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Alchemystic (The Spellmason Chronicles #1)

3.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  718 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Alexandra Belarus is a struggling artist living in New York City, even though her family is rich in real estate, including a towering Gothic Gramercy Park building built by her great-great-grandfather. But the truth of her bloodline is revealed when she is attacked on the street and saved by an inhumanly powerful winged figure. A figure who kno
Mass Market Paperback, 290 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Ace
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,429)
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A fun YA/NA Urban Fantasy...

"I lifted my knife, ignoring how it shook in my hand. Whether I could use it was another story, but I'd be damned if I was going to play the victim again. Something dark was rising up in me."
The story had several elements which generally appeal to me:
secret societies,
hidden family histories,
a full-on paranormal/urban fantasy thing going on,
not to mention a funny and strong main character.

However, I had a hard time latching on to this book.

It simply wasn't a stor
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Sep 25, 2012 Carmel (Rabid Reads) rated it really liked it
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

I'm not sure if this book was meant to be cute but that was my overall impression of Alchemystic. Alexandra, the heroine, is young and naive while as Stanis, the gargoyle, is old but has little memory of his past. Together they come across as the blind leading the blind but not in a bad way, this is where that cuteness factor I was talking about comes into play. One character has the will while as the other has the way and together they create a very neat team dynamic. I
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
Aug 02, 2013 colleen the fabulous fabulaphile rated it did not like it
Shelves: urban-fantasy

There's a little part of me - a very little part - that sort of wants to bump this up to 2 stars. This is down to two things: 1) I did sort of care about Stanis but the end of the book. (He's the gargoyle. He's also the only character with any real development.) 2) I still have a hard time using 1-stars for "didn't like" instead of "absolutely abysmal".

'Cause this book isn't abysmal... but it was pretty bad, and I did not like.

The story was pretty standard UF fare, the biggest difference bein
May 19, 2014 Carien rated it liked it
Shelves: uf
This is a DNF review, I didn't finish the book.

This book is based on a short story Strout wrote in Spells of the City. I picked this book up because I really liked that short story and wanted more.


The gargoyle Stanis is really cool and I kind of liked the story idea, but I seriously disliked Lexi and her friends.

They were bratty and annoying and in Lexi's case even obnoxious at times. I put this book down around page 118 when I realised I really wanted to punch Lexi and her friends.

Comes out October 2012. The first 3 chapters were in a sampler from Comic-con. I like Lexi so far. She seems interesting...don't know much about Stanis yet cuz he only just woke up. At a panel the author referred to this series as something along the lines of his Gargoyles fan boy moment which immediately got my attention since I loved them! Have pretty good expectations for this series :)


Ok finally got to read it. Liked it. Very much reminded me of my love of the Gargoyles tv show :) kinda
Ryn Miller
Jan 15, 2013 Ryn Miller rated it it was ok
At first read I thought perhaps my lack of experience with urban fantasy was the problem. There seemed so many holes in the book. So I did some more reading, and I found that the genre isn't to blame. This is a solid 2 star book. It'll keep you turning the pages, but barely.

The problem for this book is the character development, or lack thereof. Anton Strout needs to spend some time reading a few Stephen King novels. Characters drive a good story. This book is what happens when you have an admi
Lanie (Lanies Book Thoughts)
Apr 13, 2014 Lanie (Lanies Book Thoughts) rated it did not like it
Shelves: library
I was super excited by this book when I first heard about it, the concept sounded really fun. even thought the cover was cute. Almost as soon as I started getting a couple pages in I realized this book was not for me. The characters are extremely flat, there isn't any depth or real personality building. The MC is a whiny rich girl that plays the victim the entire story, very much a turnoff. Her friends are just strange, the story would have been no different without them IMO.

The book is broken
I'm sad to say that I didn't love this one. I felt like the main character, Lexi, was oddly detached. There was none of the humor or wryness that I expected from Strout. I didn't get a sense of her as anything other than generic heroine girl. OK fine, she wants to be an artist, she hates being pushed into business by her family, but what's her personality, what's her sense of humor or temper or anything else that makes her different from anyone else in the world? Especially when she's going to b ...more
Melanie R Meadors
Apr 10, 2013 Melanie R Meadors rated it it was amazing
Funny story about this book...I'd have given it at least four stars anyway. I found it to be fun, fresh, and hell, it has GARGOYLES in it. While it had the darkish feeling that an urban fantasy should have, there was plenty of humor that didn't feel forced (forced humor is a pet peeve of mine), and I felt that the characters were relatable--really liked the dynamic between them. All good things. But this happens to be the book I brought with me on a cross-country trip to Seattle a few days befor ...more
Shera (Book Whispers)
Gargoyles, gosh how I love them! So I was only too eager to toss my money out and buy this book! No, really their was begging. Even though Anton Strout's writing hasn't been my flavor in the past. I figured he was just underdeveloped at the time and now he'd be A-mazing!

