Monday, 16 January 2017


Published 2016 by Windmill Books

Page Count: 451 pages (Paperback)

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Literary Fiction.

RATING: ★★★★/5/5

Before I properly get into rambling and attempting to articulate my thoughts sufficiently well enough to do justice to this masterpiece, allow me to trigger warn you... If you're someone who doesn't like to be pressured into reading certain books, maybe leave while you still can, because I can guarantee you, in the course of this review, I will randomly YELL in all caps about how much you NEED!!!!! to read this book, and how much I WANT!!!!!! and BEG!!!!! you to read this book. 

It's that good that I'm willing to break my cool-calm-collected-persona I supposedly attempt to maintain in my online presence...HA bloody HA! to inform y'all how magical,beautiful,transforming,life-altering and bad for my emotional health this book was.

"The Unseen World" follows the story of a young girl Ada Sibelius, who has spent all her 13 years living her everyday life with her father David. David has thought her everything she knows, from mathematics to cryptanalyses. Ada accompanies David to his lab everyday of the working week, and there, she is part of the team, who are close knit like a family, and are working on developing groundbreaking technology of 1980s in Boston. Her life seems to be all there is to want for Ada. However, her world is turned upside down when David is diagnosed with Alzhemeir's, and her once sharp father begins to witter, and secrets and questions emerge that he can no longer answer to. Ada is sent spiraling into a world where new questions about her father and their past live together emerge everyday. - Goodreads 

Initially, I thought this had the potential to be a story of a cute little family, and some self-discovery.... and while this book certainly offered some of that, it was so much more, and the book just flew off of any expectation chart I might have had beforehand. 

One of the reasons why this book mesmerized me so much was the characters. Honestly, I'm sure some of you are side-eyeing me since I said the story follows a thirteen year old; but I assure you, half the time, I forgot her age. She is so much smarter, and at times probably even more mature than most people my age, which is late teens. Ada was so clever and carried herself so well, and when at breaking points she let her childhood peek through, she'd inevitably feel guilty and stupid, and I was over in my corner being like: 

Because she's so brave, and strong, and beautiful, and amazing, and I'm over here like????? Stop thinking about yourself like you're not all of those things???

And David. Oh boy did David break my heart in a heartbeat like it was some crypt code that an ammature had put together. Honestly...his backstory killed me, and revived me at the same time. It was so purely honest and so soul-stealing when you realize that it very well could be semi-based on a true story, because those things were happening in the 80s. 

I don't want to spoil anything, but I believe it will get more people interested in reading this story, so all I'll say is that this book is diverse in sexuality and explores the LGBT communities' experience as members of it in the 40s- 80s.... Can you understand now why I was an emotional wreck reading this story? And then he gets Alzheimer's and forgets everything like what kind of heart-stabbing, bone breaking, torturing device is this book?

And the amazing characterization did not stop at these two characters. Every single character that was mentioned in this novel was brought to life in ways that stunned me. Every single one of them had a part to play, and every single string of this story was tied at the end of it. Like, where else do you get this??? It's honestly mind-blowingly amazing!

Another aspect of this story that I adored was the setting. The location, the time stamp. I loved the decade that these characters lived in, and I loved their process throughout it. David and Ada work in a tech lab, and they're working on developing this human-mimicking language software/robot that they talk to in order to teach it human language, and it's fascinating! Even as someone in the 21st century who takes technology for granted everyday and overlooks the miracle behind it all, I found myself gasping and clutching at my head in amazement at times when the story concentrated on the technology.  

I appreciated Liz Moore's scene setting so much as well! By now I'm an adoring, avid reader of hers and I know that she writes astoundingly well, but still.... Boston of 1980 popped at me off the page as if I had wittinessed it myself, even though I wouldn't be born for another 19 years.

 That's what a good writer does right? She brings you places you didn't think possible. 

I cannot even begin to speak about how great the structuring of this novel was. We begin in 1980 with a 13 year old Ada, and learn about her life then. Eventually, after a plot-altering revelation, we're left hanging for a bit as we've transported to 2009, to an older Ada in a completely different part of her life. And this structure is repeated several times throughout the novel, and boy does it keep you reading
It's almost like someone hinting at what the puzzle looks like in the end, but not giving you all the pieces quite yet. So you sit there, and continue on your quest through the pages. And it's amazing, every single minute of it is meaningful!

I could ramble on for three more hours about all the things I love about this novel, but I'd rather not drain you of the experience of discovering all those little things yourself. 

I sincerely hope you will pick this beauty up, or at least consider it. I promise you that it will definitely be worth it! It transformed me, and it rooted an appreciation of knowledge, memory and open-mindedness in me very deeply. 

Tell me in the comments, have I convinced you to read this book yet? You totally should you know...I mean surely, you know what it's like to have read a book that many other people haven't yet, and feeling that necessity to scream about it from the rooftops, right?  Tell me all about it below. It will be much appreciated! :)

With all the love,


  1. I just love books that take place in the 80's!! The atmosphere just seems so cool and I'm really obsessed with that era. And the fact that this deals with some really big issues too makes me even more interested in it. Great review Sam!

    1. Although I can't say that I've specifically noted my enjoyment of the 80s decade, I definitely found a new appreciation for it with this book! Hope you will be reading this book soon, and enjoying it for yourself! -Sam.

  2. Ooh this does sound thoroughly amazing!! I hadn't heard of it before either, eep, although that's not surprising because I don't read a lot of adult. But I'm definitely intrigued by this one now! ;D I loved the flaily review.😂

    1. I would hate to promote peer pressure, but listen to me when I say you should definitely read this! This one sucks you in good, and that's my favorite kind of book :D Can't lie, I'm brave with my flaily reviews because of you haha. Dry with no sarcasm, correct grammar and punctuation just doesn't appeal the same way to me :D! Thank you for the comment, hoping you will be reading this!