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Incarnation #1

The Alchemy of Forever

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Her first love made her immortal. . . .
Her second might get her killed.

After spending six hundred years of 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 by 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 for the human 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 for in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

246 pages, Hardcover

First published January 3, 2012

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About the author

Avery Williams

13 books377 followers
Jessea Perry writes under the pen name Avery Williams. She was born the day after Halloween in Los Angeles, and has since lived in five different states due to her father’s job as a radio disc jockey (though she sometimes claims her parents were in the circus). Now she makes her home in Oakland with her husband and two dastardly kittens. She enjoys riding her bicycle around town and working on her hundred-year-old house. She is also a poet.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 663 reviews
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,050 followers
December 16, 2016

I didn’t expect much from The Alchemy of Forever. I’ve been putting the book on hold for the longest time possible because I simply assumed it’s going to be the same old fantasy/sci-fi yawn inducing read but I started it yesterday and finished it the same day. I was quite surprised to find it an entertaining read about a girl named Sera who has lived for more than 600 years because Cyrus (an alchemist who discovered a concoction that will allow a soul to inhabit a human body it chooses) saved her from death sometime during the 1300s.

Sera, after six centuries of life, hasn’t seem to discover its true meaning and finally decides it’s time to give up immortality but in a twist of fate, she finds herself in a different path altogether where she could possibly have this one chance at a normal, happy life with a family and friends of her own and this is where the plot thickens. The premise really intrigued me and I thought the plot took a really interesting turn and if it weren’t for the lack of better characterizations and more substantial background, I would have rated it higher. But it was a fast-paced and enjoyable read and I’m jumping right to the sequel like now! ;)

Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,354 followers
January 7, 2012
Reincarnation has always been an iffy subject for me. I'm not easily interested or impressed with it. I can happily say that the Alchemy of Forever is by far the best reincarnation story I have ever read (though I haven't read that many - but still it was awesome!). In The Alchemy of Forever, when Seraphina dies next to Cyrus, the man who was to take her hand, he gives her a drop of Alchemy potion he's discovered, that allows Seraphina to attach her soul to another body. She can now live forever jumping from body to body. How cool is that?

What would you do if one day, you were suddenly in someone else's body? Living someone else's life. Someone you have never met, with a family and friends, classes and hobbies. Well... fake it 'til you make it! And that's exactly what Sera did! This premise, to me, is extremely fascinating. We've all wondered what it would be like to live someone else's life at one point or another. It was very interesting, and often amusing, to watch Sera go through this. The girl has never even gone to school! And now she's supposed to act like a normal 16 year old!? It was great! I was completely engrossed in it from the very first page. Sera is a fabulous protagonist who is extremely brave. I loved everything about her: her personality, her voice, even her name - Seraphina - it's so chic, isn't it?

Trying to get Seraphina back, Cyrus will go to great lengths. He's the ultimate villain with the ultimate weapon: immortality. How can you escape someone who can not only live forever, but can LOOK like ANYONE? He can take any body he chooses. And he's the type who will do anything to get what he wants. He kills mercilessly, and forgives no one. No wonder Sera escaped him! But, as you can surely guess, she sees him again.

The writing is excellent, the pacing is perfect, the romance is wonderful, and the end is heartbreaking. There is nothing I disliked about this book. Even the killer cliffhanger is extremely interesting (and what's funny is I sort of expected it, but it still shocked me!). With most books you can often guess where the story is going to go after a cliffhanger, but this time I have absolutely no clue what Avery is planning for us. I'm positive that it will be gripping and surely full of emotions. However, I may not get to read it, because I may die waiting.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Dija.
413 reviews230 followers
March 4, 2012
The scariest thing about Incarnates is that we look just like everyone else.

Another YA with a brilliant premise that doesn't quite deliver, The Alchemy of Forever is bad when it could have easily been epic.

Sera is an immortal (or Incarnate, like they're called in this one) who has to steal other people's souls to take over their bodies as her's dies after about every 10 years. Cyrus is the one who turned her and her love for him died out a long time ago. Sera's decided that her current body will be her last, and she'd rather die than steal another soul. When the time to die comes though, her resolve weakens and she ends up in the body of Kailey Morgan.

All that makes this out to be the next great book since Angelfall or something. Unfortunately, all the awesomeness is simply hinted at, rather than being analyzed and explained. I had a number of issues with this book, made all the more irritating because of how effortlessly they could have been amended, had the author chosen to make this just a slightly longer book.

Even after reading The Alchemy of Forever, I still don't know anything about Sera's character that I didn't gather from the synopsis. This book is so annoyingly brief and abrupt, we don't get the chance to look at anything extensively. Not at the true origin of the Incarnates, not at Cyrus, not at Sera, and certainly not at Noah and Kailey.

Basically, we never get the chance to truly get to know the characters. Ergo, I didn't feel a thing for any of them, so even when The Shocking Thing at the end occurred, I was only mildly curious about what would happen next. Sure, I'd like to know what really went down that night, but I won't have any nightmares if I never find out. If only the author had taken a few chapters to get us better acquainted with Sera and who she is by herself, when she's not imitating the life she's taken, the book would have been a million times better and I wouldn't be so indifferent to her fate.

Williams also skimmed over scenes I would have really liked to read. The readers's simply told they happened and we're left to fill in the blanks. How does the relationship between Noah and Sera, Leyla and Sera, everyone and Sera develop? They don't notice anything odd in her behavior? Do they like Sera or is it just Kailey they're seeing in her? Sera goes from being suicidal to lively and from being ready to flee to loving her new life in seconds, and the sudden development isn't portrayed or conveyed that well at all.

Overall, The Alchemy of Forever represents an interesting and new concept, but that potential is never truly explored. I look forward to finding out what happens next, but this one most definitely did not leave an impact.

For more reviews, visit my blog.
Profile Image for Amber at Fall Into Books.
524 reviews72 followers
February 10, 2012
I really do not know what is going on in the YA universe lately, but the quality of writing from debut authors is dropping drastically. This book was just ridiculous. It was completely unbelievable in every way, and the underdeveloped characters were all idiots. I should have known not to read this book when it said for fans of the Immortals series, but noooooo I wanted to give a new author a chance. Yea. Big mistake.

Let's start with the characters. Seraphina is supposed to be this unselfish, caring person, but she's not. She's been killing people for SIX HUNDRED YEARS so that she could stay alive, and she just now started feeling bad enough about it to, oh I don't know, STOP?! Yea, she's real caring. Sure, she waits the full ten years before she switches bodies, but seriously, that's over 60,000 murders she's committed. I just couldn't buy into her being a kind character.

The rest of the characters are so under-developed, it's laughable. I didn't feel like I knew the characters any better at the end of the book than I did at the beginning. I kept reading, hoping for some big explosion of character development, but none came.

Now, let's talk about the plot. My consensus of this is W.T.F?!?! It made no sense, unless Sera is a big freaking liar, which she probably is. The prologue indicates that one must suck the life force out of another human before inhabiting the body. Okay, cool, I'll go with it right? Well, she just kisses the first woman to inhabit her body. Unless I've been doing it wrong all these years, you don't suck on someone's face like they're a straw when you're kissing them. Just sayin'.

