Title: The Impossibility of Tomorrow
Author: Avery Williams (The Alchemy of Forever)
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
The immortal Seraphina is forced to face the darkness of her past—and risk losing the love of her life—in this second novel in the Incarnation series.
Seraphina has been living for centuries, thanks to a special method of alchemy, but only recently has she really felt alive. She’s finally broken free from her controlling boyfriend, Cyrus, and after years of swapping bodies to preserve her immortality, is happily settled into a life worth sticking with. Because in this life, she has Noah.
But Noah might not be as trustworthy as he seems. After he delivers an ominous message that could only come from Cyrus, Sera is worried that her new friends and family will find out her secret. And as her suspicions extend beyond Noah, Sera is forced to wonder about her new friends as well: Could her old coven be disguising themselves right under her nose?
Will Sera have to move to another body—and take another life—or can she find a way to keep what she’s got, forever?
If you don’t want to read this whole review, then simply read this word: “meh.”
This book seemed like a decent follow-up to The Alchemy of Forever, which was also a decent-but-not-great book from last year. I decided to read the sequel not because I really, really wanted to know what would happen to the characters from that book, but because I figured “why not?”; the first book was a short, quick read, and I figured the sequel would end up the same. And, even though this book was about twice the size as The Alchemy of Forever, it felt just as quick. I don’t know if this is a compliment or not – I thought that was a good trait, because it meant I was done with this book fairly quickly and was on to another book, but one of the reasons this went so quickly was because I kind of skimmed the second half (focusing on just the dialogue and only reading non-dialogue when it seemed essential), so that might not be a good thing in everyone’s mind.
The main problem with this book was that I just didn’t care about the characters that much, including protagonist Sera/What’s-Her-Name (see? I read this book about a week and a half ago and I already can’t remember for sure the name of the girl whose body Sera ended up in back in the first book!). That’s a big problem for me – oftentimes, entertaining characters, especially fun secondary characters, can elevate an otherwise subpar book for me. Sera just flip-flopped too much for me, though – one minute she would be determined to get the hell out of town and push everyone away, then something would happen and she would declare that it was time to fight for what she wanted – and then something else would happen a few chapters later and it would start all over again.
Then there’s the big question of the whole book: Who is Cyrus? The cliffhanger from the end of the last book was wrapped up in a weird way, at least in my mind. Slight Spoilers (because the summary kind of spoils this anyway): When we first see Noah, he sure seems like he’s Cyrus. He says and does things that only make sense if he’s Cyrus. Then something happens that immediately makes Sera say “Oh My God, I can’t kill this gorgeous guy because I’m obviously wrong because of this one small thing,” and I’m just shaking my head and wanting to kind of cry at the fact that there are still about 300 pages to go. Then there are all of these other characters who do things that only Cyrus would do or so, but there’s no way he can be all of them at once and it was just confusing rather than twisty. Some of these characters end up being completely normal, but the begs the question of why they were being so creepy and suspicious when Sera thought they were Cyrus, because their behaviour never really gets explained! It made for a confusing and frustrating second half or so.
After all the complaining, especially about the characters and the twists, doesn’t it seem like this book should have a much lower rating? Well, for all its flaws, it was an enjoyable enough story while I was reading it. There were plenty of things that made me roll my eyes, especially the romance that I just did not care about, but I was interested enough to keep reading to see what would happen. So, this wasn’t a great book at all, at least for me, but it was an enjoyable enough way to spend a couple of days reading, so that’s an accomplishment in my book, especially after the string of DNFs in the past few months.