Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
Series: Incarnation #1
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon and Schuster UK)
First published: April 26th, 2012
Source: Received from publisher
Format: Paperback
Pages: 246
Goodreads Summary:
After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

My Rating: 3.5 / 5

First thoughts:
Incorporating thought-provoking topics like the wish for immortality, the difference of science and spirituality and trying to fight for something you need to believe in, The Alchemy of Forever has the potential to be a mind-blowing read. While I wasn't too happy with some aspects, I definitely enjoyed reading it and after the cliffhanger ending I can't wait for the second book of the Incarnation series.

More detailed:
I had been intrigued by The Alchemy of Forever's synopsis ever since I first read it and am happy to finally have read the novel itself. Alchemy - scientific magic in my eyes - makes it possible for Seraphina to live forever. But to do that she has to take over other people's bodies at regular intervalls, her old ones getting tired very soon.

Sera is also the narrator of this story, enabling us to see the world through the eyes of someone who has lived for centuries. Considering that many YA paranormal stories are told from a "human" protagonist, or at least someone who is completely new to the paranormal aspects, it was refreshing to witness the story from Sera's point of view.

The man who made this possible for her, Cyrus, also ends up being the bad guy in The Alchemy of Forever. Over centuries he's become cold and ruthless, not understanding Sera's hesitance to take over new bodies. While I really like reading about such an development, I would have loved to get to know more of his sides, since I have a hard time believing that there is nothing left of the old Cyrus.

All in all, The Alchemy of Forever was a bit too rushed for me though. Like I said above, the plot line has lots of potential, but with only 246 pages I missed a certain depth to important scenes. It wasn't enough to really connect with the characters and the story. But nonetheless it's a very imaginative story and especially after the cliffhanger I can't wait to get my hands on its sequel!

Have you read The Alchemy of Forever? What did you think about it?
Do you plan to read it?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!


  1. I love this cover so much more than the US one, actually I only became aware of this book because of this cover!! I'm a little sad to hear you didn't like it more, but it still sounds great and I would like to give it a shot!

  2. Lack of depth annoys me! I need explanations and thorough elements to the plot almost as much as I need to the love the covers. This one is up in the air as far as whether or not I'll be reading it.

  3. I felt the same with this book. I liked it but I felt something was missing but still worth a read. Good review! =)

  4. I thought it was too rushed, too. I wish it was more drawn out, more of the characters developed, etc. but great review! I liked it and am looking forward to the sequel.

    Ashelynn @ gypsy book reviews.

  5. What a shame that it felt too rushed and that you couldn't connect with the characters. Overal, it sounds like a great book and the fact that you still want to read the next book, is enough for me to decide that I'm going to read it :)

  6. Great review! It sucks that it was rushed but it still sounds good and I've seen lots of rave reviews for it. I'm going to buying it next month hopefully. :)

  7. Thanks for the review :) !! I love this cover, it looks stunning !

  8. Aw, that sucks it was a bit rushed for you. I am really excited about this one, since the story fascinates me, so I really hope I won't feel it... o: I'm glad you still enjoyed it though. And I agree with Elodie: the cover is gorgeous!

  9. The synopsis reminded me very strongly of Blood Magic and that made me hesitant to pick this books up. I really loved Blood Magic and it would be hard to top that. After reading your review I'm glad that I hesitated. This would totally die of old age on my tbr pile...



I read and love every single comment you leave, so thanks a lot for taking your time to let me know what you are thinking about this post! Feel free to leave a link to your blog, so I can check it out, too!

P.s.: This is a tag- and award-free blog. Thanks a lot for your consideration though!