THEN, Sera "accidentally" kills Kailey in an effort to save her. Riiiiight. She was giving her mouth to mouth, and then she just accidentally SUCKED the life force out of Kailey instead of BLOWING AIR into her lungs? Sure, that's believable. But still, I kept reading... I hoped it'd start to be more logical, but it got even worse. Then Sera makes about 2349872398 stupid mistakes, constantly blaming Cyrus because he made it to where she had to always depend on him. Well, maybe he realized that she was too stupid to live and kept her on a tight leash. And, of course, no one bothers to question why Kailey's entire personality has changed. Sure, they ask if she's okay, but past that, even her parents don't mention it. They know she had a concussion, yet they ignore the fact that she's acting weird. That's totally believable. AND her parents kept telling her things like, "We always allowed you to do what you want..." um hello?! Who would do that? If that is your child, she was there for her entire life, so she KNOWS what you did and didn't do. The telling her stuff like that was just too convenient. And another thing, why on earth did no one question why Kailey's blood was all over the pavement after the accident, but she had no injuries minus a concussion when she got to the hospital? She totaled a car and would have probably been dead. Looking at the car, one would assume there would be more injuries than just a concussion. Which leads me to yet ANOTHER plot hole... how did she keep the accident a secret from everyone in school? Her brother told one person, yet no one else ever found out. I mean did Williams even GO to high school? People would have known, and people would have talked about it. A lot.

The ending was a terrible cliffhanger that was about as illogical as the rest of the book. Needless to say, I won't be continuing this series. The writing itself wasn't horrible, but the overly convenient events in the ill-conceived plot with the under-developed characters made me want to gouge my eyes out. Do yourself a favor and avoid this one.
Profile Image for Calzedonka.
168 reviews66 followers
February 9, 2017

Já tedy rozhodně ano! Chci vyzkoušet všechny ty úžasné věci, co jsou na Zemi. Chci navštívit všechna ta nádherná místa na Zemi. Chci vystudovat všechny ty zajímavé obory na všech těch zajímavých univerzitách. Ale především, chci přečíst všechny ty báječné knížky, které každým dnem přibývají a přibývají, že nakonec po nějakých těch šesti set let budu mít víc plnější to-read list než dnes :-D.

Jenže pro Serafinu (bože to jméno se mi tak líbí!) to není lehké. Každých pár let musí měnit tělo a tím i někomu vzít život. Po šesti stech letech se tedy rozhodne, že už žádné převtělování, už žádná smrt další nevinné dívky, jenom ta její. Opouští svého, kdysi milovaného, přítele Cyruse, který je mimochodem alchymistou a vlastně strůjcem toho všeho, a chce zjistit, co se s ní stane (s její duší) až zemře úplně. Ale osud tomu nechtěl a připravil si pro Serafinu ještě jeden život. Jenže Cyrus se jí nehodlá jen tak vzdát...


Poté, co jsem dočetla Alchymii věčnosti , se neustále ptám, proč je ta knížka tak krátká? Proč? Pro mě to byl velmi zajímavý a originální příběh. I na tak málo stránkách mě dokázal okouzlit. Ještě, že bude druhý díl :-))
Obálka se nakladatelství CooBoo rozhodně povedla, je přímo výstavní. A co jsem slyšela o té originální, tak se prý obličej na obálce mění dle úhlu pohledu, pááni!

První kapitola je vstupem do děje - jak to všechno začalo v roce 1349. Druhá kapitola už začíná v dnešním světě o několik set let později. Je dobře, že autorka pozměnila charaktery postav v závislosti na jejich skutečném stáří. Za 600 let člověk nabere tolik zkušeností a vykoná tolik skutků (ať už dobrých nebo zlých), že nevěřím, že by zůstal někdo stejný, jako onehdy.

Serafina se musí začlenit do “její” nové rodiny, která nemá ani potuchy, kdo doopravdy je a do nové školy (vlastně její první školy vůbec) mezi Kayleiny spolužáky. Huh, poprvé ve škole? Sera to zvládla bravurně! Já bych měla problém už jen se naučit rozvrh hodin. A to všechno s Cyrusem v patách, který může být kdekoli a v jakémkoli těle.
Další kniha, která mě opět nutila přemýšlet. Tentokrát ve stylu: „Ten umělec na Art Murmur by určitě dobře mohl být i Cyrus.” nebo „Zašel by Cyrus tak daleko, že by se schoval v dívčím těle? Stala se z něj snad jedna z Kaileyiných spolužaček?”.

Děj byl svižný a ani nachvilinku jsem se nenudila (bohužel to až moc rychle uteklo :-() Zřídka jsem dokázala odhadnout, co přijde, většinou jsem se pořádně sekla a koukala jak to nakonec autorka vymyslela. Tuto knihu rozhodně neřadím mezi předvídatelné. Škoda jen, že je tak krátka. Příběh by si určitě zasloužil víc prostoru. První díl končí ve chvíli, kdybyste nejradši četli dál a to vám zaručí, že si druhý díl budete chtít rozhodně přečíst.

Líbily se mi tam drobnosti jako třeba, když Noah hraje se Serou scrabble přes mobil, kde každé vytvořené slovo mělo větší/skrytý význam, nebo jak Serafina občas použila přirovnání situace k šachové partii.

„Je mi jako bych všude kolem sebe
měla Cyruse, který očekává můj další tah.
Tuhle hru nesmím prohrát.”

Tuhle krátkou krásnou knížečku bych chtěla doporučit každému, kdo má aspoň trochu rád toho magična a nadpřirozena. Nečekala jsem, že si ji tak zamiluju, ale stalo se a jsem za to ráda. Zase něco nového a originálního do mé pestré knihovničky :-)

Profile Image for Lindsay Cummings.
Author 13 books5,103 followers
November 28, 2011
This book is AWESOME.

That's really all I want to say, short and sweet. But because this is a review, and I want the world to read this book, I guess I will go into a bit more detail. :)

The book starts out with a rockin' setting, way back in the 1300's, where we first meet Sera. I love seeing that touch of otherworldly-ness. It's so different from what we know today.

Chapter two fast-forwards several hundred years later, to current day. It's great to see how much Sera has evolved. She's a wonderfully done character, who has no idea what life is going to hold for her still, even though she's lived for so long. In many ways, she's still just a young girl trying to figure everything out for the first time.

I really enjoyed the way the author did Cyrus' character. He was creepy and possessive, and everything a killer should be. He believed that everything could be explained by science, and that what matters most in the world, like love and living an honsest life, were things that could fall by the wayside as long as he could control it.

I loved the plot. It was always giving me different twists, and was not predictable in any way. Especially the ending! I was a bit confused by it, but not in a bad way. It left me feeling like...what? Wait...what???

I'm super excited for book two. Can it please come out? Now?

I loved the creepy aspect of the fact that Kailey's family has NO idea that there's a stranger living inside of their daughter's body. How cool is that?! Poor family...they are so lovable, I just want to go into the book and let them know what's really going on.

The cover is awesome. When you turn it different angles, you see multiple faces. It's cool, because it fits the story so well!

