Intangible (Piercing the Veil #1) by C. A. Gray is the integration of modern science into fantasy novel. Gray has a degree is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor who, in her spare time, teaches college level chemistry, sings, takes part in theater, and writes.
Peter is that geeky kid who can’t seem to escape the wrath of the jocks in high school, and unlike most geeky kids, he seems to get into more than his share of trouble. He is also short on friends and counts his math teacher as one of his two friends. Peter is smart and is very easily bored in school and that gets him into trouble. He likes math and science but the classes are below his level. His father, Bruce, is a physicist at the local university and has been teaching Peter science. The experiment in chemistry class is something Peter did when he was seven years old. Bored, he tries an alternative experiment of his own that goes awry. The unexpected and dramatic results land him in the headmaster’s office for what may be the last time. Tired of his antics the headmaster wants to move him, at fourteen, to the university. Peter tells his father, and his father agrees to talk to the headmaster and try to work out a compromise. On the way to meeting with the headmaster, Peter, and his father, meet Lily who sees things that others can’t. She immediately notices something different about Peter.
Here is where the story really begins. Gray manages to take fantasy, and the magic that is associated with it, and combine it with science. String theory, dark matter, multiple universes are used to help explain some of the “fantasy”. Gray also bases the story on Arthurian legend. She uses the modern city of Norwich and links it to Carlion the region where Camelot was located. Peter, his friend Cole, Lily, and Peter’s antagonist Brock, who also happens to be Cole’s older brother all find themselves in Camelot by way of an accident. Camelot is a magical place and the science minded and skeptical Peter finds himself in conflict with what he believes and what he experiences.
The characters are easily believable and act as expected when put into a very unexpected situation. The plot is well presented and contains all the elements needed for a great story. It gives the reader an opportunity to watch as the lead characters develop and watch the story grow into what will be a nice trilogy. The book gives closure, but it also opens exciting new doors.
Gray does a great job of combining modern science with the traditional fantasy story. The science is simplified because the book is written for the Young Adult market. Even with a university education and an understanding of modern science, I enjoyed the mix of science and fantasy. Thirty years ago, when I was a young adult, I devoured fantasy novels. Fantasy novels tended to be very popular in the Marine barracks where I lived. Intangible took me back to those simpler times when I read for fun and escape. I found Intangible to be an exciting and worthwhile read and recommend it to anyone who like fantasy, regardless of age.