Title: The Alchemy of Forever
Author: Avery Williams
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
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?
Here’s a short review for a pretty short book. With so little of it, I didn’t feel much connection with the characters or the story, but it was enjoyable enough that I want to read the next book.
It’s an interesting premise – immortal people living for a decade or so in someone’s body before it dies and they find another. Sera is an interesting enough protagonist – no longer able to ignore the guilt she feels over ‘killing’ innocent girls for their bodies, only to discard them again for another one. We don’t really get a chance to see what her life was like in the beginning, when she first began to change bodies with just Cyrus, or when they began to add people to their merry little band. Instead, we plunge right in, meeting characters quickly and then forgetting about them as they fade into the background.
Like I said, I didn’t feel much of a connection with the characters. Even Sera, whose head we were in, seemed slightly shallow, not giving us a chance to see the complexity of who she’s been. The supporting cast was even less memorable – from her fellow ‘Incarnates’ to Kailey’s friends and family, it was hard to really know who anyone was, let alone remember them. As I got closer to the end, I had trouble figuring out how it was going to it, since it seemed a bit abrupt. I’m not totally sure I understand the final twist, so hopefully it’s explained in the beginning of the next book.
Despite my problems with it, The Alchemy of Forever was a good enough debut for me to continue the series, if only because I want a quick, easy read.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars