Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: Intangible

Intangible (Piercing the Veil, Book 1) 
Author: C.A. Gray 
Published By: C.A. Gray 
Publication Date: May 22, 2014 
Page Count: 311 
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble (Free as an eBook at the moment)
Source: eBook sent from author 
Audience: Young Adult – Fantasy, Arthurian Mythology  

I have always loved mythology, legends, fairy tales, fantasy and Arthurian stories, so when this book was brought to my attention I was intrigued. I especially love stories that take those same tales we have heard our whole lives and twist them just a little bit to make an entirely new story. C.A. Gray's Intangible takes the legend of King Arthur, Excalibur, and Camelot to an entirely new and unique level joining magic and science that works incredibly well. It was hard to put the book down once I started reading it.

The story is about Peter Stewart, a tall, lanky, 14-year-old genius, who doesn't quite fit in anywhere. Too smart for his classmates and teachers, and some might say for himself at times, Peter is always doing science experiments that can be disruptive. His dad, a genius at physics, tries to teach Peter that there is much more to life, even if it can't be scientifically proven. But it's also about Lily Portman, an orphan, and new student at Peter's school. Lily can see creatures that no one else can. These creatures are attached to every person she has ever met until she meets Peter and his father. You also have Cole, Peter's best friend; Brock, Cole's older brother and Peter's arch nemesis; Kane, a mysterious stranger who seemingly tries to kill Peter and the others; and Isdemus, a man Peter has heard about his whole life from his dad, but who he was secretly starting to think didn't really exist. There are many more characters who come to life on the pages of this book, but these are the most prominent. 

Peter leads a pretty normal, average life for a boy who is smarter than most of the people he knows. All that changes the night he and his friends are almost killed in a car wreck. Not entirely sure how he does it, Peter is able to save them all from dying in the crash. Before he or his companions even have time to take a breath from the shock, they are set upon by vicious, horrible shadow creatures; creatures up until that point only Lily could see. In a fight for their lives, they are thrust into a world Peter had only heard about through stories his father told him as a child. It was a shock to them all to realize those stories were true. The world they are getting to know, is none other than the world of Camelot and King Arthur. The group of teens are awakened to a world of magic, a world where people can control different elements and don't need technology. They also learn about the Shadow King, ruler over the penumbra – the evil shadow creatures – who fought with King Arthur so many centuries ago and of a prophecy that has the power to rip their world apart. 

To me, this story has a lot of parallels with the world of Harry Potter. You have your main character thrust into a world of magic with two constant companions, a wise old teacher who knows more about his life than he does, and an enemy who has spent his whole life trying to find and destroy him because of a prophecy. That being said, I love the Harry Potter stories, and there are still enough differences to make this a great story on it's own. 

You can tell that quite a bit of thought and research was put into this story. I love to read a book that has so much back story and thoroughly thought out characters. At the end of every review I add a couple little extras, like favorite character. And I really cannot put my finger on one particular favorite. All of the characters have such great depth, good and bad. 

As much as I loved this story and am eager to pick up the second book, there were a few times I got tripped up because something just didn't read right. At one point, the teens go exploring their new home and because there is no technology and it's a big place they decide to take horses. Not a one of them seems to have a problem with horses, like it's just an every day thing. Personally, I would think that not every modern day teen would know how to ride a horse, or not be a bit afraid or unsure. Also, there are a couple moments when I feel like the wording isn't quite right, or they don't really fit into the time period or situation. For example, while reading a book on Morgan la Fey and Mordred, Mordred watches as a castle essentially disappears, the thoughts going through Mordred's head are as follows, “It was as if the blast had disarticulated the floor of the castle and distributed it centripetally from it's source...” For me, that is way too scientific a description to be going through a teen boys head, from ancient times, who isn't a science buff. I must repeat though, I did love the book, and this could just be me being a bit picky. 

As I mentioned before, I love the idea of creating a world where magic and science come together and can be considered one in the same. C.A. Gray does an amazing job of describing this world in incredible detail. I cannot wait to see what the next book holds for Peter and his friends. 

One Last Thought: The author uses “numb chucks” several times in this book and I believe the correct term is “nunchucks.” 

Favorite Thing About This Book:  I love the mixing of magic and science and meshing it all with the legends of King Arthur and Camelot.  Such an intriguing idea.

First Sentence: So this is how I'm going to die? 

Favorite Character: I can't name just one favorite character this time. You meet many great and memorable characters in this book.

Least Favorite Character: Henry Jefferson 

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.


  1. Great review, Heather!!! I did a quick google search because I was curious and I noticed the author tweets a lot of british slang definitions. It looks like "numb chucks" fits that bill. Kinda cool, right?

    1. Hi Caitlin, thanks for reading my review and for your comment. It very well could be British slang, but I also googled it before I wrote my review and only came up with a Canadian animated TV show. Either way, I enjoyed the book and I hope my review encourages you and others to read it.


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