Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

The Alchemy of Forever
by Avery Williams

Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Available Now

Amazon Paperback, Kindle, Barnes and Noble

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?

Hmm, as I started reading this novel about Immortal beings, it was hard not to compare it to Alyson Noel's Evermore series.  The process and people are completely different, the  whole plot is different, but hey, they were Immortals, so the comparison came up.  But they weren't much alike.  

The main character Sera is trying to stop being Immortal, not an easy thing to do when your every move is being watched.  Her boyfriend, Cyrus, seems to know something is up and won't let her out of sight, either of him or someone he trusts. I didn't feel a real connection to Sera.  I did when the story of how she became Immortal was told, I felt for her.  But I didn't connect with her any other time.  She felt a bit flat. She went on about her best friend and how much she would miss her, but I didn't feel it.  I didn't feel the connection between her and her friend.  Maybe because there is absolutely no information on their lives between the time they become Immortal and the present.  There's no background to build trust, or a sense of who they are. They are just names on a page.  And Sera never becomes more than that to me. No depth, no flavor.

The tension wasn't built up enough for me, I didn't feel the anticipation of being caught.  Sera's fear of being caught by Cyrus wasn't built up enough.  She dropped it pretty quickly to pursue her life as Kailey. The fear wasn't real.  I wasn't nervous and it didn't make it a page turner.

Now Kailey, she was even less easy to like. Granted she was dead, but the things Sera found out about her made her unlikable.  Sera changed her somewhat, but really her demands and her treatment of her friends and family were inexcusable. Kailey's family was perfectly nice and seemed to be connected and happy. I do give Sera credit for worrying about what Kailey's death would do to them. Kailey and her brother are actually closer than most siblings I see in novels, but it still didn't do a lot to connect me to Sera/Kailey. 

I did like some of the other characters in the book.  I liked Kailey's brother, Bryan. As big brother's go, he was pretty good. Picked on her, joked with her and teased her, and even helped her sneak out of the house.  The boy next door was even better. He had some depth to him. Bad family life, an unusual relationship with Kailey, Noah was different and I could connect to him.  He felt real to me.  Maybe since Sera/Kailey wasn't sure if she had a soul she was meant to be flat?  I don't know.

Cyrus was a controlling man. That was easy to see. But again, there just wasn't enough background on the whole Immortal life for me to get a feeling of who he was. Yes, I know what Sera said about him, but I didn't feel evil from him. I was told he was evil.

Bottom line, the plot is good, the background is lacking and the main characters are a bit flat. The writing was easy to read, not especially compelling, but I kept waiting for it to be.  I kept waiting for something to grab me and make me really care, but in the end, it was just a story.  Sure, I'm going to read the next installment, because there are questions left that I want answered and I'm really confused by the last few pages and the last line.  I don't know who wrote it.  I've read it over and over and still can't figure out what the author meant to convey.  And that's probably what the author wanted, was for us to questions the ending so we'd want to read the next book.



  1. I didn't like Alison's series so that is good it wasn't comparable. But the review doesn't really make me want to read this book. I was actually really looking forward to it. I guess I will just wait a while and pick it up if there is time.

  2. Ephrielle- I looked on Good Reads and I appear to be the only one with this opinion. I debated even writing it. But I had to be honest. Alyson's series wasn't that great for me either so I thought this one would be great. But it just didn't have that special something. But please read the other reviews on Good Reads. As I said, I'm in the minority on this.


  3. The flat characters are a turn off for me. I was on the fence about this book based on the blurb alone. I'm not sure what it is, but something about it makes me think this might not be the book for me. Thank you for giving me more information to consider.

  4. Okay, so I did find a review that was almost an exact duplicate of my review on Good Reads. So one person does agree with me. Maybe the sequel will have more developed characters. Maybe I'll borrow the sequel from the library, Small.

  5. While the idea sounds good to me, I just can't deal with flat characters!
    - Jessica @ Book Sake


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