Overall, if you love stories with a little creepy, a little funny, a little drama, and a lot of awesome, then I would totally recommend this one! It's a fast read, and different from what I've read before, so if you want something fast and fun, definitely go pick up a copy when it releases!
Profile Image for Vi Vi.
66 reviews15 followers
Want to read
November 16, 2011
"Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to swap bodies with other humans, jumping from one vessel to the next, taking the human’s life in the process. "

Profile Image for Jennifer.
662 reviews2,256 followers
April 6, 2012
In the prologue the year is 1349 and Seraphina is fourteen years old, dancing the night away with a masked stranger. She heads outside for some fresh air, where the masked stranger reveals himself to be the alchemist's son, Cyrus. He says he has always noticed Seraphina. Then out of nowhere, a man and a woman come to rob them. The woman stabs Seraphina in the back and she is about to die. Cyrus uses his father's immortality elixir to separate the cord of Seraphina's soul from her body and put her soul into the woman who stabbed her's body. Seraphina wakes up in the other woman's body and she runs off to spend the rest of eternity with Cyrus.

It starts off feeling like it will be a beautiful love story, but fast forward about 650 years to present day and Cyrus is now a psycho. The way the immortality elixir works is that the soul has to over take another body about every ten years. So over Seraphina's lifetime she has killed about 65 people in order to survive. The soul can transfer into a damaged body and it will heal the body but the soul sucks the body dry of energy over the course of ten years. Seraphina tries to choose bodies that belong to people that are self destructive and don't want to live but she can't do it anymore. She doesn't want to be responsible for another death. Except Cyrus refuses to let her go. He has become controlling, manipulative, and heartless. Seraphina comes up with a plan to escape Cyrus and allow her current body to wear out and die.

When Seraphina does finally escape Cyrus she ends up finding a car accident victim and tries to give her CPR. The need to survive overtakes her and she accidentally transfers her soul into the car accident victim's body. She ends up taking over her Kailey's life, attending her school, falling for her the boy next door, enjoying her friends and family. She normally just gets a new identity but Cyrus never taught her how to do that or how to survive on her own. She lucked out with all the technology the world now has to offer because she uses facebook, google, photo albums, and all the clues around the girls room to try to blend into her life. But Seraphina is afraid Cyrus will catch up with her. He is smart and knows her well and if he finds out about the car accident he might come to take her away from the new life and people she loves.

I read the book all in one night and it held my attention well. The immortality concept was unique and original. The soul having to travel to a new body was an interesting twist. It was a bit short and I did want a little more development. I loved Noah but I was hoping for a little more between them. It seemed like he had always been into Kailey but when Seraphina took over her body he seemed to all of a sudden really fall for her but I didn't totally feel it. I definitely saw why Seraphina would fall for Noah though. His character was sweet and considerate. I also didn't really fully understand why Cyrus was so obsessed with Seraphina other than he was just a psycho. They apparently loved each other at one time but at the beginning of the book they didn't seem like a couple. It felt like they were already broken up so I guess he just liked to control her. I would think he would just assume she died but he goes to a lot of trouble to try to track her down. There was a big cliffhanger so I definitely need to see what happens next.

Dear Cyrus,

I loved you once, with all my heart, and I stayed alive, in one form or another, for centuries because I could not bear to be apart from you. But the years have changed us, and not for the better. Every death we've caused has killed our love, bit by bit. I cannot kill another human in order to live. When my current body is lost, I will be too.

Until the next life,

Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,983 followers
January 24, 2012
The ending of this book quite possibly made me giddy. 3.5 stars.

2012 - The year of the villain? One could only hope. Real villains are due for a comeback. Not the good boy turned bad type of character. I'm talking rotten to the core villains. The kind we love to hate. The kind we all hope have no redemption, other than the sort which involves a shallow grave.

If the ending of book 1 is any indication, I do believe we have the possibility of getting to read about one extremely disturbed villain in book 2. Again, I repeat...one could only hope.

Alchemy starts off seemingly innocent in tone. We're several hundred years in the past. A cute girl (Sera) meets a charming boy (Cyrus). After an "incident," he offers her the chance to live again. She ponders the notion that she is destined or fated, or some other swoony term which would imply that she might enjoy being linked to this wonderful young man.

Fast forward a few centuries. Sera's life is now a life of torture and imprisonment. Apparently, her fairy tale didn't come true. Now she has to make a choice - does she live in captivity, or die to gain freedom?

No book like this would be complete without a wrench in the game plan, of course. Through a twist of fate (or just bad luck), she ends up in the body of a teen. But her ties to Cyrus will not be so easily broken...

The Alchemy of Forever had some great starter ideas for a story. I wasn't quite sure how everything was going to be played out. Was the author going to take the obvious pnr route and play up to the "love conquers all" theme? Would stereotypes abound, leave me feeling like I'd read this someplace else, just wrapped up in a different pretty package?

Fortunately, a lot of the dilemmas plaguing the YA market were not present in this book. No instalove, no triangles, no bouts of pining. If I had only one complaint, it might be that the age of the character and her potential love interest were so young (16 and 17). I might have preferred the story just a little bit more if the characters were a year or two older. Maybe if "Kailey" (the girl whose body was snatched) was just turning 18 and about to graduate high school, and Noah was in college or something. It's not a huge complaint, but it's very hard to grab on to the notion that a 600ish year old person would be crushing on the underage boy next door.

On the one hand, the transformation from Sera to Kailey was a bit too tidy for my liking. On the other hand, I sort of understood why it might not be as big of a deal as I was making it out to be. When "Sera" was originally turned, she was an innocent 14 year old. As the years progressed, she was taught book smarts, but never street smarts. She had always been under Cyrus' thumb to the point of never learning how to take care of herself. In this aspect, she was still a child, and she might have had an easier time coping if thrown into a family situation with rules and boundaries, where she could learn the outside world a little bit at a time. If that's how we want to look at it, then everything starts to make more sense.

Even with my brain struggling to process the idea of Sera being okay with the teenage life, I still found the story itself to be one that I wanted to follow. I want to know what havoc Cyrus is going to cause for her in her new life as Kailey. The man is twisted. After the end made me fear for one person's life, I'm going to be anxious to know what happened to that person.

Bring on book 2. I need answers!

Profile Image for Aleixie.
405 reviews37 followers
August 6, 2012
The Alchemy of Forever.

I don't have much to say on the subject. It was one of those books that you absolutely have no opinion on, because you couldn't care less. Yes, this was a good book, yes, I would read the next one, and yes, I have nothing to say.

The plot was good, interesting, but could have been better. The idea behind it was good and the twists and turns kept me reading. I liked how not everything went the way it was supposed to be.

Some characters were completly useless and a waste of words, and almost none of them went through any development. They stayed almost identical to the time that I met them. The heroin had some blond moments (no offence to blonds) and acted very stupid. I was like, "Come on, you know better than that." Yup, those moments I wished out heroin had a better developed brain.

Absolute plus in this book was that Seraphina was running away from the abusive relatonship. The down side was that her heart still stoped when she saw him. Ahhh, that never changes.

The writing had way too many metaphors for my liking. I started skipping the parts where the stars were compared to a grassy field, or something like that. All those discriptions were completly un-nessesary. It didn't help with the imagry.

All in all, it wasn't my favorite but I am interested in finding out whats next.

