In her intelligent and imaginative new novel, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V.E. Schwab demonstrates again, as she did in her Shades of Magic trilogy, her ability to give life to unforgettable characters who navigate a magical world of pure joy.
Addie’s exciting journey starts in France in 1714 and continues for nearly 300 years, from one century to another, one continent to another. History unfolds, wars come and go, art forms rise and ebb, as do love affairs. But love for Addie is short lived. In her youth, in a moment of despair, she summons Luc, the dark god, with whom she makes a deal that will haunt her day and night. Addie’s wish for eternal life is granted. In return, each time she steps out of sight, she is forgotten, leaving behind no memory, no imprint of herself. Until. In a musty bookstore that harbors a cat named Book, Addie comes across Henry, who remembers her when she leaves and when she returns the next day. Did Luc, the powerful god of darkness, make a mistake somewhere, overlook a crack in his curse?
One can’t help but fall in love with Luc, who “wears his arrogance with all the comfort of a tailored suit.” Whose eyes change a different shade of green with his moods. Who appears on a whim, sometimes after decades and, when he does, “Adeline,” his name for Addie, ushers in a delicious foreboding that sends a shiver up one’s spine.
The “fight forged over centuries” between Addie and Luc, a battle between the devil and his once human disciple, is electrifying. To V.E. Schwab’s credit, the outlandish love hate relationship between this David and Goliath is not only believable, but this reader couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out the extent of Addie’s sacrifice for love, the blessing of being remembered, and whether it will be Addie or the god of darkness who will be forced, After centuries of shrewd manipulation and Herculean tenacity, to admit defeat.