Review: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

Monday, 26 March 2012

PhotobucketThe Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1)
by Avery Williams
Publication Date: 3 January 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Ebook, bought
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Rating: 4/5
Buy the Book: Amazon US/UK|B&N|Book Depo
Seraphina has been alive since the 1300's, made immortal when the boy she was beginning to love back then, Cyrus, saved her from death with a strange liquid - a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. But now, in modern day America, Sera has decided that she can no longer bear the weight of stealing people's lives so she can keep living on. So she decides to run away from Cyrus and end her stolen existence once and for all. Her plan goes awry when she accidentally takes the body of a dying teenager and feels forced to take over her life. When the lines between Sera and Kailey's identity begin to blur, Sera finds a reason to desire to live once more. But she can't shake the guilt of having taken Kailey's life, even if she was dying. And what if Cyrus finds her?

The Alchemy of Forever has to be one of my favorite reads of 2012 so far. It was the first time I had read a story involving reincarnation and it definitely made me fall in love with the concept. It was a quick, easy and enjoyable read and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

The story follows the main character, Seraphina who becomes an Incarnate at the hands of the alchemist's son Cyrus. His love for her turns into obsession and leads him to keep her captive over hundreds of years until, they reach present day, and Sera is able to escape the cult of Incarnates Cyrus has created. On a mission to end her miserably long life Sera accidentally takes on the body and life of a girl she tries to save from death. Stuck inside this new body and surrounded by Kailey's loving family and friends, Seraphina must decide whether to continue running from Cyrus, or to try and hide from him in Kailey's world.

I found Seraphina to be a very likable as well as a relatable character because even though she is over a hundred year old, she is still flawed in some ways. She isn't perfect and she makes some bad decisions along the way but, all the while she is always trying to do the right thing. Her years on earth haven't made her selfish in any way, which I found surprising when compared to her fellow Incarnates. I very much enjoyed following her story and as a character I found her very well rounded. The character of Cyrus was very well written and he is one creepy dude! I loved how sly and scary he came across and through that you could understand Seraphina's desire to escape his evil clutches. 

With the book being so short the rest of the characters aren't explored as much as I would have liked them to have been, and I think that works against the story in a way. I hope that in the second book we get to hear/see a little bit more of the Incarnates and some of Kailey's family and friends.There were some small issues that were brought up but they weren't fully explored, and at the end I was left wondering what had happened with those issues. I hope that maybe they set up for book 2. 

Overall I enjoyed The Alchemy of Forever. I was looking for a quick read and I definitely found it in this book. The pacing was really good. I was never wondering when the story was going to pick up again. The characters were enjoyable and I am very excited to see what happens in the next installment. 

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