I guess it was okay.
Profile Image for Janus the Erudite Artist.
702 reviews90 followers
June 26, 2012
It only takes a good plot and/or an amazing cover to get me to read a book. Alchemy of Forever caught me by its very intriguing plot. Not that I haven’t read anything like it, but I was curious enough to find out how this goes.

Alas, a book with so much potential but fell short.

At first I couldn’t figure out why the book felt off for me. Then I kept thinking, it was okay but there just wasn’t enough clarity for me. I had to do a bit of review reading over what exactly was my problem with the book because I really don’t know the reason behind it. Reading the reviews did help, and one word stuck out among them: brief. *facepalm* That’s it!

The Alchemy of Forever was just so brief that I didn’t get to know Sera very well. The whole time I’ve been trying to discover who she really is, the book gave me a vague idea of what she went through and her pain and guilt over what she and her company are doing in order to survive, but somehow it just wasn’t enough. I had lots of questions, like: (1) How does Sera really feel about Cyrus centuries ago? Defined as “Innocent love”; how exactly did it blossom? I need details. (2) How the heck did the muggers get so close to a party for the rich, ever heard of guards anyone? Bodyguards at least (whatever they were called back then)? No? Okay. (3) How exactly did Kailey live her life before Sera took over? At least tell us why she was in THAT place when THAT moment happened (sorry for the vagueness, don’t want to spoil it). Or at least have her friends tell stories about what she did back then, not the whole Kailey-bully-like-image-end-of-story situation… I’m going to leave my questions at that because if I went any further, well let’s just say you’ll be reading this the whole day.

I’m also bothered by the pace of the story. I was immediately caught up by the beginning of this book when Sera escaped from Cyrus but when Sera got into Kailey’s body, I got stuck with reading about Sera’s paranoia (although she has the right to be) but didn’t get enough of Kailey, Cyrus or anybody else’s side. Sera is already giving out stories here and there but at least balance out the details, right?

The ending, although sad and confusing, was something I got excited about even though I didn’t appreciate much of what was written in the middle of the storyline. I want to know what happens to Cyrus and Sera… and Noah of course. But I have this feeling again that this series might be one of those that could’ve been told in just one book if chosen so.

So if you’re asking me if I would recommend this book, I don’t really know. If you haven’t read one like it then maybe you would enjoy it, or if you were looking for a light book to read then you can probably give this a go. I did enjoy it but it just really wasn’t enough for me.

For more of my reviews, please visit my blog:
The Blair Book Project @ www.theblairbookproject.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for İlkim.
1,401 reviews11 followers
January 27, 2012
Reenkarnasyonu konu edinen bir romandı. Karakterimiz 600 yıldır beden değiştirerek yaşayan Seraphina. Cyrus ise simyacının oğlu, en başta Sera ölürken ona ilk bedenini veren ve 600 yıldır onunla olan. En başta birbirlerine aşık olsalar da zaman geçtikçe Sera Cyrus'tan nefret etmeye başlıyor, çünkü zamanla Cyrus acımasız ve soğuk kanlı bir katile dönüşüyor. Sera da beden değiştirip insanları öldürmekten bıktığından temelli ölmeye karar veriyor. Tam intihar etmek üzereyken bir araba kazası oluyor ve hemen oraya koşturup sürücü genç kızın ölmek üzere olduğunu görüyor. Tam olarak bunu planlamasa da ölmekte olan kızın bedenine giriyor ve onun yaşamına dalmak zorunda kalıyor. En başlarda kaçmaya çalışsa da bu yaşam onun hoşuna gidiyor. Ama Cyrus'un ondan vazgeçmeyip bulmaya çalışacak, Sera da- ya da bedeninin ismi Kailey de- ondan kaçınmaya çalışacak.

Kitap aslında gayet akıcı ilerliyor, sadece kurguda eksiklik var ya da yazar bilerek boş bıraktı oraları. Sonu tamam, bir merak unsuru bırakacaktı da, kitaba ve o Taryn adlı kıza ne oldu bir daha hiç değinmedi. Bilemiyorum belki ikinci kitaba bıraktı bütün diğer kısımları. Seneye ikinci kitaba kavuşunca soruların cevabını alırız. Ama genel olarak kitabı beğendim ve ilginç bir konusu vardı. Zaten merakıma yenilip hemen okuyup bitirdim, merak ediyorsanız siz de, eminim sizi de saracaktır.
Profile Image for Saniya.
360 reviews825 followers
February 10, 2012
First of all, guys do check this out. I have made a fan-made cast for this book. :)

Well, this book was something. And I mean it in a good way. ^_^
The cover was just okay for me, the blurb seemed nice but the trailer here made me read this book. Yes, I am a sucker for good trailers and even if the book has been rated one star, I would have read this simply because of the trailer.

The story seemed nice. It was good yet slow. This was like a developing story and since this is just the first book in the series written by this author, I approve it. It was really good for a start.
I was really interested in this book since it was about a girl who lived for 600 years. Alchemy was something new for me and I should say I liked it. The characters seemed nice, the situations were good, the ending was really, really good but the writing style gave it all away. It was a bit rushed. I read this book in just 2 hours and in the end I was like, 'Thats it?'

Overall, I liked it, I will rate this book 4/5 stars and I am really expecting the author to write the next book a little bit long. Well, I am waiting for the next book eagerly and that means yes, I am keeping a track of the author now. :D
Profile Image for Rachel Gunter.
278 reviews101 followers
April 30, 2015
The Alchemy Of Forever was a quick and easy paranormal read about a girl who can live forever, but only by taking over the body of somebody else. I liked Sera, she was brave to stand up to Cyrus, and clearly had developed a conscience over taking over bodies. The romance was nice but I hope it's explored a bit more in the next book. And I want to see if anyone in the Morgan family/Kailey's friends find out about Sera and the alchemy. And that ending? I'll be reading the next book soon.
Profile Image for Adelle R..
Author 7 books56 followers
May 26, 2016
Woo, o dost lepší, než jsem čekala. Abych pravdu řekla, docela jsem se bála, ale Sera předčila moje očekávání. Kdyby jen pořád od všeho nechtěla utéct, aniž by pomyslela na následky, dala bych tomu klidně plný počet :)
Profile Image for paperlove.
1,044 reviews63 followers
December 25, 2019
Everlight ist ein Buch, das seit Jahren auf meinem eReader darauf gewartet hat, gelesen zu werden. Ich hatte das Buch auch schon ganz vergessen und bin nur aufgrund meiner Knaur-Challenge darauf aufmerksam geworden. Mit 240 Seiten ist das Buch schnell gelesen, aber gerade deshalb war ich sehr neugierig, wie die Autorin ihre Geschichte auf relativ wenigen Seiten erzählen wird.

