The Secret Benefits of Invisibility (The Falinnheim Chronicles #2) by C.W. Allen
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: June 7, 2022
Format: eARC (Courtesy of Publisher)
Publisher: Cinnabar Moth Publishing
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“You can’t teach someone how to be invisible.”
As a child, did you ever feel like you were invisible to the adults around you? Frustrated with the old age that ‘children should not speak unless spoken to’? Well, as Zed and Tuesday Furst find out in the second installment of The Falinnheim Chronicles, even though it’s annoying sometimes it pays off to be invisible. Like its predecessor, The Secret Benefits of Invisibility is an innovative and humorous action-packed adventure tale perfect for young fantasy and sci-fi readers.
The Furst family has now set up shop in Falinnheim, but the kids are still behind the curve with learning about the new realm. It’s a cross between modern and medieval cultures, and things are very different from what they are used to. There’s different holidays, a different calendar system, and even entirely different animals to learn about (I enjoyed the poultry parade in particular). Once again, Zed’s lists and notes throughout the book were quite informative and helpful; they were useful in keeping track of all the new information being thrown at readers.
Admittedly, when I first read the title (without reading the synopsis) I imagined invisibility being the product of some ability or device. The true secret benefits of invisibility in this book are so much better than what I could have imagined - it also plays on the theme of many middle-grade and young adult books, where children are much more capable than most adults give them credit for. Zed and Tuesday’s great-grandmother was the one to encourage them to make the perceived disadvantage of children’s invisibility into a benefit, and it was hilarious (Obaa-chan is awesome).
Overall, C.W. Allen delivered another fantastic read with The Secret Benefits of Invisibility. If you have a young reader in your life looking for a genre-crossing action-packed tale, these books would be a great choice! I think it would be suitable for most older middle grade readers and all young adult readers. I’m eager to read the final book in the series, The Tales of the Forgotten Founders, and see how the story ends for the Furst family when it comes out in 2023. As a side note (unrelated to my review), given how often Zed and Tuesday are separated from their parents I would love to see a bonus chapter written from their point of view.
Thank you to the publisher, Cinnabar Moth Publishing, for providing me with a complimentary review copy of the book. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review The Secret Benefits of Invisibility immensely. Please note - I voluntarily read and reviewed the book. All opinions expressed in the review are my own, and not influenced in any way.
CONTENT WARNINGS (Courtesy of the Author): Kidnapping, Death, Violence, War
REPRESENTATION: The Secret Benefits of Invisibility has a diverse cast of characters. There is positive representation of the Black, Jewish, Muslim, East Asian, and neurodivergent communities.
About the Author: C.W. Allen
Author of the middle grade novels RELATIVELY NORMAL SECRETS (2021), THE SECRET BENEFITS OF INVISIBILITY (2022), and TALES OF THE FORGOTTEN FOUNDERS (2023).
C.W. Allen is a Nebraskan by birth, a Texan by experience, a Hoosier by marriage, and a Utahn by geography. She knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she read The Westing Game at age twelve, but took a few detours along the way as a veterinary nurse, an appliance repair secretary, and a homeschool parent.
She recently settled in the high desert of rural Utah with her husband, their three children, and a noisy flock of orphaned ideas. Someday she will create literary homes for all of them. (The ideas, not her family.)
Keep up with her latest projects at her website: cwallenbooks.com
She is much funnier on Twitter than in person: twitter.com/cwallenbooks
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