Boom, always trust your gut instinct. Chapter 2, and I was living in a world of disappointment. Lexis (AKA Alexandra) was annoying. Weak willed, a push over (though I believe this was supposed to be taken as kindness, but no she
Nov 20, 2012 LadyTechie rated it it was amazing
Truly amazing book! I received an early copy of the paperback edition for review from Literal Addiction. I am already a fan of gargoyles. I was a fan of the cartoon and love seeing pictures of them and especially love seen buildings that have gargoyles carved into the architecture. Alchemystic was a great adventure. I loved every page of it. It was the story of Alexandra Belarus who comes from a family with a deep architectural history in Manhattan. The Belarus clan also has a secret which they ...more
Nov 14, 2012 Matt rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish it. Flat characters, no real sense of danger, idiotic actions by the characters, and cartoon cut outs for conflict. Made it jut over halfway through when I gave up. Agree with other reviews that this feels like a YA book, but sadly not a good one. Skip this.
Jan 06, 2016 LilyElement rated it really liked it
Alchemystic is book one in The Spellmason Chronicles. Alexandra (aka Lexi) Belarus, an artist from New York City is greaving after losing her brother. With no one else to take the reigns of the family company, Alexandra must quit her artwork and learn the family business that she has no interest in, real estate.

Walking home in NYC by herself, Lexi is attacked and barely gets away with her life. She was saved by a gargoyle named Stanis. Lexi never knew that magic existed, or that her great-great
Dec 09, 2014 Ivy rated it did not like it

One out of five is not really being cruel, this book is awful. I'd give it an extra half a star, but I really don't feel like it's worth a second full one, because it wasn't "okay". It was bad.
The two reasons to read this are not sufficient: the setting is interesting, and the gargoyle is kinda neat.

Lexi, the main character, is probably the worst part about this book, she's so poorly written and riddled with creepy daddy's girl stereotypes. (Seriously, she can't say no to her dad about anything,
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A slow start but some peculiar characters and mythology make this Urban Fantasy a humorous read.

Opening Sentence: Waking was easy.

The Review:

Alchemystic sets up the beginning to an inventive and fun new series. Alexandra Belarus has no desire to go into the family business of real estate. Her family owns quite a few properties in the New York City area and they also have a legacy of amazing artwork created by Lexi’s great-great-grandfather.
Judy  at Musings and Ramblings
This is the first book in The Spellmason Chronicles by Anton Strout. I picked this book up because I liked the cover and the blurb sounded interesting. I have always had a thing for gargoyles and this seemed a good fit.

The book opens from the point of view of the gargoyle, or as he prefers to be called a Grotesque, Stanis. It seems he only really awakens when the urge to Protect calls him. Otherwise, he is in some kind of half-wake state where he just absorbs and collects the changes going on ar
Oct 26, 2014 Kt rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..

Unlike the rest of her real estate mogul family, Lexi Belarus is much more whimsical, preferring to surround herself in art like her great-great grandfather rather than focus on money. But everything changes when she is attacked and saved by a creature beyond imagination. Turns up dear old Grandad was involved in a lot more than just sculpture and real estate as he used alchemy and his Spellmason powers to create a gargoyle named Stanis out
In the end, I really liked this book. :) It had its moments, though. Lexi was fairly annoying, for one: she was too weak-willed for me. Her lack of independence (and lack of fight for said independence) really grated. She definitely was not the kick-ass heroine I've come to expect in female-led urban fantasies. I suppose this is a good thing, though, since expectations are never a good thing to have when it comes to experiencing anything new. And Lexi does have room-to-grow going for her. :)

Sep 28, 2012 Torzilla marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: reviewed
Alchemystic has an incredibly interesting premise, but I was not a fan of the writing style--which is ultimately why I could not continue reading this piece. I had no issue with the plot, but I also did not read enough of the book to be a good judge of said plot.

The heroine and her gargoyle sounded like the same exact character. In fact, I had a slight problem adjusting to the transitions between characters/chapters because of that. Their voices were also dull for me, which I hate to admit since
Jul 15, 2013 Michael rated it liked it
This book was fun. I admit that the reason I read it was because the description made it sound like the book combined one of my favorite reading subjects (magic) with my work (masonry). This is mostly true but the masonry turned out to be more about architecture and sculpture.

The writing isn't bad. The story was interesting. The magic system the author introduces has potential even if a lot of the details are glossed over. The pacing of the writing was good. The introduction of the characters,
Nov 11, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
My favorite character:

It would have to be Alexandra (Lexi). She is a struggling artist who has the facets of humanity that I love. Some of these include intelligence, creativity, moral compass, and spirituality.

