Friday, January 6, 2012

Review: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

Title: The Alchemy of Forever
Author: Avery Williams
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Fantasy Romance
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
Pages: 256 (ebook)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Pulse It

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?

This author had me hooked from the beginning of the prologue.  There we meet Seraphina Ames, a 14-year-old girl who lives in London in the year 1349.  She's attending her first masquerade ball when she meets an interesting and mysterious gentleman.  When something goes wrong and Sera is fighting for her life, this boy who reveals himself to be Cyrus, the apothecary's son, makes her drink from a vial.  She then finds her soul trading bodies with another person and Cyrus has discovered how to live forever.

Present day, there are now 4 more 'Incarnates' who have  joined Sera and Cyrus and lived in many different bodies for a span of 600 years- or less- depending on when they were changed.  The only problem is that Cyrus controls them all and Sera doesn't want to put any more innocent people in danger of losing their lives just so she can take over their body.  She makes a plan to run away, concluding with the end of her long life, but just as she's about to make the decision, she hears the desperate scream of a girl and the screeching of tires.  Even though she wants to put an end to all of this and not have to run away from Cyrus anymore, Sera finds herself in the body of the dying teenager named Kailey.

I feel that I didn't quite know much about the characters.  The story was fast paced and it did keep me interested in finding out more, but I just wasn't satisfied with how little I knew about Sera although she'd lived for so long.  I'm sure she had a lot more to tell than the little memories that were explained throughout the story.  I did like the fact that she finally felt like she was where she belonged when she got to knew Kailey's family and friends.  I can't imagine how difficult it was to pretend to be someone else when you didn't know anything about their personality.

There wasn't much romance in this book, which I actually thought was fine.  There was a little in the end of it. Oh, the end.  That's definitely something I wish I could talk to you guys about as well, but I can't without spoiling it.  All I can say is that it's SO frustrating and I definitely feel sympathetic towards Sera.  Unfortunately, the ending is what made me cut away half a star in my rating.  I like twists, but I think this time I was looking for more closure than I was left with.

Overall, the plot was very interesting and the writing was nice.  I felt that I could relate to Sera although she's supposed to be approximately 580 years older than me.  What I can say is that I also liked visuals I was given.  I will have to read the next book, because I can't just leave the story where it ended.


  1. Great review! I'm a big fan of character background so I hope that the author goes more in depth with Sera in her sequel!

    Thanks, I need to buy this book when my wallet allows. :)

  2. I really want to read this book, and your 4.5/5 rating makes me want it in my hands even more! Plus, how beautiful is that cover? It's simple, but beautiful.

    Thanks for the follow! I'm following you now :)

  3. I had very similar feelings about the book as well! Although my rating was a bit lower, I had the same issues that you did about not really knowing the characters that well. You're exactly right about everything being fast-paced. I couldn't exactly note what it was I felt like I was missing until I finished and didn't really feel complete satisfaction.

    Great review =).