Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: The Alchemy of Forever

Title: The Alchemy of Forever
Author: Avery Williams
Series: Incarnation #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Published: March 1st 2012
Source: Publisher for review

Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. Sera ran away from Cyrus years ago, when she realized that what they were doing--taking the lives of innocent people--was wrong. She doesn't want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies.

It's London 1349 and 14 year old Seraphina has been stabbed. She feels her life slipping away…before her blue-eyed suitor gives her a few drops of his special formula for immortality. Fast forward a few centuries and Sera's tired of killing girls in order to slip into their bodies. Coming to hate what she's become, she wants out, and Cyrus will stop at nothing to find and drag her back to him by the hair. With a refreshing concept and an interesting cast of characters, The Alchemy of Forever is a short read that will entertain and surprise.

While on the run from Cyrus and his other Incarnates, Sera accidentally slips into the body of Kailey Morgan, a teenager who has a seemingly normal but complicated life. I loved exploring her relationships with Kailey's friends and family, the former being a little suspicious... As the story develops, the "innocent girl" facade is lost and Kailey's true self is revealed. That combined with the intriguing mechanics of alchemy, Sera is troubled by the meaning and worth of her life. Will she make something out of her new one or will she look forward to the day her body dies, and her soul with it forever?

I thought the romance between Sera and her neighbour was so sweet! Kailey's always kept Noah at an arm's length in public, and has only ever indulged in his kind presence when on her own. As we learn about the many flaws of Kailey and watch Sera try to rebuild her life, we also see Noah falling for the girl who seems strangely different in a very good way. He adores Sera's kind heart and feels her snatch up his own in an instant. Their relationship is nothing explosive or intense but it adds a wonderful sense of comfort that complements the suspense/thriller wonderfully. We need some light moments - her psychopathic ex is hot on her heels after all...

Although this isn't a five-star book, the focus on Sera's new life will keep you guessing and engaged. While Noah will make you melt with his charm and thoughtfulness, Cyrus will be a constant worry. When he finally joins the party? Wow. Sera's decision about life? Wow. The cliffhanger? Wow. The Alchemy of Forever would've been fantastic had it been longer and had the opportunity to really develop, but you'll easily finish this book in one sitting and be wishing you had the sequel immediately! I mean…can you say CLIFFHANGER ALERT?

I must say...I love the US cover.. <3

Find Avery on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy The Alchemy of Forever from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

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