The Unseen World

The Unseen World

Book - 2016 | First edition
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"The moving story of a daughter's quest to discover the truth about her beloved father's hidden past. Ada Sibelius is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David's mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David's colleagues. Soon after she embarks on a mission to uncover her father's secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood. What Ada discovers on her journey into a virtual universe will keep the reader riveted until The Unseen World's heart-stopping, fascinating conclusion."--Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780393241686
Branch Call Number: FIC Moore, L 2016
Characteristics: 451 pages ; 25 cm


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STPL_JessH Apr 07, 2020

Well, let me tell you that I am now officially a Liz Moore fan. I absolutely loved Long Bright River so I decided to try another one of her novels. The Unseen World was so fascinating. I admit that I did not understand a lot of the coding references, yet I didn't feel like the book was "above my head" or that those parts of the story interrupted the narrative for me.

I was interested in the early beginnings of AI and had not really considered the many and varied motivations for developing "intelligent machines." I wasn't expecting this in a novel so I was pleasantly surprised.

The Unseen World is part coming of age narrative, part mystery, part family secrets, part identity crisis. I really appreciated the journey of each character and the unique ways they enter and navigate the world.

Moore has a very definitive narrative style that is clear across both books of hers that I have read so far. She is a master of the slow build, and is careful about creating and releasing tension. Her characters are full, and richly developed and she takes her time telling a story. It is as though Moore considers the experience of the reader instead of simply composing literature, or letting the characters overtake a narrative. Unlike other books that are clearly meant to highlight the skills of the author, sometimes to the determent of the reading experience, Moore's novels invite the reader in the character's world. This of course, then reveals her talent.

I highly recommend this book, especially in audio format!

Mar 24, 2019


Jan 03, 2018

The pacing in this book is a bit slow but the story is quite captivating. It is the story of a young girl called Ada who is raised by her father who is a computer science genius. As her father's mind begins to fail in middle age, Ada begins to look into his mysterious past and discovers her father is not who she thinks he is. This was a page turner for me because I was so interested in seeing the story unfold.

Apr 08, 2017

I loved this novel. I give it a 5 ! A must read.

Jan 01, 2017

Last book of the year = favourite read of the year

Nov 28, 2016

Everything about Ada Sibelius is unusual: the circumstances of her birth, her education, her hobbies and her socialization (or lack thereof). The book takes place mostly in the 1980s when her father is a scientist working in the early days of virtual reality and AI. When Ada’s father is incapacitated, she must live without him, staying with friends, socializing with children for the first time, everything is a scary unseen world for Ada. Talented at code breaking she must solve a code to find out her father’s background. As that work goes on she must solve other codes such as the code of the schoolyard. Eventually the resolution is a brave new unseen world that is a place of joy and fulfillment.
A great novel with unforgettable characters. One of the best of the year for me.

Aug 29, 2016

History and science combined with unforgettable characters and an intriguing plot make this a powerful read.

KungFuAndrew Aug 23, 2016

Coming of age in the 80's, early computer tech and a mystery combine in a page turner. Can Ada discover her father's past before he loses his memory? I hope so!

Aug 19, 2016

Absolutely great from start to finish. Highly recommended for those who appreciate a combination of authentically drawn characters and an optimistic rendering of future technology.

JanieHH Aug 04, 2016

The Unseen World is a compelling read with vibrant, finely constructed characters. Moore intertwines a complex coming of age story with the science of cryptology and the history of artificial intelligence, while simultaneously exploring the meaning of love, loss and belonging. Elements of mystery and suspense keep you turning the pages in this multi-layered gem of a book


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KungFuAndrew Aug 23, 2016

KungFuAndrew thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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