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Wonders of the Invisible World  By  cover art

Wonders of the Invisible World

By: Christopher Barzak
Narrated by: Michael Crouch
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Publisher's summary

Seventeen-year-old Aidan Lockwood lives in the sleepy farming community of Temperance, Ohio - known for its cattle ranches and not much else. That is until Jarrod, a friend he hasn't seen in five years, moves back to town and opens Aidan's eyes in startling ways: to Aidan's ability to see the spirit world; to the red-bearded specter of Death; to a family curse that has claimed the lives of the Lockwood men one by one...and to the new feelings he has developed for Jarrod.

©2015 Christopher Barzak (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Wonders of the Invisible World

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

Sugar coating of L.G.B.T. sprinkles, of all things

This book is very, very interesting for me. For one thing, I don't normally read books that tackle themes of the supernatural and mystery. With a sugar coating of L.G.B.T. sprinkles, of all things, combined. Or, at least if I am allowed to categorize this book to those themes.


So, we begin with Aidan Lockwood. A seventeen-year-old boy who lives his life so begrudgingly boring, it's so sad. Maybe that was a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea. His story starts with a "hello." Or a metaphorical "hello," that is. His long gone best friend comes back after five years and starts this long string of events that wraps you up in a warm blanket of heart warming romance, and a good old ghost story. How nice and strange. Then, little by little we see this lost thread of memory come back to our Aiden and we see fate on the works. We're smothered in this love dynamic that is destined love. Aidan and Jarrod, apparently, really are meant to be, since Aiden envisioned the two of them being lovers through and through when they were younger. What a gooey love story this is, and at the same time it's nothing really unusual. Two people in love really do act the way Jarrod does to Aiden, and Aiden to Jarrod. It's always heartwarming to find love stories that have this kind of deep rooted love. Real love. Love that is pure and real.
And, I have to mention, the Aiden and Jarrod dynamic is really a good pairing in Wonders of the Invisible World. There's a quote in the book that really got to me: "Everything about us was entirely normal, really. We were as ordinary as anything we might come across in this world." And damn straight, there's nothing abnormal about two boys loving. "Just two people in love."

Clearly I have taken to heart more the relationship between Aiden and Jarrod, but come on. That kind of love is… It's just hard to describe. But, fine, I'll talk about the rest of the book. Don't get me wrong. This book is more than just a passionate love story between two boys.

Aiden is, we find out, a boy with a lot of memory gaps. And it's all due to his mother. Mama Lockwood has been erasing Aiden's memories around the time Jarrod left Aiden's side. How sad and cute at the sad time… But Jarrod's coming back to Aiden's life triggers this relapse on memories and relationships thought to be not there. Basically, Jarrod's coming back messed up mama Lockwood's plans on "protecting" her family. This comes to this, and at the end, papa Lockwood dies, mama Lockwood lives, and alive big brother Lockwood came off a little scarred, but ultimately not understanding a lot of what happened around him and his family. And, of course, the best part, for me, at least, is that Aiden and Jarrod, destined lovers ever since their childhood, live happy and in love. IN LOVE! So so happy for them! My heart bleeds happy tears.

I'm a sucker for a good love story.

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29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Can't find enough good adjectives.

Barzak's supernatural themed book about a teen in a small Ohio town finding the truth about himself, his family, and dealing with the secrets is engrossing. It is a wonderful story that pulls you in and keeps you reading and listening. It is a great coming of age story that displays a lot of the magic of love and the blurred lines between life and death.

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My eyes were opened to the invisible world!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would. Most of what happens between people is non-verbal. There are things that exist beyond our basic senses, and this book opens your mind to this "invisible world", while taking you on an illuminating journey.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ways some of the places were described, I felt like I had been to these places before. One of the gems from the book was describing the scene of where things had taken place over generations of time. It was beautiful and haunting.

Any additional comments?

I look forward to more books by Barzak!

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14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Slow but well writeen

What made the experience of listening to Wonders of the Invisible World the most enjoyable?

As we age, we start snubbing stories like this but I'm glad I gave this book a try.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The story just simmered down.

What about Michael Crouch’s performance did you like?

He made the characters come to life.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Really should have warned us about the sub plot!

I wish I would have been notified about the edgy sub plot of this book. Kinda feel i was tricked into the read. To each there own, but it's not for me.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Sucks, will return it.

it took me less than an hour to figure out how much I dislike this book. that's an hour I really wish I could have back.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Supernatural Story and Good Narration

Would you listen to Wonders of the Invisible World again? Why?

Maybe not. A big draw for this book is the suspense of figuring out what Aidan has forgotten so I'm not sure it would be as enjoyable a second time.

What did you like best about this story?

I love that it's a story with a queer romance, but that's not the main point of the story. It's so hard to find books that include queer characters without it being a book "about" being queer.

What about Michael Crouch’s performance did you like?

I tend to like a more minimal performance, and Michael Crouch did that. He did some voices and accents where appropriate, but they were pretty subtle.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I usually listen to books in my car, so I didn't listen all at once. There were a couple of times I didn't want to get out of the car, though.

Any additional comments?

I really liked this story overall. I'm not sure that it has a lot of staying power. The conclusion felt a bit simplistic in the way that everything was wrapped up. However, it was a really good and fun listen and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Painful.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A complete do over. The ideas were there but just wasn't executed well. If you read super natural type books then you expect pretty much anything. That being said, if you expect almost anything is possible, you need to appreciate the build, the characters etc. This lacked all of that.

What could Christopher Barzak have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Start over. Develop each area a bit more.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He was fine all considered.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Wonders of the Invisible World?

Honestly, it was so bad, I stopped half way through. At the 4 hour mark I still felt like I was at hour 1. It just droned on and on. Every few minutes something random would happen to help develop the story. I found myself wandering.

Any additional comments?

This book was all over the place. It felt more like he was making it up as he was writing. I doubt I finish it. If I don't care half way through I don't think I will when I get to the end, other than relief. I think I've wasted enough time. Onward!

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow to start but worth it!

The narration is fabulous. The story is a bit slow at the beginning, I almost gave up on it. But, once it gets going, it's great and you'll be hooked!

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I just want more!

I loved the crafted world and the unique narration. I loved this book from start to finish. Anyone wanting a unique and gripping tale, please, try this one.

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2 people found this helpful