The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs (A NetGalley Review)

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs
Publisher: Touchstone (March 6, 2018)
Description from the Publisher:
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.

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy is an entertaining read, especially if you are a fan of plot driven mysteries and piecing together a puzzle of a book. It took awhile for me to get my bearings in this novel, as there are a few meandering plot lines and a LOT of characters to get to know in the Severy orbit - maybe a tad too many. (I still had to take a moment to place the name of one of the characters while reading the last pages of the book!) But, of the characters that stood out, I quickly became engrossed in their (somewhat terrible and shocking) secrets and their fates. 
The story might have appealed to my family drama loving heart, and been better served overall by fleshing out these standout characters more, and earlier in the book. Just as I was getting to really figure them out, the story was wrapping up. There was a lot to uncover about familial bonds, blended families, infidelity, abuse and how it affected these people who felt very real. I definitely see this potential in Jacobs' writing and look forward to her future work. 
As for the mystery, I loved the geeky science espionage in the last third of the book and BURNED through the pages to find out what the secret of Isaac's Equation was - nothing I ever would have guessed, and it was thoroughly thought provoking. 
Many thanks to Touchstone and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review!

This is the second month in a row that I've picked a NetGalley ARC to review that has popped up as a Book of the Month pick! (Last month being The Philosopher's Flight.) I have read quite a few galleys over the years that ended up being selections - if you are thinking about joining, here are my reviews (in addition to the above two) that you can check out and perhaps add as a free book if you decide to sign up using my referral link
Artemis by Andy Weir
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
The Girls by Emma Cline
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (a favorite book of 2016)


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