Read from January 05 to 09, 2014
Synopsis: Peter Stewart grew up on a unique version of the Arthurian legends taught him by his father, a harebrained quantum physicist who asserts that anything is possible. But Peter disbelieves anything which cannot be scientifically explained, despite a nagging sense that there is more to the world than meets the eye.
Lily Portman is an orphan with a secret: she can see creatures that are invisible to everyone else. These creatures control every human being she has ever met to varying degrees… until she meets Peter and his father.
When a mysterious stranger stages an accident which nearly costs Peter and Lily their lives, suddenly Lily learns that she is not crazy after all, and Peter discovers the truth of his father’s stories… including the existence of Arthur’s ancient nemesis, one who calls himself the Shadow Lord, and a prophecy with implications so profound that it will alter not only the course of their lives, but potentially the fate of the world.
**SLIGHT SPOLIERS BELOW**
Bookish things: 307 pages. The cover is rather intriguing, I like elemental feel to it.
I want to be as honest about this as possible, so here goes!
This book, while quite amazing with its story and character development and the complex ways they weave within each other, has a serious flaw. Flaw perhaps is not the correct word, it might be too strong. Yet, here I am, saying it. You can judge that one once you’ve read my review.
I understand that when something works for someone else (and works for a million different ways – or is it a billion now?) it is natural to want to use their success to bolster our own. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but it’s also a slippery slope when it comes to someone’s livelihood.
The parallels that Intangible had to Harry Potter was at times rather uncanny, at others a little obscure but still there, and then at others not there at all. I’m not saying that C. A Gray copied Harry Potter, but perhaps she drew some inspiration from it that has transferred into her book.
I will list some of the similarities below and you can be the judge:
The main group of children (ages ranging from 12-14), a trio, two boys (protagonist – Peter, and best friend – Cole) and a girl (Lily). Yep, I get it, often there’s a group in the stories, that’s nothing exceptional.
Harry Potter – Orphan, treated poorly by his remaining family, kind of nerdy.
Peter – Science nerd, geeky and picked on at school.
Both are a little socially awkward, yet brilliantly bright. They excel at things they put their minds to but are not afraid to break the rules.
Hermione – Muggle born (a reason to be singled out), exceptionally bright and Harry’s right hand girl, yet not a love interest.
Lily – Orphan, also exceptionally bright and has been singled out her whole life for being different for having a special gift. She is Peter’s right hand girl and *slight spoiler* throughout the book, romantic interest is squashed repeatedly. Some of the similarities between the girls are also comparable to the other characters e.g. orphan.
Ron – Harry’s best friend. Kind of a little dopey at times and comes from a family that sets him apart from others.
Cole – Peter’s best friend. Also kind of dopey at times. He comes from a rather rich family, but that also sets him apart from the others.
The similarities outside of the main characters is a little stronger.
There’s a Dumbledore equivalent, a Hogwarts equivalent and even a twisted Draco Malfoy equivalent. The group of teachers at Hogwarts that helped to protect Harry, also has an equivalent in Intangible. Cole’s mother and father reminded me of Harry’s Uncle and Aunt… statures reversed of course.
Yet, perhaps some of the strongest similarities are the little things…
A portal, where one has to run head first into a tree to use it, it’s in plain sight of the human world too, yet they don’t know it’s there. Does that not sound a lot like the portal to the Hogwarts Express at platform 9 3/4?
Still not convinced?
How about the antagonist who is referred to as The Shadow Lord – sound similar to The Dark Lord does it not?
I still haven’t convinced you yet?
What about the *slight spoiler* Philosopher’s stone cropping up in the story, just like in Harry Potter? Admittedly the uses are a little different, but with all the rest, it’s just a bit too much of a coincidence?!
Time for a confession, I am not a Harry Potter fanatic, I’ve only read the first three books… however, I drew an awful lot of comparisons between the two stories. It makes me wonder, if a Harry Potter fanatic read this book, would they find some more comparisons that I don’t know about?
This is important to note, as it did skew my reading of the book, but I want to now talk about the rest of the story that was nothing like Harry Potter. This part of the story was brilliant. I loved the science and alchemy and magic (even though that’s in HP too) it was so well created, that I don’t think the story needs the HP crutch to stand on.
If you like the Arthurian folklore and myths, this might just give you a taste of something new and previously unheard of. I loved the twists from my history learning throughout school, I knew enough to have the general plot in the back of my mind when I began reading, but that was very quickly blown out of the water!
The best description I can come up with for this book, is a combination of Harry Potter, meets The Lion, the witch and wardrobe, meets Iron Man. It’s an interesting mix of pure fantasy, well researched and complex science (although completely easy to understand), history and folklore, and mystery.
There was one thing I noticed in regard to the English used, at 90% through, numb chucks, should have been nunchucks. It was there twice.
**Note: I received this as an electronic ARC from Net Galley in return for an honest review**
Have you ever come across a story like this where you can draw a number of correlations to another story?