Gleich zu Beginn wird mal als Leser*in mitten in die Handlung hineingeworfen. Die Einleitung spielt Jahrhunderte vor der Gegenwart und erzählt, wie Seraphina Cyrus begegnet ist und wie sie von ihm unsterblich gemacht wurde. Inzwischen ist Sera einige hundert Jahre alt und wechselt ungefähr in zehnjährlichen Abständen ihren Körper, um zu überleben. Das perfide daran ist allerdings der Umstand, dass die Personen sterben müssen, deren Körper Cyrus und Sera (und einige Anhängsel) übernehmen. Und das ist etwas, das Sera zunehmend Schwierigkeiten bereitet. Sie will ihr Leben eigentlich schon lange nicht mehr auf diese Art und Weise führen, wird jedoch von Cyrus dazu gezwungen, sich jedes Mal aufs Neue einen neuen Körper zu suchen. Zumindest bis jetzt. Denn zu Beginn des Buches steht wieder ein solcher Körperwechsel bevor, doch Sera hat insgeheim den Plan geschmiedet, dass sie Cyrus einen Strich durch die Rechnung machen will und sie die Gunst der Stunde nutzen will, um einen Fluchtversuch zu wagen.
Dieser mutige Schritt gelingt ihr schliesslich auch und sie kann sich in letzter Sekunde in einen fremden Körper retten. Doch, obwohl sie nun einen neuen Körper hat, in dem Cyrus sie nicht direkt wiedererkennen kann, lebt Sera in ständiger Angst, dass er ihr auf die Schliche kommt. Und ihre Angst wird bestätigt, als eines Tages tatsächlich Cyrus in Seras neuer Schule auftaucht und sich als Vertretungslehrer vorstellt. Sera weiss, dass das kein Zufall sein kann und muss sich überlegen, ob sie sich für den Kampf oder die Flucht entscheidet...

Ich muss sagen, dass ich die Geschichte sehr fesselnd fand und ich das Buch kaum aus der Hand legen konnte. Es hat mir gefallen, dass die Autorin das Buch nicht mit unnötigem Vorgeplänkel gefüllt hat und sie sich stattdessen direkt in die Handlung stürzt. Obwohl man nur relativ wenige Hintergrundinformationen erhält, habe ich mich sofort mit Sera verbunden gefühlt, aus deren Perspektive die Geschichte erzählt wird. Cyrus ist nicht der typische Bösewicht und doch hat es Williams geschafft, bei mir jedes Mal ein beklemmendes Gefühl auszulösen, wenn sein Name erwähnt wurde. Dieses subtile Katz-und-Maus-Spiel hat durchgehend Spannung erzeugt und mich mit Sera mitfiebern lassen. Im Schlussteil gibt es als krönenden Abschluss eine überraschende Wendung, die ich so nicht vorhergesehen habe. Und als wäre das nicht genug, toppt die Autorin sich mit einer weiteren Enthüllung noch einmal selbst auf den letzten Seiten des Buches, die mir sprichwörtlich den Atem geraubt hat. Das Ende hinterlässt einen fiesen Cliffhanger, der mich praktisch dazu zwingt, auch den zweiten Band zu lesen.

Trotz all dem Lob, gibt es aber natürlich auch einen Grund, warum ich nicht die volle Sterneanzahl vergeben habe. So sehr ich es auch mochte, dass die Autorin sich ausschliesslich auf die Handlung in der Gegenwart fokussiert und das Buch nur wenige Seiten umfasst, muss dazu natürlich gesagt werden, dass dafür die Ausarbeitung der Charaktere auf der Strecke bleibt. Zu Beginn des Buches werden nicht nur Sera und Cyrus als Protagonisten eingeführt, sondern auch eine Handvoll Freunde namentlich erwähnt, die ebenfalls zu Cyrus Clique gehören - eine davon ist sogar Seras beste Freundin. Doch nach dieser Einführung verschwinden die Freunde in der Versenkung und spielen praktisch keine Rolle mehr in der weiteren Geschichte. Das fand ich etwas ungünstig, denn wieso hat sich die Autorin überhaupt die Mühe gemacht, die Charaktere einzuführen, wenn sie anschliessend kaum mehr Erwähnung finden? Ich hätte mir hier gerne noch weitere Informationen zu den Hintergrundgeschichten der einzelnen Charaktere gewünscht.

"Everlight" ist ein fesselndes paranormales Jugendbuch, das vom Aufbau her an einen Thriller erinnert. Ohne langes Vorgeplänkel wird man als Leser*in direkt in die Handlung hineingeworfen und verfolgt ein packendes Katz-und-Maus-Spiel zwischen der Protagonistin und ihrem Geliebten, der gleichzeitig den Antagonisten darstellt. Durch die geringe Seitenanzahl liest sich die Geschichte sehr schnell, doch die Ausarbeitung der Charaktere kommt dafür ein wenig zu kurz. Insgesamt jedoch ein empfehlenswertes, kurzes Buch, das mit einem so fiesen Cliffhanger endet, dass ich die Fortsetzung sicher in Kürze auch noch lesen werde.
Profile Image for Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews).
1,700 reviews874 followers
January 25, 2015
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

Short but sweet, The Alchemy of Forever is deceptively simple and remarkably engaging. The plot may not be entirely the most original, nor the writing the most striking, though it certainly has its moments of sparkle, but this was an unputdownable read. Finished in under three hours, my first experience with the series of the Incarnates was like the perfect sugary snack between actual meals: filling while eating and left no feelings of guilt or shame when I was finished. With both a great title and a new spin on teen immortality that isn't vampires or even vampire-adjacent in its immediate favor, I obviously found The Alchemy of Forever to be a very entertaining novel.

Seraphina and her story are instantly energetic; her story begins on a night of death but it is far from the end of Sera's existence. Alchemy, an ancient (and real) fruitless search for gold/youth and immortality among others, is successful in this alternative world of Williams's imagining, and wonderfully so. In this fantastical London, science and magic are indistinguishable, and fit in wonderfully with Sera's tale of escape and redemption. Sera and Cyrus have a core, selected group with which they share fellowship: Charlotte, Sera's BFF for 200 years; Jared, a pirate from the 1660's and a sort of enforcer for Cyrus; Sebastien, a reticent and largely unseen and mysterious member of the coven; and lastly, Amelia, an icy blonde that seems to harbor ill will toward both Charlotte and Sera. With each member needing a new body roughly every ten years, this is a group with many ghosts in the closet, though only Seraphina is shown to have any remorse for the killing left in their wake. While this seems to be set in an alternative world to ours, different only in the successful alchemy, I thought I caught a reference to Bram Stoker's Dracula - a dog named Harker that doesn't seem to take to Kailey/Sera... As I've mentioned I find the Incarnates condition and modus operandi (stalking/killing victim to replenish own lifeforce) and vampires to be very similar, I wonder if it is an intentional mention. There's not enough evidence to be sure yet, but I will be on the lookout for more clues/conspiracies in the sequel.

By virtue of becoming 'Incarnates' aka basically "body snatchers" with original souls in tact with her first love Cyrus, Sera endures centuries of life - but not real love, nor true happiness despite all the exotic experiences had and places she has been. Cyrus emerges as controlling, insane, volatile type of man - but happily, instead of mistaking this psychotic behavior as the danger it is and not misconstruing it as love, Sera attempts to free herself from his clutches. Even the act of hiding petty change gives her a thrill, to "have something that was mine." From the moment I realized Sera's plans, I liked her. For the first time in centuries, Sera dares to make her own decisions, dare to dream for herself instead of fearing what Cyrus will do to her as punishment. Her naivete at 14 haunts her for the most part of her endless centuries of life, and her maturation from selfish, thoughtless girl into an actual woman takes longer than eighteen years. Sera is a very introspective woman, as can be expected from someone downtrodden and controlled for so long, and that means much of this book is not action. As I adjusted to Sera and her style, I appreciated more the inwards-bent of her thinking - this is another of those characters that sneak up in your affections.

