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The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues

Tekijä: Nova Jacobs

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
5292746,993 (3.51)7
"The Family Fang meets The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry in this literary mystery about a struggling bookseller whose recently deceased grandfather, a famed mathematician, left behind a dangerous equation for her to track down--and protect--before others can get their hands on it. Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of an apparent suicide, his adopted granddaughter Hazel, owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from him by mail. In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague. But first, she must find where the equation is hidden. While in Los Angeles for Isaac's funeral, Hazel realizes she's not the only one searching for his life's work, and that the equation's implications have potentially disastrous consequences for the extended Severy family, a group of dysfunctional geniuses unmoored by the sudden death of their patriarch. As agents of an enigmatic company shadow Isaac's favorite son--a theoretical physicist--and a long-lost cousin mysteriously reappears in Los Angeles, the equation slips further from Hazel's grasp. She must unravel a series of maddening clues hidden by Isaac inside one of her favorite novels, drawing her ever closer to his mathematical treasure. But when her efforts fall short, she is forced to enlist the help of those with questionable motives"--… (lisätietoja)
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» Katso myös 7 mainintaa

Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 27) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Some elements I liked, some I didn't. Overall, feh. ( )
  dvoratreis | May 22, 2024 |
Maths.

Similar to the movie Good Will Hunting, this is a different work of fiction involving complex mathematics where no knowledge of the subject is required. And borrowing from another work, Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder, Isaac Severy has written an equation or proof that predicts future events (there is also a game hunt angle).

The book is pretty good; the writing is good, the characters okay, and being a mystery it takes quite a while for the story to evolve which I found made it slow and sometimes boring. But I am also a sucker for books about books, and that the main character owned a bookstore and knew of and cared about books, for me, gave it a bit of a boost. ( )
  Picathartes | Oct 25, 2022 |
I feel like this book was both better than I thought it was, but not quite as good as I expected. The former because my reading was more fractured than I'd like and the book never got a chance to really suck me in; it was always getting interrupted. The latter, because its novel-to-mystery ratio was higher than I'd have wished.

Isaac Severy was a brilliant mathematician whose last act before dying was writing a bombshell of an equation, which he hid away. Days after his death, his granddaughter receives a letter from him with his last wishes: to burn all his work save this equation, which she should delver to one trusted colleague and no one else. But first, she must find the equation using the clues left for her as she goes about fulfilling his final requests.

At the same time, the rest of the Severy family - blessed with brilliance and saddled with dysfunction - is left to pick up the pieces of their lives, re-orienting themselves after they lose their axis and another death unmoors them completely. Hazel's uncle, Philip, is receiving mysterious notes and visits from someone eager to meet up with him and discuss his father's work, someone who was harassing Isaac in his final days.

I ended up caring about most of the characters except Hazel herself. She was pretty unmoored from the start, and never felt like she had much resolve. For me this resulted in the impression that she never took any direction action to find the equation, so much as the clues threw themselves at her in desperation.

Speaking of clues, my biggest annoyance of all was that one of the clues was not only not discovered by Hazel, but the reader didn't got left out too. Both discover the solution after the fact, and it's a letdown.

These are minor grievances though, and I'm not sure I'd have felt the same way about these things had I been able to commit my time and attention to the book as it deserved. Perhaps more focus would have allowed me to connect more with Hazel and the story's mystery. Either way, it was an enjoyable read and kept me entertained, if not deeply invested. ( )
  murderbydeath | Feb 9, 2022 |
I wanted this to be more mystery-focused and less family-focused but the writing was really strong and there were a few interesting mystery elements. I really like puzzle-based mysteries, which is what I thought I would get here based on the "a novel in clues" subheading. This book didn't really give me that but it wasn't bad by any means. ( )
  AKBouterse | Nov 1, 2021 |
Comparisons have been made to The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and the title implied this was about mathematics (which made me hope it was along the lines of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore). Alas, it's not so much about a bookstore (there is one, which Hazel walks away from) and while there is the dangerous equation from the title (which is what Hazel is seaching for) it's not about mathematics in general.

What it is, however, is a literary fiction about family, aging, a bit of self-discovery - with a quiet mystery mixed in. This isn't a fast paced mystery novel, but Hazel Severy DOES need to find and destroy the dangerous mathematical formula that Isaac left behind when he died.

Of all the characters, I actually think that Isaac was the most intriguing - and he died in the first chapter. The book hooked me from the first sentence: "On the morning he was to die, the old man woke early and set about making breakfast". While Isaac is no longer alive, his presence is felt throughout the book.

The storyline unfolds slowly and, admittedly, a lot of the characters are pretty unlikable, but as it quietly progressed I found myself drawn in as Hazel searched to find the equation. There are plot twists, betrayals, and surprises. No roller coaster ride here, but a strong debut for author Jacobs. ( )
  jenncaffeinated | Jul 4, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 27) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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An intelligence that, at a given instant, could comprehend all the forces by which nature is animated and the respective situation of the beings that make it up, if moreover it were vast enough to submit these data to analysis. . . For such an intelligence, nothing would be uncertain, and the future, like the past, would be open to its eyes
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On the morning he was to die, the old man woke early and set about making breakfast.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"The Family Fang meets The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry in this literary mystery about a struggling bookseller whose recently deceased grandfather, a famed mathematician, left behind a dangerous equation for her to track down--and protect--before others can get their hands on it. Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of an apparent suicide, his adopted granddaughter Hazel, owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from him by mail. In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague. But first, she must find where the equation is hidden. While in Los Angeles for Isaac's funeral, Hazel realizes she's not the only one searching for his life's work, and that the equation's implications have potentially disastrous consequences for the extended Severy family, a group of dysfunctional geniuses unmoored by the sudden death of their patriarch. As agents of an enigmatic company shadow Isaac's favorite son--a theoretical physicist--and a long-lost cousin mysteriously reappears in Los Angeles, the equation slips further from Hazel's grasp. She must unravel a series of maddening clues hidden by Isaac inside one of her favorite novels, drawing her ever closer to his mathematical treasure. But when her efforts fall short, she is forced to enlist the help of those with questionable motives"--

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