Book Review #4 – The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation, #1)The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked up this book at a local book faire about three weeks ago for the lovely bargain price of 3 euros, simply because there were a few scratches on the (stunning!) jacket of the book. The synopsis got me interested, and right from the first page, I got invested in the story.

Sera Ames has been hopping from body to body for almost six hundred years (crazy!) and it’s all possible because of Cyrus’ elixir. I absolutely loved the fact that Cyrus and Sera were not written out to be typical lovers, but instead, it was made painfully clear from quite early on that Sera wanted out of the whole deal after six hundred years and had grown to hate a lot of his personality traits and the way he dealt with things.

Speaking of Sera, she was a lovely protagonist to read about in my opinion. Not once did I think her thought process was strange or unneeded, but it felt more like something any reasonable person who’d have been around for six hundred years would’ve done. She was believable, her thoughts and reactions were believable and her dialogue was believable. It was refreshing to read a book about a female protagonist that did not bother me in any way.

Cyrus was a very believable antagonist, which is one of the main reasons why I’ve shelved this under pants-peeing-books as well as the other shelves. It wasn’t like I was constantly afraid of him lurking around the corner, but knowing that the possibility was constantly there of him watching her, finding out where Sera was at — that’s what made it very uncomfortable and made me a little jittery. At some points in the book, I could practically imagine the panic Sera was going through. Even though he is the ‘bad guy’, just like Sera you can’t help but feel a little sad for him towards the ending — just a little, of course! (Until that ending hits.)

The side characters weren’t really all over the place, but I felt that most of them were developed enough to make them interesting to read about. I liked the comparison Sera made between Charlotte and Leyla (I really hope to hear more about either of them!) and all the other girls in Kailey’s life weren’t annoying to read about (not even Nicole. What happened to Nicole?!). Bryan didn’t bother me at all whatsoever, and his relationship with ‘Kailey’ was nice to read about. What I also liked is that Sera, despite it being a mistake that she’d taken over Kailey’s body, still tried to convey Kailey’s love for her family to make sure that they were aware of her affection, and that she saw this as the only thing she could do for them (even though their daughter was technically not there anymore).

Naturally I’d expected there to be a second male, a love interest, but it didn’t bother me in this book. I liked Noah’s interaction with Kailey, and I like how he adjusted quickly to changes in her ‘attitude’. He, too, was a believable character, and when I got to the final page I felt a pang of panic at the thought that he was not okay. I must’ve read the last page at least five times before I put the book to the side and wailed like a Banshee that I don’t have the sequel.

What I like to point out is a subtle difference between something that was somewhat both mentioned in this book and The Secret Hour, by Scott Westerfeld, which I only ended up giving two stars. In The Secret Hour, Dess’ knowledge was constantly on display: oh, she knows this — oh, she knows that. Sera has been alive for six hundred years, and although it gets mentioned that she knows alot because Ccyrus has tutored her over the years, there is no mention of anything.

Sera states: ‘Cyrus, for all his faults, was an excellent teacher, giving me a solid education in mathematics, sciences, and literature. I could easily solve chemical equations, debate the finer points of Socratic discourse,or expound on the entire history of Greece.’ .

… Except she doesn’t. She doesn’t expound on the entire history of Greece, which, in comparison to The Secret Hour, Dess did do. That is the part that annoyed me, and it stood out to me (probably because it annoyed me so much during the reading of TSH haha). I love characters who know a lot, but I don’t necessary need to read the contents of their brains, which I feel Avery Williams handled just fine.

Questions on my mind in regards to this book are ‘What the hell is going on?’, ‘Where the hell did Taryn go?’,’Will we ever see Charlotte again?’ and ‘Where the hell is my copy of The Impossibility of Tomorrow?’ I need The Impossibility of Tomorrow. Preferably tomorrow. Ha, see what I did there?

View all my reviews


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