My thoughts:

The premise of the book is like nothing I've ever read. I like the thought of gargoyle as a real life protector and the elements of alchemy has always fascinated me. To see it brought to life in a book is awesome. This book is a mixture of action speckled with humor and compas
Raquel (Rocki)
May 03, 2016 Raquel (Rocki) rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-shelf
I have finally finished this after all these months! It was so slow and boring to me it finally started picking up at the end but oh my was it a struggle to get to even there. It also didn't help that I didn't like the characters much other than Stanis, now him I liked and I think I only kept reading for him he is the only one that seems to have any depth to him. I hope it gets better as the books continue on, and if I didn't already on book 2 and 3 I might let this series go but maybe just for ...more
Feb 21, 2015 Brittany rated it did not like it
DNF. This book will infuriate you if you have a basic knowledge of any of the following: bats, stomach placement, Manhattan, Brooklyn, itches, grammar, Patrick Swayze movies, drying clay, police procedures, handling evidence, Dungeons and Dragons, basements, accents, and European Counties.

There are probably more things, but it was impossible for me to finish this book. None of the characters are relatable and the plot was nonexistent. Plus, for as much description as the author included, he mana
Romancing the Book
Jun 27, 2015 Romancing the Book rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Reviewed by Justin
Book provided by the publisher for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

When I first received this book, I was excited about it. I am an avid reader, and when I begin a book I just cannot put it down, even if it is a book that I don’t really enjoy. A new book is a new adventure, and I love diving in. I will lose hours upon hours a day between the pages, greedily devouring every last syllable until the final punctuation mark.

I opened this book, and read about 10 p
Jul 11, 2014 Ana rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2015 Robin rated it it was ok
Shelves: modern-fantasy
It was ok.

The dialogue was pretty annoying - the sentence constructions used were often rather artificial. Things like "Then he walked outside, taking trash with him," she said. (that's just an example, not a direct quote). That's fine for narration, but people don't talk like that.

Except, there was one character who might talk like that. The big old gargoyle with the stilted speech patterns. But there was the opposite problem with him. He'd be narrating his bit, and then in the midst of his s
Dr susan
Oct 25, 2014 Dr susan rated it liked it
I am glad I borrowed this ebook from my library, because I would be disappointed if I bought Alchemystic. Alexandra does stupid things with no thought for the consequences. Although we are not told about prior ninja training, the reader is asked to believe Alexandra and her ballerina friend are suddenly capable of overcoming men armed with knives. Alexandra not only takes her friend into danger, but also relies on her new found abilities when she takes three friends into a destroyed building. I ...more
A nice start to what appears to be a fun series yet to come. A lot of nonstop adventure. Interesting characters each with their own sort of D&D personality in the real world, humans taking the rolls of the mage, the warrior, the rogue, the warlord, etc. And a not so often used supernatural, the gargoyle.
Feb 14, 2016 Elena rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, meh
Historia de fantasía paranormal urbana bien escrita, que, para mi gusto, se diluye en unos personajes débiles. Una protagonista femenina, Alexandra, que teóricamente debería estar en la veintena, pero que a menudo no parece actuar como una quinceañera. Su comportamiento fluctúa entre maduro como para ocuparse de un negocio familiar que implica negociar e inspeccionar edificios en obras, y demasiado juvenil cuando, a pesar de saber que está amenazada, no duda en salir de noche a los lugares más p ...more
Feb 01, 2014 Caitlin rated it liked it
Alexandra Belarus is a bit of a spoiled rich girl, avoiding her family's business and letting her older brother take the responsibility. But her family has a lot of secrets, including one that her great-great-grandfather was a Spellmason. He created a gargoyle or grotesque named Stanis, a creature tasked with protecting the family. She has to investigate her family's past, and discover their enemies in the present, keeping ahead of those who would wish her harm.

The concept is interesting, but th
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The Sword and Laser: Worldbuilders, Pat Rothfuss and, well, yours truly 2 143 Sep 01, 2012 10:22PM  
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When not plotting against his mortal enemy Patrick Rothfuss, Anton Strout is the author of the Simon Canderous urban fantasy series for Ace Books including Dead To Me, Deader Still, Dead Matter and Dead Waters.
His new series with Ace Books is entitled The Spellmason Chronicles. Alchemystic is first in the series, followed by Stonecast and the upcoming Incarnate .

He is also the host and curat
More about Anton Strout...

Other Books in the Series

The Spellmason Chronicles (3 books)
  • Stonecast (The Spellmason Chronicles, #2)
  • Incarnate (The Spellmason Chronicles, #3)

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