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The Five Elements (The Alchemancer #1)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  120 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Aaron—scholar, alchemist, and sorcerer's apprentice—wants nothing more than to study his tomes, perform his experiments, and spend time with his closest friend, Shanna. Substitute the occasional romp about the city for the books and plenty of games of crutchit for the smelly alchemicals, and Shanna is just fine with that, too.

Their routines—and their lives—are thrown into
Kindle Edition, 389 pages
Published December 8th 2010 by Umberland Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,334)
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Pauline Ross
Fantasy Review Barn

I’m not at all sure how to categorise this. There are elements of steampunk, there’s alchemy, there’s a fairly standard form of elemental magic and there’s a fair dose of science in the mix as well. I don’t know whether it’s intended as YA, but the protagonists are fifteen and there’s nothing that would trouble a reader of that age, although some of the ‘experiments’ are a little gruesome. There’s an interesting premise - one of the main characters, Aaron, is a sorcerer’s appr
Snarktastic Sonja
I hate writing book reviews for books such as this. I just hate it. I do not feel, in any way, I can do the book justice. This is a wonderful little gem of a book.

The Five Elements tells the story of two friends and the paths onto which they are forced and the choices they then make. Because of the ages of our protagonists, I am sure some would classify this as young adult. To me, it is a story about people who just happen to be young and, therefore, enjoyable by all. As I read, I certainly did
Terra Harmony
Wow – just wow. I added this book to my TBR list because of 'the elemental power' aspect which I incorporate into my own books. I was curious to see another author's take on it. What I didn't expect is to be sucked into the book to where I was forced to shirk all work, parental, and clean-up responsibilities just so I could find out what happened next in this world Scott Marlowe created! He is, as far as I know, a relatively undiscovered author – but give it time, people.

Although this book is ap
The beginning of this book is great, probably one of the best i've read for a good while, it draws you in and you get hooked so you have to read more! Perhaps the rest of the book doesn't match up to the beginning but that isn't a bad thing, you're invested by that time and you believe in the characters. I liked how this book was written. I enjoy a book more when i can easily imagine the landscape and the situations the characters are in and the author created this well for me.

I want to thank t
Posted on:

Shanna and Aaron are best friends who like nothing more than being in each other’s company. The relationship between the two was wonderful to read about. They seemed to be at ease when they were with each other and relied on each other completely. There was no competition to outdo each other, nor was there a feeling of superiority in Aaron, even though he knew so much more than Shanna and was a sorcerer’s apprentice. Their carefree life is soon turned u
Chance Maree
3.5 Stars! What the heck--I'll give it a 4.

This is a fine YA novel for action-adventure-fantasy lovers everywhere. I am impressed that Mr. Marlowe is serious in his craft as he is improving with each novel. Well, I've only read one other, his first, but I intend, still, to commend Scott on his progress. (I hope he doesn't mind that I call him Scott--he is one of my GRFs, after all)

I'm not going to write a synopsis. The one at Goodreads is excellent enough. Instead, I'll concur that the characte
I found Scott Marlowe’s The Five Elements to be an interesting mix of epic fantasy and the mechanical elements of steampunk. The setting is pure fantasy, with sorcery, alchemy, dwarves, witches, and nonhuman races of sentient creatures, including some based on cats and reptiles. The inclusion of infernal machines adds to the story, even though they seem more steampunk than fantasy. It is clearly a story of the battle between good and evil, with some clear-cut villains and some surprising charact ...more
The Five Elements is a fairly straightforward fantasy novel. The alchemy part of the book is intriguing and the fact that Aaron is studying with a master was a huge plus for me. The story has some familiar aspects, such as two friends from a similar background being separated by tragedy thinking the other dead. Aaron's companion on his journey was an excellent character in the eslar mercenary.