The Alchemy of Forever is a very engaging if all too brief, novel both in terms of character, and the unique, entirely welcome new spin on immortality. But this is also slightly disquieting book. The notion of "body snatching" is itself pretty creepy - the actual person is dead but the shell remains, with another inside, unbeknownst to anyone else. How is that not the height of creepitude? There are no less than three movies since 1945 devoted to just how horrific this concept is to us. Sera herself seems very aware of this, commenting internally and often that "the daughter they knew was dead and they had no idea" in several different reiterations, with just Sera wearing her skin around them. And the fact that there is an entire coven of immortal-body-snatching-murderers-with-permanent-wanderlust out there adds another level of menace to the novel it otherwise lacks. Cyrus certainly makes for an adequate villain and foil for Sera - more than adequate when he's actually present on the page instead of a ghost or memory- but the threat of him doesn't inspire as much tension as it could otherwise.

While I can't say the "relationship" between Sera/Kailey and Noah the black-haired neighbor-boy with a heart of gold smacks of the long-sought-after and advertised "true love" from above, there is a clear chemistry and sweetness between the two. I think I found Noah a bit too wide-eyed and perfect to entirely believe in him - or his continued attraction to Kailey after it emerges how shoddily she treated him for years - but overall I liked his character and could see the appeal even if I stood outside of it. From what is alluded to about Kailey pre-Sera she seems like a hard-to-like girl as well, so I wonder why Noah didn't remark upon the abrupt and 180 degree attitude changes that "Kailey" experienced in the novel...? I also wonder at how this thing between the two will develop - how will Sera reconcile Noah to the fact that the Kailey he knew is gone but the "Kailey" he loves is an immortal murderess hundreds of years older than himself? But while I found the 'love' between the 'teens' to be somewhat lacking, the home relationship and dynamic of the Morgans is refreshing and warm, and real. They present a stark and very bleak comparison to the 'love and family' that Sera has known for centuries with the coven, and it's nice to read a non dysfunctional family once in a while.

The ending is abrupt, let's just say that. It comes to a screaming and ominous cliffhanger right at the very moment you most wish to keep reading. While I can understand the cutoff as an incentive to read the next novel it left me somewhat dissatisfied with this first in the series. Unfortunately, many, many threads are left wide-open after that bastard of a cliffhanger for an ending and no main conflict is resolved - the book just ends. What happened to the magical book Sera had the night she switched bodies? What happened to Taryn, who might know all of Sera's secrets? What was Kailey doing the night she died? The questions are endless and enough to ensure, above all doubt and frustration with this finale, I will be continuing this series.
Profile Image for Nicole.
986 reviews31 followers
January 13, 2019
"Everlight — Das Buch der Unsterblichen" von Avery Williams

Um für immer mit ihrer großen Liebe Cyrus zusammen zu sein, nahm Sera vor über 600 Jahren einen Trank, der ihre Seele von ihrem Körper löste und sie unsterblich machte. Aber nach Jahrhunderten in einem ewigen Kreislauf hat Sera genug – sie will fort. Doch Cyrus, einst liebenswert und charmant, kontrolliert inzwischen jeden Schritt, den sie macht. Und er wird alles tun, um zu verhindern, dass sie ihn verlässt.

Wer hätte das gedacht? Schon wieder ein absolut überzeugendes Jugendbuch. Ich habe wirklich nicht damit gerechnet, die Geschichte so sehr zu mögen, wie ich es am Ende doch tat. Insbesondere das Ende war überraschend gut. Schade nur, dass scheinbar die Fortsetzung nicht übersetzt wurde. Die werde ich wohl auf Englisch lesen müssen. Nach der Autorin werde ich auch in Zukunft Ausschau halten.
Profile Image for Brodie.
230 reviews223 followers
March 4, 2012
Seraphina first 'died' when she was 14 years old. But the smitten son of the local alchemist tipped a vial of immortality to her mouth and made her an immortal, an Incarnate. Switching from body to body after the old one wears out, living her life inside vessels stolen from others. 600 years later and Seraphina has had enough. She's tired of living with the guilt of killing people, tired of living under Cyrus' ever watchful eye, tired, tired, tired. So on the night she is meant to take a new body, she makes a run for it. For the first time in all her life, she's alone, she's free. But she doesn't plan to stay free for long. Her plan is to die, to do her last good deed and break out of this cursed life. But death does not come easy to one who has survived this long and before she realises it, Seraphina has slipped into the body of 17 year of Kailey Morgan. And for the first time since she became an immortal, Sera lived. As Kailey, she has the closest thing to a family as those she was born with. The Morgan's are a tight-knit, loving unit and naturally, Sera quickly begins to form an attachment to them, even with guilt gnawing at her for the daily deceit. Which makes things more complicated, because the more invested she becomes, the harder she finds it to leave.

Cyrus may not be physically present throughout the majority of the novel, but the threat of him is just as tangible. What we discover about him is rather disturbing. He's an aggressively controlling man. He gets what he wants, no matter the consequence. He likes to keep everyone around him on a very short leash. No one dare defy him because his psychotic wrath is not something you want to be on the receiving end of. It's only if he allows you to go somewhere, be someone, learn something. If he doesn't, then he becomes violent, physically and verbally. And to be stuck in a 600-year abusive relationship that like? I'm kind of disappointed it took Sera that long to run away from him. He's a total creep and just living a few months under his control would make me burst an artery!

The constant worry - will he find her? - is present throughout. In flashbacks, we see what horrors he is truly capable of, even to those he claims to care about. So what will happen to Seraphina, his supposed 'lover', if he tracks her down? A part of me secretly hoped he would, primarily because I wanted to see something cruel and twisted happen to him because the guy is a douche and it's about time someone took him down a peg. Yet at the same time, I didn't want him coming in to mess things up, especially as Sera/Kailey and Noah were in the midst of something sweet and tender. Noah's the kind of guy Sera needs after the centuries spent under the rule of a dictator masked as a lover. She's been with Cyrus nearly her entire life, so she's never had the opportunity to explore the first fluttering of romance with another person. It was endearing to watch as she and Noah shared something special.

I enjoyed the fast moving storyline, but sometimes I wished it would have slowed a little to allow for more development. I'd have liked certain scenes to last longer or to explore key characters and their relationships on a deeper level. Especially Kailey and Noah. I wanted to pull apart the layers of their history. We're treated to a very quick peek at it, but not enough to satiate my hunger. I'm guessing we may learn more of it in the sequel, but I would have found it more rewarding to have that understanding in the first book. I was also expecting a little more explosive action and excitement, but while it lacked in that department, the story did still kept me hooked until the very last page.

