The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

AlchemyofForeverTitle: The Alchemy of Forever

Author: Avery Williams

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 256

Rating: 3.5/5

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


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