'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 19 December 2019

Review: Invisible In A Bright Light

Celeste wakes up in a costume basket she was asleep in to find she has been transported back in time.

Confused and mistaken for someone else, Celeste discovers she is back in the 1870s and in the Royal Opera House. She has vague memories of a game called the reckoning and a mysterious old man dressed in an emerald green suit.

Celeste finds herself caught up in opera singer Madame Sabina Petrova and her equally diva like daughter Hildegard’s antics. Even worse, is the misconception everyone seems to have is that Celeste or Maria as she has been called, is a great dancer and will be part of the night’s performance. 

Watching from the shadows, herself hardly a solid form is the real Maria.

On stage, Celeste is captivated by the giant chandelier that holds 750 candles shaped like a crystal galleon. It represents the lives of the passengers from the ship Empress that simply vanished. The chandelier is regarded as a creation of magnificence until it falls leaving Celeste lying on the stage badly injured and barely alive.  

Celeste survives and becomes a celebrated performer who has the ability to project the light captured from the chandelier and make herself invisible. But she is now more aware than ever of the emerald green suited man who casts spells of forgetfulness on his competitors in an effort to win the game.

It is revealed that the game stems back to the legend about a drowning sailor who in exchange for his soul and sight he would live to do the bidding of the great white albatross. If there was a child aboard a ship that he took passengers from he was obliged to play the reckoning game. It was his only chance to once again walk on land – no one has ever beaten him.

With the lives of the Empress passengers at risk, will Celeste beat him at his own game? Can she discover his true identity and be able to return to the life she once had?

Author Sally Gardner weaves this magical story about parallel lives amidst a mysterious challenge and a love of the theatre. This story will slowly pull the reader in and they will not be able to put it down until the last page.

Title: Invisible In A Bright Light
Author: Sally Gardner
Publisher: Head of Zeus, $16.99
Publication Date: 18 November 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781789544848
For ages: 10 - 14
Type: Middle Grade Fiction