The Alchemy of Forever is an engrossing read that you will breeze through in the one sitting. It's fast-paced and when danger presents itself, it keeps you on your toes, alert for whatever nasty is lurking ahead. The ending especially left me gasping, I hope it doesn't mean what I think it does!! It's one of those evil cliffhangers that make you curse the long wait until the sequel, because we really need an answer now as to what exactly is going on. Captivating mythology, intriguing characters and a succinct, speedy pace, The Alchemy of Forever is a perfect afternoon indulgence.
Profile Image for Julie.
167 reviews3 followers
February 4, 2012
Seraphina--whose last name is Ames according to the book product description, although I don't think we ever read that in the book itself--is killed during a robbery in London when she was 14. Fortunately, Cyrus, a boy she likes, is with her when it happens. Cyrus's father is an apothecary, and Cyrus has developed a potion which will allow her soul to be free to inhabit the body of another. Cyrus makes Sera drink the potion (fortunately he carries some with him everywhere) before she dies and helps her soul move into the body of the female robber.

From there the story jumps to present day San Francisco. Sera has been stuck with Cyrus for the intervening 660 years+, and Cyrus has expanded their little group to include a handful of others who are similarly able to jump from body to body. The problem that Sera is finally confronting is that their bodies--with the foreign souls--only last a few years. Then their souls have to move on, and the first body dies. Sera is tired of killing people and has decided to kill herself without moving on. This plan goes awry, however, and she ends up in the body of 16-year-old Kailey. Cyrus, who has sworn he cannot ever live without Sera, is hot on her trail.

I enjoyed the first 30% of the book--up until Sera ends up in Kailey--quite a bit and wondered why this had been marketed as YA. Then the book really jumped the shark. The final 70% is Sera adjusting to her new life and trying to dodge Cyrus when he eventually shows up at her high school. This calls for lists.

The Good

1. This book was written in the first person present tense, and I didn't feel like pulling my hair out the entire time I was reading it. Seriously. I've read some bad uses of both first person and of present tense. This book avoided those.

2. The first 30% of the book set up an interesting type of reincarnation and the possible moral/ethical consequences of that type of immortality. Pity all that was junked 30% of the way through the story.

The Bad

1. First, this book isn't even a complete story. It ends on a cliffhanger, and while many books that are part of a series do the same thing, this book does *not* contain a single finished story arc. The story just...stops.

2. Did the cover artist even read the book? The girl on the cover with her black hair and bangs in no way resembles any of the bodies that Sera inhabits during the course of the book.

3. Here's the reason this book failed for me, though. A 650-year-old woman/soul is still 650 years old regardless of the age of the body that she currently inhabits. Sera has lived through the Black Plague, the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, the Renaissance, multiple wars, etc. She has traveled extensively. She has had friends come and go, friends die, has killed others. And then when she ends up in the body of a 16-year-old girl, she really likes it and likes high school and loves the neighbor boy because he's so cute and ... Really? REALLY? Sorry, I'm not buying it.

Sera is *not* a teenager. I find it unbelievable that someone with that type of life experience would find high school (?) and a teenage boy (?) so interesting that she would stay in the same metropolitan area as Cyrus and risk being found by him. The reward does not seem worth risk, particularly for someone who has been around long enough to know better.

And this is my problem with a number of YA books where a very old character falls in love with a teenager. There's nothing wrong with teenagers (well, maybe there is...but that's another conversation for parents raising them :) ), but the idea that someone that young can provide meaningful intellectual and emotional companionship and support to someone who has lived multiple lifetimes is pretty far-fetched. There's a big difference between simply loving someone--as one might love a friend--and being "in love" with someone. I'm not ruling out the possibility of such a May-DecemberDecemberDecemberDecember relationship, but the story is going to need a lot more depth and character development than this one or any of the others I've read.
Profile Image for Megan.
535 reviews345 followers
March 12, 2012

THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER, a 2012 debut by Avery Williams, promises the mix of immortality with the drama of teenage discovery. I didn’t know what to expect diving into this otherwise, except for the fact that at 256 pages, it was going to be a quick read. Sadly, quick read is pretty much one of the few things this story has going for it. The plot flows quickly with good writing (at times just a tad clunky) and the pacing is smooth, but things go downhill quickly from there.

The story of Seraphina Ames, a girl who died in the middle ages before being brought back to life as a body-hopping incarnate thanks to the drop of a tonic on her tongue, THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER takes place in current day San Francisco and its surrounds. Sera, tired of her existence as the subservient love of the group’s leader, has decided to die, but after witnessing a car crash, she accidentally takes over the body of 16 year old Kailey and is forced to take over the girl’s life while hiding from the evil Cyrus.

Let’s start with the good. The boy next door Noah was a good love interest – he was the type I strive to see more of in YA, meaning kind, respectful, and observant. I really enjoyed him and his dedication to the girl who has suddenly given him the time of day now that the original inhabitant of his neighbor Kailey’s body is gone. Likewise, the plot is strong and unique, a good take on immortality. While I wish more of this had been explored, Williams did a good job of showing us the set up of this world of alchemy.

But there was also plenty of not-so-good stuff.

Sera was a 600+ year old woman in a constantly changing body. She hasn’t even taken a teenage form since her death. Her relationship with Noah, definitely a teenager, is rather creepy. She never acts like a teenager, she never thinks like a teenager, and she probably should not be dating a teenager. She also is rather dumb, giving CPR to a dying teen knowing that she could enter her body by accident while her own body is breaking down.

Over the course of the novel, Sera experiences little character growth other than flip-flopping constantly. She is whiny, mopey, and spends the majority of the story lamenting her life and the people she hurts instead of actually doing something about it. Her characterization was one of the worst things about the story. And talk about a non-ending! The book just ends in the middle of a scene basically. I won’t spoil things, but the ending was really a letdown, especially when the twist is predictable.

THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER seemed a little short, like the book was chopped up by an editor wanting to stretch one book into a trilogy. This is a book that might have been better being aimed at adults instead of teens considering the subject matter – it would have eliminated squicky factor of a really old woman dating a teen. Oh, and that cover looks NOTHING like the character described in the book – in any of her forms. I really, really hate when that happens.

VERDICT: With a unique plot and interesting premise, THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER had so much going for it – until it was squandered on a bad heroine and a creepy romance.

Unofficial review: Sera, girl, we need to have a discussion about your choices in life. Please get a sassy gay friend in book two or else you'll just continue to be stupid.

Profile Image for Brooke.
159 reviews112 followers
December 22, 2011
WHAT!? No, no, no, no! How can it end like that?!

~Full Review~

This book was so flawlessly written. The pages and the chapters all blended together so incredibly well that it was basically impossible to put this book down! The writing and the descriptions in this book were so stunning and honestly gorgeous (even more so than the cover!) I found myself rereading sections and pages 2 or 3 times.

I mean is this not an amazing excerpt:
“They say Halloween is a time when the veil over the world of the spirits is the thinnest, when ghosts can cross over and whisper in our ears or touch us on the cheek. I want to believe this—and I don’t.”

The imagery in that quote is...just...no words. I can’t even explain to you how much I love that quote! The writing style in The Alchemy of Forever has a very delicate feel to it. Almost like every word is very carefully placed to create a brilliant sentence. Or maybe that’s just the main character’s voice. Either way...I loved it.

We meet the main character, Seraphina, during a masquerade ball where her troubles all begin. There, she falls for the Alchemist’s son, Cyrus, and the rest is history. But I can’t blame her, I totally would’ve fallen for him too! His bright blonde hair, brilliant blue eyes, sweet smile, and witty remarks...*swoon!* But after Cyrus turns Sera into an Incarnate, he becomes extremely protective and overbearing (I still found him completely sexy. Evil, but totally sexy. Just sayin’!) He makes her feel trapped, constantly dictating everything her and the other Incarnates do.

