Invisible in a Bright Light by Sally Gardner 

 February 14, 2023

By  BookishBearx

The stage is set, take your seats…

It’s 1870: in the Royal Opera House in the freezing city of C-

Celeste sees the chandelier shaped like a galleon fall from its moorings. As it splinters into a thousand pieces, she and her ghostly companion find themselves wandering in the gutter of Time.

Here they must tread softly in the Cave of Dreamers, face the man in the emerald green suit and play a terrifying game called the Reckoning to save those they love.

Invisible in a Bright Light is a Historical Fiction, Children’s Fantasy novel that was published in November 2019 by Head of Zeus. It’s somewhat a small book spanning 320 pages. It follows a set of young twins who find themselves both trapped in a strange man’s dangerous game. If they are to save their parents, he must not find out that there is two of them, and they must win the game.

I first came across this book via a lovely Waterstones bookseller’s Instagram page. (@dantheman1504 on insta if you’re curious) and my first thought was… “that book is absolutely stunning.” And I know, it’s wrong to judge a book by its cover, but have you seen it? So colourful and intricate. The second thing was “that is one hell of a positive review.” So I became curious, as I do. The next thing I knew, my boyfriend had bought it me for Christmas. And now here we are.

Invisible in a Bright Light wound up being one of my most favourite reads of 2020. It reminded me of the Night Circus and Caraval. How it was filled with wonder and magic. But it felt more real some how. Like it could have actually happened way back in 1870 and I was just reading Celeste’s journal or something. The writing and plot were just beautiful and breathtaking. I was fully invested in this book. I wanted Maria and Celeste to succeed and to beat the man in the emerald suit. I wanted Hildegard to succeed in her life and her dreams. I was gutted when things didn’t go right for the main characters and I was on the edge of my seat all the way through. That is, for me, the sign of a great book. When you are fully immersed in it.

I fell in love with the characters. They were all amazing. I loved every single one, even mean Madame Sabina in her own way. She was perfectly crafted for her role in the story and they all felt so authentic and the character depth and growth was beautiful. No character was the same at the end of the book. They had all learnt and grown throughout the book. Some had become better people, others got the just desserts that they deserved. But they all developed massively throughout. Which I think, played a massive part in why the book and the characters had such a realistic feel to them.

I would definitely recommend this book to people that love fantasy, young adult fiction and historical fiction. Also, to people who liked The Night Circus and Caraval. I genuinely think this book would be right up their street. I am so, so glad that I read this book, and it’s going to be a treasured favourite of mine for a long, long time.

Star Rating /5


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