The Alchemy of Forever: An Incarnation Novel (Hardback)
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Short Description for The Alchemy of Forever 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. She doesn't want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies.
- Published: 03 January 2012
- Format: Hardback 246 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781442443167 ISBN 10: 1442443162
- Sales rank: 295,350
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Reviews for The Alchemy of Forever
The Alchemy of Forever
I still don't know what to make of this novel - I enjoyed it, but at the same time I didn't. The novel opens with Cyrus giving Seraphina immortality, explaining that she can have it all - and Sera chooses that life. We then get a glimpse of what it's like to be an Incarnate, and how Sera finds life as one. Considering that she's planning her own death, it's safe to say that being an Incarnate isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Yet when it comes to choosing whether or not she wants to watch someone die or take over that body, Sera makes it very clear that she can't give up life as an Incarnate just yet.
Sera learns to adapt to life as a normal teenage girl, and one thing that I liked was the fact that she didn't automatically 'get' life as a teenager. Sera finds it awkward and strange to fit into Kailey's life, especially as she doesn't know a single thing about what this girl was like to anyone. She's awkward, hesitant and wary - like a timid version of Cady from Mean Girls. And then there's Noah, the boy next door, who Sera finds intriguing, but apparently Kailey didn't like him. At least, not anymore. The only issue is, everyone seems to accept Kailey's change in behaviour. Sure, they give her the odd raised eyebrow and maybe a sarcastic 'Didn't you wake up on the right side of the bed for a change' comment, but no-one really questions her. No "Who are you and what have you done to my daughter/friend/sister?"
Yet Sera's growing relationship with Noah doesn't really seem like anything to me. It's very vague and quite instant, and although we can see that she's interested in Noah, that intensity you get in most novels (most recently, Jack from Everneath who has stolen my heart, big time!) just isn't there. I don't feel compelled at all to worry about what might happen if Cyrus, who eventually finds Sera, gets his hands on Noah (dad a duummmmmmmm). There was no drama, no real action, and characters that you don't learn anything about - for example, Taryn, the girl who supposedly steals Sera's backpack and car. It's almost as if it was a filler, but I'm hoping that it has something to do with the next novel.
In saying all this, I was fairly intrigued still. Williams puts together two types of legends together - alchemy and incarnation, and spins a great tale. Reading The Alchemy of Forever was kind of like reading Wither for me. I enjoyed it, but it just didn't do anything for me.
I love the idea of incarnation however, and this new take on it - body swapping - was a great premise to the story, and really helped push the dramatic ending a bit. I definitely want to read the next book now, as I know it'll be way more interesting than this one, but you have to start somewhere, don't you?
As I said, the mixed feelings are still determining whether or not I liked this novel. I definitely enjoyed it, but there was no wow factor for me. If it hadn't ended the way it did, I probably wouldn't even consider reading the next one, but as always curiosity killed this cat. I have to know how things turn out! by Hannah