Given the clunky nature, I might have skipped them altogether. But – see, that is itty bitty criticism.
I don’t have much more to say because all of the wonder and joy that I found in the first book is here too. This was not a let down like so many second installments are. It carried the greatness from the first book right through each page to the end. I am just hopeful that the third, and I believe final, installment in this series lives up to the first two. I know I certainly have great expectations because of the wonderful job the author did with this second book.
p.s. BIG thanks to Dr. Gray for providing a copy of the book for review!