The Alchemy of Forever by Avery WilliamsTuesday, February 26, 2013
Author : Avery Williams
Genre : Fantasy
Published Date : January 3rd 2012
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Pages : 256
Source : Bought
Rating : ✿✿✿✿✿
From Goodreads :
In the first novel of the Incarnation series, the immortal Seraphina grapples with a wrenching truth: Falling in love might mean succumbing to death.People say “love never dies”…but love might be the death of Seraphina.Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. Sera ran away from Cyrus years ago, when she realized that what they were doing—taking the lives of innocent people—was wrong. Yet she doesn’t want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies.Sera has just landed in the body of a girl named Kailey who was about to die in a car accident. For the first time, Sera falls in love with the life of the person she’s inhabiting. Sera also falls for the boy next door, Noah. And soon it’s clear the feelings are returned. But she can never kiss Noah, because for her to touch lips with a human would mean the human’s death. And she has even more to worry about: Cyrus is chasing her.If she stays in one place for long, she puts herself—and the people she’s grown to care for—in great danger.Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?
This book totally hooked me up from the first time I saw it on Goodreads. The description was really interesting, and the cover really caught my attention. It was really simple yet stunning and eye-catching, and well—let's be honest—who doesn't judge a book by its cover? I do.
The Alchemy of Forever told us about Seraphina Ames, how she was murdered on a masquerade ball hundreds years ago, how Cyrus, the boy whom she had crush with, had restored her and given her an immortal soul using alchemy technique, and how she became a killer and stole another people's life in order to keep living.
Being an Incarnated—the people brought back to life with alchemy—Sera never truly had any freedom, living her life as a possession and solely belongs to Cyrus. But when she tried to run away from her life and accidentally incarnate on a body of a dying teenager, what would she do to keep herself and everything around her safe from Cyrus?
This book was actually quite a light read, and while the concept and the plot was really interesting, I found the book was a bit too short, which affected the book's narration, which was great and descriptive at some place, but overly short and brief at the other. I love how Avery Williams decided to use timeline to tell us about Sera's life, from her original life to her current one, and the jumping plot actually added a nice twist to the story and intrigued the reader more. The ending was really good as well, satisfying but still left the reader with a cliffhanger that made us ask "What's next?".
The character, I found, was a bit too black-and-white. While their personality was distinct from each other and they have a nice background story as well, Avery Williams seemed to make her protagonist all good and shining and oh-so-nice, while her antagonist was an all-out-evil. It didn't make the character very believable, and therefore kind of hard to relate with them.
Seraphina Ames, as our main character, was actually one of a few character that I found quite unique. She was mostly a stable, normal young lady, living her life under the shadow of Cyrus, and constantly changing her identity. But different from her outer appearances, her inner self was a constant whirlwind of insecurity and doubt. It was really interesting to read how her inner thought and her action was really different, and how she continued to struggle with it every time.
Cyrus, our main antagonist, was portrayed as a possessive man who control every single aspect of Sera's life, and all of the Incarnates whom he had saved. To me, Cyrus character was a bit unappealing, and while he sure gave me a creep with his attitude, his too-black character made him lack humanity and less-believable. One thing I do like about him was how his transformation was told really well, from an innocent boy just helping his father to an obsessive, cruel young man who would do anything for the sake of alchemy. It was not a one moment transformation, and it really helped the reader to imagine how Sera's feel when he looked at him after hundreds years—similar body and totally different heart.
Some things I'm not quite fond of this book was, One : the too black-and-white character I've mentioned above, and Two : too many useless character. Like Amelia and Sebastién, Sera's friend on the Incarnates coven, or some of her friend as a teenager, which names I couldn't even remember. Their name were mentioned, like they were some sort of important character, but when they did make an appearance, they didn't have any significant role that made them essential, and truthfully, it was really easy to forget them.
Overall, if you're looking for a fresh YA paranormal read with an unusual alchemist theme, or if you're just in the mood for something light, you could give this book a try.