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The Unseen World: A Novel Hardcover – July 26, 2016
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“The novel is poignant, well-crafted and utterly convincing. A great read that will haunt you long after you finish.”
- Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson & The Olympians
“Enthralling….An elegant and ethereal novel about identity and the dawn of artificial intelligence, and a convincing interior portrait of a young woman.”
- Washington Post
“[A] captivating new page-turner, The Unseen World is a wry, gentle coming-of-age story and an intriguing glimpse into the development of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, both early on and as envisioned for the future. It is also an incisive, insightful, and compassionate examination of the complexities of family and identity.”
- Boston Globe
“Fiercely intelligent....Moore evocatively renders the remoteness of even our closest loved ones.”
- New York Times Book Review
“I was so thoroughly engaged with The Unseen World. What a wonderful, fulfilling, riveting read, alive with complex characters, a thrilling story, wit, and, above all, a deep sense of compassion.”
- Jami Attenberg, author of Saint Mazie
“I absolutely love this wise, compassionate novel that challenges our definitions of family, of intelligence, and of love. Equal parts cerebral and heartbreaking, The Unseen World is utterly compelling, and its heroine Ada Sibelius is irresistible in all her thorny vulnerability. Liz Moore has given us a masterful version of our own modern condition, and I cannot wait to place this book in the hands of my most ardent reader friends.”
- Robin Black, author of Life Drawing
“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.”
“In sparse, urgent prose, Liz Moore delivers a staggeringly beautiful meditation on love, legacy, and the emotional necessities that make life worth living. That lump in your throat? You won’t quite know how it got there―nor believe how long it will stick around once the final page is turned.”
- Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife
“From the first page to the last, The Unseen World held me spellbound. I am Liz Moore’s biggest fan, and after you read her new surprising, big-hearted novel you will be too.”
- Ann Hood, author of The Obituary Writer
“The Unseen World is a deeply compelling novel about the intimate mystery of family. The story of how the brilliant Ada decodes the past and grapples with her eccentric father’s legacy is gripping, touching, and wonderfully intelligent.”
- Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia
“Beautiful, redemptive, and utterly devastating. The kind of world I want to live in would be penned by Liz Moore.”
- Alex Gilvarry, author of From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant
About the Author
Liz Moore is the author of the acclaimed novel Heft. A winner of the 2014 Rome Prize in Literature, she lives in Philadelphia.
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Top customer reviews
I went into it knowing very little, and I had no idea what to expect. How deep would the artificial intelligence aspects of it go? Who were these characters? This vague sense of mystery and wonder begins in the first pages and builds steadily through to the end.
At its core, The Unseen World is a coming-of-age story about Ada, the strange, thoughtful, brilliant daughter of David Sibelius, a computer scientist at a prestigious university lab in the 1980s. Ada spends the formative years of her life in the lab with David and his colleagues, where she comes to share her father’s love for mathematics, cryptology and puzzle-solving.
When David suddenly falls ill, Ada’s peaceful world is upended. On top of that, she begins to suspect that David has been harboring secrets, and will spend the next couple decades of her life trying to decode the mysteries of his life.
The Unseen World is a fully realized novel about one family’s legacy, but more than that, it’s about what it means to be human: the inevitability of hurting the ones we care about the most, and the redemptive power of love, loyalty and forgiveness.
By the time I reached the final pages, I was completely blown away (and devastated) by how it had all come together — like one of David’s and Ada’s puzzles. Every piece of it made sense, every piece of it was an essential part of the whole.