Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

The Alchemy of Forever
by Avery Williams

Release Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 256
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Immortality
Source: Library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Haunt Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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?   

In the prologue the year is 1349 and Seraphina is fourteen years old, dancing the night away with a masked stranger. She heads outside for some fresh air, where the masked stranger reveals himself to be the alchemist's son, Cyrus. He says he has always noticed Seraphina. Then out of nowhere, a man and a woman come to rob them. The woman stabs Seraphina in the back and she is about to die. Cyrus uses his father's immortality elixir to separate the cord of Seraphina's soul from her body and put her soul into the woman who stabbed her's body. Seraphina wakes up in the other woman's body and she runs off to spend the rest of eternity with Cyrus.

It starts off feeling like it will be a beautiful love story, but fast forward about 650 years to present day and Cyrus is now a psycho. The way the immortality elixir works is that the soul has to over take another body about every ten years. So over Seraphina's lifetime she has killed about 65 people in order to survive. The soul can transfer into a damaged body and it will heal the body but the soul sucks the body dry of energy over the course of ten years. Seraphina tries to choose bodies that belong to people that are self destructive and don't want to live but she can't do it anymore. She doesn't want to be responsible for another death. Except Cyrus refuses to let her go. He has become controlling, manipulative, and heartless. Seraphina comes up with a plan to escape Cyrus and allow her current body to wear out and die.

When Seraphina does finally escape Cyrus she ends up finding a car accident victim and tries to give her CPR. The need to survive overtakes her and she accidentally transfers her soul into the car accident victim's body. She ends up taking over her Kailey's life, attending her school, falling for the boy next door, enjoying her friends and family. She normally just gets a new identity but Cyrus never taught her how to do that or how to survive on her own. She lucked out with all the technology the world now has to offer because she uses facebook, google, photo albums, and all the clues around the girls room to try to blend into her life.  But Seraphina is afraid Cyrus will catch up with her. He is smart and knows her well and if he finds out about the car accident he might come to take her away from the new life and people she loves.

I read the book all in one night and it held my attention well. The immortality concept was unique and original. The soul having to travel to a new body was an interesting twist. It was a bit short and I did want a little more development. I loved Noah but I was hoping for a little more between them. It seemed like he had always been into Kailey but when Seraphina took over her body he seemed to all of a sudden really fall for her but I didn't totally feel it. I definitely saw why Seraphina would fall for Noah though. His character was sweet and considerate. I also didn't really fully understand why Cyrus was so obsessed with Seraphina other than he was just a psycho. They apparently loved each other at one time but at the beginning of the book they didn't seem like a couple. It felt like they were already broken up so I guess he just liked to control her. I would think he would just assume she died but he goes to a lot of trouble to try to track her down. There was a big cliffhanger so I definitely need to see what happens next.  

Dear Cyrus,
I loved you once, with all my heart, and I stayed alive, in one form or another, for centuries because I could not bear to be apart from you. But the years have changed us, and not for the better. Every death we've caused has killed our love, bit by bit. I cannot kill another human in order to live. When my current body is lost, I will be too.

                                              Until the next life,
                                                         Seraphina


Rating: 4/5 Stars!


Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Then be sure to check back because I ALWAYS respond to ALL REVIEW COMMENTS!!!

23 comments:

  1. I've been interested in this one since the first time I read it. The alchemy part reminds me a bit of the Immortals series by Alyson Noel. I really like plot, but wondered myself why Cyrus was so obsessed. The letter at the end is heartbreaking. Nice review!

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    1. Yes I almost didn't read it because I was not a fan of The Immortals series by Alyson Noel. But Giselle @ Xpresso Reads had a really good review of the book and she said I would probably like it and that it was way different. The plot was great but hopefully in the next book Cyrus gets a little more development. Not sure why he is psycho either. I kind of wanted more about what happened in those years leading up to the book. Maybe the next book will have some flashbacks or something.

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  2. I'm glad you liked it. I just loved the story too, it's so unique. I can't wait for the next installment. :)

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    1. I'm really excited! I'm dying to know what will happen and I need to know Noah is okay! LOL

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  3. The Next one needs to be available NOW ! you did well pinpointing the few things that could use some work. but YES overall. AWESOME BOOK! :D

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    1. I know! I hate cliffhangers! I'm really curious exactly what happened! And thanks for commenting! I always try really hard to mention all the things that were good and bad about a book. I know it helps me make a decision about whether or not I want to read it.

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  4. I had no idea what this book was about but now I'm intrigued.
    And your comment on my blog just made me laugh. #Team HEA!!!!

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    1. It does have a really interesting plot. I knew a little bit about it going in but was surprised by the immortality storyline. HEA forever!

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  5. I have no idea why, but I was sure this book was about vampires O_o, I need to start to ACTUALLY read the summary x) I like the storyline, it sounds pretty interesting and I haven't read that many books with Immortals in them, maybe I'll actually give it a try 'cause I had BIG doubts on reading this book, then again, I thought this was about Vampires, maybe I should it a try. Really good review :)

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    1. haha no vampires! But don't feel bad I've done that before. I just see the cover and assume I know what it will be about and then I'm like what the heck?! This is not at all what I thought this was going to be about. I love books with immortals but have found reincarnating to be boring. I was rather pleased with this one.

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  6. *maybe I should give it a try.

    hehe, forgot to add 'give'

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    1. No problem I got it. I always somehow have a ton of typos in my comments. I wish blogger let you edit them like wordpress does. Sometimes I just end up deleting it and re-posting t correctly when I'm super embarrassed lo

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  7. Great review Jennifer. This one sounds like something I would like. I've seen it before but this is the first review I've read. Not sure if its already on the overloaded TBR. Going to check now :)

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    1. Great! I had my eye on it since before it came out but yes I'm always a few months behind on new releases. I have a huge TBR list lol but I'm glad I got to it. It was a nice quick read.

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  8. I've got a copy of this book too and it's quite thin so I definitely should be reading this book soon! Love the little excerpt in the bottom too!

    Awesome review, Jennifer! So glad you enjoyed it! ♥

    PS: I just found your Team Buttons on the left hand side of your blog and even though we can't agree on Team Jem and Will, I AM TEAM LOKI, ASTLEY, PATCH and Adam! YAY! :P

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    1. YAY! Loki, Astley, Patch, & Adam! LOL

      I really hope you enjoy it when you get to it. It's a very quick read. Easy to stay into it and short so I finished it in one night. Th excerpt definitely says a lot about what the book will be about.

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  9. I totally love this book and too want to know what comes in book 2

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  10. Thanks for the review! I've wanted to read this for some time, with all the good reviews floating around, and the cover is just so pretty! I love it!

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    1. Oh good! I hope you get a chance to read it soon! I was a quick and unique read. The cover has great colors!

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  11. I just found this one at the library but I wasn't sure if it was my kind of book or not, so I decided to wait and come home to check reviews. I just happened across yours and so, it turns out I am going back to the library tomorrow to pick it up. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    Jaime

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    1. Oh good! I'm always so happy to hear I helped people make a decision, whether or not it is to read it or skip it. This was a unique read and it's a fast one so I would say definitely give it a try! Plus the library rules! Thanks for visiting! Hope you enjoy it :-)

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  12. This sounds so interesting! I can totally see how it kept your attention all night. I've never read anything that has a concept quite like this one and I just think it sounds like it has much potential to be awesome. Thanks for introducing it to me. I just added it to goodreads.

    Brynn

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