Invincible (Piercing the Veil #2) by C. A. Gray is the integration of modern science into a 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. The Piercing the Veil series is listed as Young Adult, but it is a great series regardless of the reader’s age. I thought I had outgrown fantasy novels decades ago, but this series made me reconsider.
About a year and two hundred books ago, I reviewed Intangible, the first book in the Piercing the Veil Series. I remembered the story of Peter, Lily, and the mysterious penumbra. I wondered if the year delay between books would mean going back and reviewing my notes from the first book. However, starting Invincible everything came back to me. There is a seamless pickup from the first novel and it is done without a long introduction. There are subtle reminders built into the story that will help remind the reader of previous events.
The second book in a series tends to be more difficult to review simply because the plot line was established in the first book. Without giving away the first book, the review of the second is usually problematic. So to prevent spoilers of the first book, I will write in rather broad terms, which will keep the story safe, and the review short. As much as I liked the first book,Intangible, it is bettered by Invincible. Simply, if the reader liked Intangible, Invincible only gets better.
Throughout the story there is a blend of two different worlds and realities. Gray also uses a clever mix of physics that separate the worlds: Classic Newtonian physics in one world and a mix of quantum mechanics and magic based on the Ancient Tongue. The separations of the worlds are clear and believable in the story as is the reality of each world.
The characters are expanded and continue to develop. Their places and their roles emerge and become clearer. The interactions between characters are natural and the teen rivalries and testing the limits of authority come into play. There is even that awkward interaction between Peter and Lily as emotions and rivalry come into play. Information hinted at in the first book is fully developed here with a complete history of the ancient tongue and the story of the Shadow Lord and the Child of Prophecy are explained.
As with most fantasy novels the driving force behind the story is a pending battle between good and evil. Invincible does an excellent job of developing and expanding the story presented in the first book. As a second novel in the series, Invincibledoes a remarkable job of keeping the story going and creating even more interest than the first book. Many second novels tend to be filler or a lull in the story separating and a stimulating first book and an exciting finish. Gray’s second book is more action packed and thrilling than the first novel. It is not simply a continuation, but the acceleration of the story.