A Conspiracy of Alchemists (The Chronicle of Light and Shadow, #1) A Conspiracy of Alchemists discussion

Early review

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message 1: by Brigid (last edited Nov 04, 2012 02:55PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brigid Determined and outspoken Elle becomes swept up in the fight between Light and Shadow when Alchemists abduct her father, a famous scientist. With the help of the mysterious warlock, Mr. Marsh, Elle travels across Europe to Constantinople to save her father. As they travel through romantic cities like Paris and Venice, Elle and Mr. Marsh encounter vampires, fairies and other creatures from the retreating Shadow world. Although science is becoming the norm in this steampunk world, Elle realizes her own Shadow powers that were past down to her from her mother.
DelRey sent an advanced copy of a Conspiracy of Alchemists to the Sci-Fi Fantasy Book club in Alexandria Virginia. I normally read science fiction, not urban fantasy/ steampunk/ supernatural romance. Geared toward a young adult audience, it’s an easy read though not the most fulfilling. Schwarz incorporates all of her interests, including everything from ancient Greek and Roman mythology to steampunk gadgets and goggles, she remains true to each tradition and never corrupts the original idea. However, I couldn’t get over the weak female lead. Depicted as a spunky suffragette who pilots her dirigible all over Europe while wearing pants, Elle is always at the mercy of men. When she temporarily breaks away from Mr. Marsh, she immediately telegraphs her uncle for money and help. When she realizes she needs the help of a man, she pouts like a petulant child before acquiescing. The determined woman who flies her beloved dirigible across Europe is never seen during crisis.
Overall, it was well researched and the narrative kept moving, without unnecessary tangents following each genera thread that Schwarz has woven into her story. A creative and romantic young person would greatly enjoy this book and be hooked for the rest of the trilogy.

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