Intangible (Piercing the Veil, Book 1)
2.5 (characters)/3 (plot) out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
For Readers Who:
(1) Are fans of Arthurian legends.
(2) Won’t mind if the premise of the book is stronger and more imaginative than its characters (who were rather flat).
One of my favorite books is T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. King Arthur’s story, as retold by White, is the epitome of good storytelling. My love of White’s novel was what made me excited to read Intangible.
C.A. Gray’s Intangible is an Arthurian revision along the lines of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. Gray uses the legend of Camelot to bring to life a hidden world where Arthurian stories are anything but myth. Like Riordan, Gray centers the story on teens with special powers, a hidden world of gifted people and fantastic creatures, and a prophecy that foretells either the end of the world or the salvation of it.
Unfortunately, although the plot is interesting, the characters are anything but riveting. Peter Stewart, one of the main characters in the novel, was often angsty and annoying. The other characters never developed a degree of interiority. These flaws kept me from connecting with the characters and I remained disinterested rather than sympathetic.
Gray does revise Arthurian legend in interesting ways. For instance, she makes Guinevere a villain in a completely unexpected fashion. Also, she fashions the city of Carlion (which Mallory mentions in his Le Morte d’Arthur) as a hidden city populated by men and women with special powers. Gray’s revisions of these well-known myths are perhaps the strongest aspect of Intangible.
If you are a fan of Arthurian legend or you can come to terms with good world building (made at the expense of character depth), this book is for you. Although I loved the imaginative things Gray did with mythology, I couldn’t become deeply invested in the book’s plot because I wasn’t invested in the characters.