The Last Equation of Isaac Severy

Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (141 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Family Fang meets The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry in this literary mystery about a struggling bookseller whose recently deceased grandfather, a famed mathematician, left behind a dangerous equation for her to track down - and protect - before others can get their hands on it.

Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of an apparent suicide, his adopted granddaughter Hazel, owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from him by mail. In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague. But first, she must find where the equation is hidden.

While in Los Angeles for Isaac’s funeral, Hazel realizes she’s not the only one searching for his life’s work, and that the equation’s implications have potentially disastrous consequences for the extended Severy family, a group of dysfunctional geniuses unmoored by the sudden death of their patriarch.

As agents of an enigmatic company shadow Isaac’s favorite son - a theoretical physicist - and a long-lost cousin mysteriously reappears in Los Angeles, the equation slips further from Hazel’s grasp. She must unravel a series of maddening clues hidden by Isaac inside one of her favorite novels, drawing her ever closer to his mathematical treasure. But when her efforts fall short, she is forced to enlist the help of those with questionable motives.

©2018 Nova Jacobs (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Last Equation of Isaac Severy

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

entertaining mystery novel

I really enjoyed this book. Characters are interesting and well-developed. Plot has several surprising twists.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Roadtrip Pick!

Recently listened to this book on a roadtrip and loved it! Similar plot flow as The DaVinci Code

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting Mystery

Where does The Last Equation of Isaac Severy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's pretty good - the narrator has a pleasing voice and the story is very good

What other book might you compare The Last Equation of Isaac Severy to and why?

I'm not sure I've read anything like this before because it's a mystery, but about mathematics. There aren't really any puzzles to try to solve, but it's definitely suspenseful

Which character – as performed by Lisa Flanagan – was your favorite?

Hazel

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction, but I read a lot and definitely enjoyed this one.

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn't get beyond 2 or so hours ...

What disappointed you about The Last Equation of Isaac Severy?

A very positive review in the WSJ got my to buy this book. A huge letdown. The overall premise was promising. The execution was erratic and seemingly pointless.

What was most disappointing about Nova Jacobs’s story?

Meandering story, and the author seemed to be perpetually thinking "ok, what next worthless character can I bring in?".

What didn’t you like about Lisa Flanagan’s performance?

Very monotone.

2 people found this helpful

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Spoiler Alert

Nova Jacobs evidently spent a fair amount of time on Google, researching math and physics topics, because she salts the narrative with Fibonacci Series, string theory, and even the Monty Hall Paradox. However, she has absolutely no feeling for how math and physics actually works. The central idea, that there could be an equation to predict precise events in the LA area, is laughable. She makes a nod to quantum indeterminacy, but that is not the main flaw. Even if the universe were totally deterministic, you could never collect all the variables that would enable you to predict a specific event. Chaos theory may say that a butterfly can cause a wind gust far away, but that's just a possibility, not a prediction. And certainly you can't predict exactly when and where that wind gust will manifest. For the above reason, the whole premise of the story is absurd, and the plot becomes amateurish. The characters could have been interesting, but they really don't hang together. The fact that this book was nominated for Best First Novel is a testament to the ignorance of the judges about math and physics. Nova Jacobs should write about topics that she actually understands.

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Annoying

Any additional comments?

The "McGuffin" - the last equation - was weak, and 90% of the story was the interior life of the characters. Not what I was expecting, nor did I care.

1 person found this helpful