Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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?
A big thanks to Caroline from Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!
Whenever I hear the word reincarnation I tend to be put off from a book straight away. It's not as if I hate the reincarnation element because I absolutely love the idea of true love spreading across thousands of years and witnessing those two lovers reunite into the modern day, but to me it's more about how many books are written about reincarnation (such as Alyson Noel's Immortal series and Lauren Kate's Fallen series) and how so many of them haven't been so swoon-worthy or amazing . . . however in THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER I was extremely impressed and as an end result, I have to say this book was probably my favourite reincarnation story so far! It was short. It was sweet. It was captivating. It was . . . awesome.
Seraphina Ames has walked the streets for over 600 years. At a young and vulnerable age, she had her life in the hands of the handsome and alluring Cyrus and he alone turned her into an Incarnate - a person whom remains young and lives forever all because of darkest secrets and magic of alchemy. But in order to remain immortal, every so often these group of Incarnates must switch bodies with another human being, while their previous body turns into ashes. For Seraphina, after all these years of changing hosts and living through many identities, she wants nothing more than to rid herself of the burden of taking so many innocent lives and to escape the possessive clutches of Cyrus . . . but it's easier said than done. And suddenly, when she finds her chance to be rewarded her freedom of death . . . everything changes when she 'accidentally' claims the body of another host and must soon take on this new identity of a mere stranger. With a loving family, a protective brother, different sorts of friends, and a new love interest found in the boy-next-door, this book will surely keep you there til the final pages.
One thing I enjoyed most about THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER was how fast-paced and well-written it was. It's very rare where I find myself reading short-length books, but in this case I should probably read more often. For this book in particular, writing-wise it was excellent, story-wise it was entertaining, and character-wise it was bloody brilliant! The writing wasn't overloading your mind with character histories and considering most reincarnation books tend to go overboard with their character histories and the days of switching back and forth from past to present, I'm thankful that this book slowed down in that. Same goes with the storyline - it may have flew by very quickly with the events that occured, but there was never a dull moment in them. Even the characters had their own individual personalities and it was easy to identify with them on a personal level . . . so a big well done to the author!
Thinking back to reading this book, there's hardly anything bad I would have to say in regards to this book, except for that damn ending of William's, the romance section, and the book's length! Regarding the ending, while I'd already expected something of a terrible cliffhanger to happen and 'kind of' saw it coming my way, but I was still shocked by it and I have no idea which direction the author will take us to next in the sequel because it was definitely a whoa moment for me. As for the romance parts, while it was all cutesy love and you can't help but loving those cutesy moments, but I was hoping for a little bit more developed evolving between Seraphina and her new leading man, but I'm sure this will be resolved in book two . . . at least I hope so since the ending ruined all that relationship to hell. Sorry guys, I can't tell you anything even though I'm dying to! And last but not least we have the book's length . . . if only it was longer because now I'm deprived of William's crafty creation! Thanks a lot Ms. Awesome Author! I really need to get a life someday folks!
Overall, what a splendid debut novel coming from the very talented Avery Williams and I'll definitely be on the lookout for great things to come from her. She's an awesome writer! Along the same lines of L.J. Smith's The Secret Circle meets Rebecca Lim's Mercy series, and with a new breed of immortals and a new kind of love found in the most unexpected places, THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER will surely please many of its readers and it's a MUST READ for all! I recommend it in a heartbeat!
4 1/2 / 5 stars