Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams [REVIEW]

The Alchemy of Forever
(Incarnation #1)
by Avery Williams
Summary from Goodreads:

"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?"


It only takes a good plot and/or an amazing cover to get me to read a book. Alchemy of Forever caught me by its very intriguing plot. Not that I haven’t read anything like it, but I was curious enough to find out how this goes.

Alas, a book with so much potential but fell short.

At first I couldn’t figure out why the book felt off for me. Then I kept thinking, it was okay but there just wasn’t enough clarity for me. I had to do a bit of review reading over what exactly was my problem with the book because I really don’t know the reason behind it. Reading the reviews did help, and one word stuck out among them: brief. *facepalm* That’s it!

The Alchemy of Forever was just so brief that I didn’t get to know Sera very well. The whole time I’ve been trying to discover who she really is, the book gave me a vague idea of what she went through and her pain and guilt over what she and her company are doing in order to survive, but somehow it just wasn’t enough. I had lots of questions, like: (1) How does Sera really feel about Cyrus centuries ago? Defined as “Innocent love”; how exactly did it blossom? I need details. (2) How the heck did the muggers get so close to a party for the rich, ever heard of guards anyone? Bodyguards at least (whatever they were called back then)? No? Okay. (3) How exactly did Kailey live her life before Sera took over? At least tell us why she was in THAT place when THAT moment happened (sorry for the vagueness, don’t want to spoil it). Or at least have her friends tell stories about what she did back then, not the whole Kailey-bully-like-image-end-of-story situation… I’m going to leave my questions at that because if I went any further, well let’s just say you’ll be reading this the whole day.

I’m also bothered by the pace of the story. I was immediately caught up by the beginning of this book when Sera escaped from Cyrus but when Sera got into Kailey’s body, I got stuck with reading about Sera’s paranoia (although she has the right to be) but didn’t get enough of Kailey, Cyrus or anybody else’s side.  Sera is already giving out stories here and there but at least balance out the details, right?

The ending, although sad and confusing, was something I got excited about even though I didn’t appreciate much of what was written in the middle of the storyline. I want to know what happens to Cyrus and Sera… and Noah of course. But I have this feeling again that this series might be one of those that could’ve been told in just one book if chosen so.

So if you’re asking me if I would recommend this book, I don’t really know. If you haven’t read one like it then maybe you would enjoy it, or if you were looking for a light book to read then you can probably give this a go. I did enjoy it but it just really wasn’t enough for me.

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