There were a few parts of the story that I thought dragged a little bit, but on the whole the book was
The Five Elements is an enveloping story that drags you in and doesn't let go. I enjoyed it immensely. The characters come to life and tell their story in a way that shows the authors passion for the subject matter. I myself do not have any background or knowledge of alchemy and yet the story is written such that I had no trouble following along and cheering the heroes on through every step of their journey. Well done Mr. Marlowe.
S.L. Figuhr
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author for his generosity.

The Five Elements is an intriguing blend of many genres. I enjoyed the world building and the mix of magic, technology, and science. The friendship between Aaron and Shanna was both heartwarming and filled with sadness at times.

The main plot unfolded smoothly. We get to see a multitude of events which put into motion the main conflict, and the aftermath from the separate MC’s perspect
Gillian Andrews
Mr. Marlowe has created a very visual world which captures and intrigues, and where events tumble one after another to keep the reader's attention. I enjoyed the book, and am looking forward to reading the next one in the series.
Jo Michaels
Sep 03, 2014 Jo Michaels rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy a clean read suitable for teens with epic world building.
I snagged a copy of this book during an event on my blog where I allowed authors to pitch titles to me for consideration. The Five Elements got me from the sample and I happily purchased the novel and added it to my TBR list for 2014. I'm a fan of fantasy, so this was right up my breezeway. Let's move to the good stuff you really want to know about.

From a Reader's Perspective:
I've been reading on this book for a while, putting it down and picking it up again. In the beginning, the characters did
I read a previous book by this author not too long ago, and although I enjoyed it, there were some quirks. I was excited to see where he would go with this book, and now I feel lucky that I had a chance to read it. WITHOUT SPOILERS: It is very obvious that this author has grown in his craft and has settled into a comfortable pattern of writing books that are both vibrant and entertaining. The description in this book far surpassed my expectations. The characters were multidimensional and created ...more
**I was asked to give an honest review for this novel, so here goes: **

Let's see. I liked this story... by bits. It was tough to decide whether to give it a two stars or a three stars. I opted for the latter, because I did really much like the two-thirds of the novel.

The pace of the story was good at the beginning. The beginning instantly grabs your attention and you don't want to stop. The 'middle' of it was all right, but, some time by the end, I grew impatient to get to the point and to unde
Eoghann Irving
Sometimes I like to read a traditional fantasy story. One that doesn't twist the plot too radically and just tells me the sort of story I rather enjoy. That is basically what The Five Elements is trying to be. And it almost succeeds.

It has all the elements I want from young protagonists with a mysterious past to wizards and enigmatic warriors. The opening chapters are strong and the setting is evoked convincingly with characters that while tropes to an extent are likable.

But it goes wrong in the
Not being a sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast, this is a hard book for me to review. I really struggled getting through this book, and confess to frequent skimming through repetitious explanations and details throughout the story.
The basic premise is two young friends separated by a catastrophic event in their hometown, finding their own way to stay alive and deal with the new reality. The friends, Aaron and Shanna, are easy to identify with and the story line was great. Where I got lost and impatient
K.L. Parry
Beam me up, Scotty! - to your steam operated airship before the life sucking Druid gets me - oh, my! A fantastical, thrilling adventure - at times, macabre and emotionally stirring. Yes, my eyes got a little misty at the end.

The Five Elements: Book One, The Alchemancer did a good job of hooking me at the starting gate. And, did I enjoy the ride as author Scott Marlowe, took me on a race through the world of Url where magic, science and technology exist together to rule the planet.

"But a battle
This book was alright, characters die as throwaway drama without seeming to have an actual purpose to the plot and characterization is spotty with main characters whose decisions stop making sense halfway through.
Mikko Azul
The Five Elements was an exceptionally well-written novel with well-developed characters and no slow points. The storyline was fully realized and came to an unexpected conclusion. I love it when I don't see the end fact, I found myself wishing the story had gone on much longer. There are plenty of interesting sidelines and backstories that could be developed into stories in their own right. Although there was a lot of technical description around the mechanics of engineering, it was ...more
Cindy Campbell
Good book.

