Sep 2, 2013
Author: Natalie Whipple
Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.
An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.
After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.
Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.
TRANSPARENT is a strange book for me to review. First of all, let’s all just take a moment to read over that description again and marvel over the amazingness that is that premise. I mean, X-Men meets the mafia? I think that might be the single greatest thing I have ever read about a book. In case you didn’t know, I’ve been obsessed with X-Men since I was a kid, and a lot of my childhood was spent praying I could get superpowers like Magneto (it never happened).So I was really excited to finally get my hands on a copy of this book, especially since it seems like it’s impossible to find in Canada, and I NEEDED a copy of it because have you seen that pretty pretty cover?The first few chapters got me hooked. Really, they did. It had action, it had entice, it had cool characters and interesting settings. True, I didn’t think the writing was as strong as it could be, but Natalie Whipple is a debut author, so I was willing to forgive that because I love watching authors grow as writers. Plus, X-MEN. And the MAFIA. X-MEN MAFIA.But then the rest of the book sort of fizzled. It lacked the excitement and intrigue set up in the first few chapters. Natalie Whipple has created such a rich world, but she failed to utilize it as much as she could have. Considering the premise, the book felt too small. In the book, Fiona is on the run from her father, who’s apparently this super dangerous, super powerful guy. Yet, I never felt that danger or that power. Instead, I saw a lot of Fiona trying to be normal (a little difficult when you’re, you know, invisible), and having fun times with her fairly normal friends. Which is cool for Fiona, but kind of boring to read about. Fiona’s backstory, being a deadly weapon for her father before she and her mother ran away, was way more interesting of a story than the actual book. I kept wishing I had that book instead.Sure, there were a few moments in the middle of the book where Fiona seemed to be in trouble, but I was still waiting for that moment when the problem went beyond trying to escape from her father. The excitement picked back up again in the end, when a real threat finally started to present itself again. But even then, I think the threat stayed too small. Like, we have all these mafia-type groups in the world vying for power, trying to round up all the humans in the world with unique powers like Fiona to use as their personal weapons. So why didn’t we see more of that bigger issue? Because that is AWESOME.
For that reason—the underutilization of this world—and the fact that this book was supposed to be a standalone, I was a bit disappointed in it. However, shortly after I read it, it was announced that there was a sequel in the works. And that sequel, from the little I’ve read about it, seems to address a lot of those bigger, more interesting, issues presented in the world of TRANSPARENT. Hooray! So for that reason, my review skews toward the positive, because I am so excited to see what else can be done in this world. I can’t possibly say no to books about people with powers.
In the end, this is definitely a fun and quick book to read. It’s entertaining. It has funny moments and romantic moments. But I’m more excited about the prospect of a sequel than I am about this book.
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.**
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