Definitely makes you want to read the next book. Is not a cliffhanger so you don't have to but you will want to. Some parts seemed long winded but not so much to make you lose interest. Keeps you interested to the last page.
Krista McCracken
Interesting mix of steampunk, fantasy, elemental magic, and adventure. The mixture of sorcery and elemental magic are well done. A few parts of the book dragged on (it felt like the characters were continually running from one danger to the next), but good overall.
Phoenix Carvelli
Review copy won on on 3-10-12.

I loved this book! Read it through in one night! The characters take you along for quite an adventure! The characters are very believable in some unbelievable situations but they display very real and sometimes raw emotions. Very well written. An exciting plot and subplots which weave a fantastic adventure. If you like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, you will definitely enjoy this book. I personally hope to see more from Scott Marlowe! Well done!
Disclaimer: I was given this book by the author in return for an honest review

I really enjoyed this book. It was really well written, the characters were interesting and I felt sorry for Shanna rather than disliking her but I really liked Aaron and Ensel Rhe. I'm not quite sure where Ensel Rhe's history fitted in, it seemed a bit sort of squeezed in and not overly necessary. However, it didn't detract from the story at all.

I'd definitely recommend this book.
I enjoyed this story quite a bit. It seems that perhaps this is one of the earlier books written by this author as the writing style (at times) doesn't flow quite right. I have started the second book and his writing has improved significantly.

I recommend.
Cat Sheely
A delightful book, great characters, a good fantasy story about finding the truth about ones self and ones world and the power of true friendship.

I recommend this to all who love good fantasy.
This book is written in a way where if you have no knowledge of the topic, which I didn't, you'll have no trouble following. I admire the author's ability to make the slightly interested, enthralled in this book.
I liked it. thought it was pretty good. there are a couple of twists, some are surprising and some not so much. I really enjoyed this book.
I really, really did not like this. The thing that really sealed it for me were 2 instances of "breath" instead of "breathe" and I just ...

Sigh. Once I would've chalked up to a mistake, a typo, whatever. But twice is not knowing that to breathe has an 'e' at the end of it.

Anyway. This didn't have anything for me; I didn't care about Aaron or Shanna or any of the wizards or the vengeance guy or the elements or anything. The story is simplistic and pretty obvious once you separate Aaron from Shann
This book didn't work for me. Initially, it drew me into the story of Aaron, a sorcerer's apprentice with book-knowledge and no magical ability, who is being bullied by his peers and rescued by his industrious friend, Shanna. But I struggled to stay immersed in the story.

The writing is decent and easy-to-read. The characters are likable, though a bit thin. The setting isn't vague, but it isn't detailed either. The plot has a lot happening, but no so much developing. All in all, all the elements
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The Five Elements now has a map! 3 7 Oct 20, 2014 06:39AM  
Making Connections: 1050. - THE FIVE ELEMENTS by Scott Marlowe 27 94 Aug 23, 2013 08:08PM  
Indie Book Club: May 2013 Fantasy BotM: Five Elements 19 21 Jun 01, 2013 05:26AM  
Authors Lounge: What to do when a reviewer includes spoilers? 1 14 Apr 20, 2012 02:21PM  
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Scott Marlowe is an engineer, an outdoor enthusiast, and a weaver of tales that often end in wondrous, explosive mayhem. He holds degrees in Computer Science Engineering, Comparative Literature, and English from the University of California, Davis.

Scott lives in Texas, where he drinks copious amounts of strong coffee and rides his mountain bike whenever the opportunity arises.
More about Scott Marlowe...

Other Books in the Series

The Alchemancer (3 books)
  • The Nullification Engine (The Alchemancer #2)
  • The Inversion Solution (The Alchemancer #3)
The Nullification Engine (The Alchemancer #2) The Hall of the Wood Fine Wine (A Tale of the Assassin Without a Name #1) Killing the Dead (A Tale of the Assassin Without a Name #2) The Goddard Affair (A Tale of the Assassin Without a Name #4)

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