Oh man! I wish there would’ve been more of the coven! Jared is described as a sexy pirate who acts as a bodyguard from time to time. And Sera’s best friend, Charlotte, was so adorably cute. From the little I read about the other Incarnates, I liked them a lot!

So anyway, after 600 years of being alive, Sera’s ready to be done. She’s ready to be done stealing innocent lives, dispersing souls and switching bodies, she doesn’t want to be trapped in this life anymore.

But things don’t go quite as planned and she ends up taking over Kailey Morgan’s body and life. And dudes, Kailey’s family is awesome! Her mom and dad are such....parents! I loved it. And her brother, Bryan, is hilarious! He’s constantly teasing her and she gives it right back. Bryan also likes Kailey’s best friend and he’s so adorable when he gets all flustered! Yep. I love her brother. I basically loved all the boys in this book. What a surprise, right!? :P

The only thing I can complain about is that I wish the book would’ve been longer! The story unfolded so quickly, and I whipped through it so fast, I found myself wanting more! More details, more descriptions, more flashbacks, more Noah! Ah! Noah. He is the sweetest thing ever.

The ending was a complete SHOCKER! I honestly did NOT see it coming! (How did I miss that?!)

The Alchemy of Forever is an incredible, suspenseful, fast-paced debut and I canNOT wait to see how things play out in the second book!

Another quote I heart:
“I picture each life I’ve led like beads strung together on a necklace to make me who I am, the sum of all these jewels. And each shiny bead turned to a puff of smoke, a necklace made of ghosts, one bead for one lost girl.”
Profile Image for Rayne.
862 reviews288 followers
March 20, 2012
Review originally posted at http://www.mycutebookshelf.com/2012/0...

Yes. I read this because of Full Metal Alchemist. That show is one of my favorite animes ever, if not my very favorite, so seeing as this book shared some elements with FMA, I decided to give it a try. I wanted some resemblance. I didn't want the exact same plot of the first anime adaptation of FMA. So this story was not original to me at all. But I was willing to set aside my discomfort with that. Turns out, there were other things to worry about with this book.

First of all, I would like to say that I didn't hate the book. I actually enjoyed it somewhat. It is a quick, light and pretty read. But that's its biggest problem: this book lacks any real substance. There is very little character development, zero background info or explanations, barely any plot, and what little there is, is riddled with plot-holes. The worst thing is probably the completely unsurprising and annoying cliffhanger at the end.

This book could have been a truly fantastic book. Really. The writing is pretty and the story flows nicely from Sera's narrative. Sera started the novel as a conflicted, very interesting character. But as the story progressed, her development came to a stand-still and all she did was complain and whine and wonder if Cyrus would come get her. That last part left very little doubt that he would, indeed, go searching for her. In fact, there are very little surprises in this book. Everything is predictable and there are not many developments in the story. I liked that Sera was conflicted about what they did and that she found no other way out other than death, but she stretched that too much to the point of annoyance and not once did I actually believe she wanted to stop living. Her relationship with Cyrus in particular was something that, if used correctly, would've added a whole dimension to both the characters and the story, but it didn't. Cyrus turned bad and Sera didn't love him anymore and she had to get away and he's obsessed with her so he wants her back. That's it.

I did not expect for everything to be explained in this book, since, after all, this is the first one in what is obviously a series. But I do want authors to give me something to believe in, something that makes their story world real and convincing and I just didn't find it in this story. The romance was too fluffy and superficial, and there just wasn't a lot of depth in the story.

I was enjoying it, not really loving it but somewhat satisfied, for about 60% of the book. Then the predictability of the book skyrocketed, and the lack of a real plot got to me. The length didn't help the story, since it barely gave it enough space to catch a breath, and the cliffhanger at the end is one of the most annoying I have encountered in all of my years of reading YA. I'm not saying the book is horrible. It's not. I'm not saying it was written horribly, because it wasn't. It just really bothers me to encounter a book like this, a story with so much potential left unexploited. I will most likely read the next one, if only to see if the author manages to make the sequel into all this one could've been.
Profile Image for Jessica.
42 reviews67 followers
January 12, 2013
That cover is atrocious. It should apologize to everyone who has to look at it, but proves that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I hated this book before I started it because of that cover. I even resented the person who gave it to me a bit because LOOK. AT. IT. The paperback covers are much more acceptable but I, unfortunately, have the hardcover.

Anyway, the review.

This book was, contrary to the way it looks, not bad. It’s an extremely short read and has all the making of a horrifying YA PNR but it toes the edge instead of jumping off the cliff.

The main character, Seraphina, is interesting enough and tired of being a doormat. She has the good sense to know that the man she’s been in love with for centuries (literally) has bought a one-way ticket to assholerydom and has decided to get away. She never changes her mind, either. Once she makes the decision to leave him, she spends the novel trying to get away from him.

The other romantic interest, Noah, isn’t anything special. He’s a normal guy who goes to parties and has some family issues and a dog and he didn’t have supernatural abilities/looks or anything. Small victories in YA.

Cyrus… The jackwad. He was creepy and really threatening. The premise is that Cyrus and his father were alchemists and figured out a way to detach the soul from the body so that it could hop from body to body thus granting eternal life. This is what makes Cyrus a terrifying baddie. He may not know who she is now but he has a trail to follow and, at any time, he can switch bodies making it impossible for her to know who he is.

It was interesting and certainly easy to read. This is another book where the parents aren’t absent… well, her parents are absent because they died hundreds of years before. She has to deal with a completely different set of parents, though- those of the dead girl whose body she took and they are under the impression that their little girl is still alive. So Seraphina is forced to deal with this problem and I think it’s handled pretty well. She’s got a constant battle with the fact that she’s lying to this family, needing to get further away from Cyrus but knowing it would hurt them if they think their daughter has run away, and actually coming to care about the people she meets while in this new girl’s skin.

My only real problem with this book was that it didn’t hook me. Ever. I couldn’t tell you what it was that made it less than awesome, it was just, ya know, okay. All of the stuff above (cover aside) should have made for a decent, fun read but it ended up getting a ‘meh’ response from me. I’m not sure if I’ll move on and read the second in the series. Something interesting happened at the end of this one that made me curious but I don’t know if I’m interested enough to find out.

As I said- meh.
Profile Image for Krys.
749 reviews170 followers
March 27, 2015

I started The Alchemy of Forever three+ weeks ago, got halfway through it, then accidentally abandoned it at my dentist office (an hour away from where I live). This caused many annoyed shouts of expletives when I realized I couldn't finish it later in the evening. A recent trip home for the holidays turned it back up in my greedy little hands and I devoured the rest of it immediately.

Avery Williams's 2012 debut starts in London in 1349. A man named Cyrus is pursuing the beautiful Seraphina at a masked ball. When a fatal accident leaves her in peril, he tells her he can make her live forever and, foolhardy though it be, she takes him up on it. Flash forward several hundred years and it is present day. Cyrus has an alchemical formula which allows for continued life. There is a cost, the immortal must change bodies every few years. A human life is the secret to their longevity.

Sera vows that she will not take another life. To this end, she drugs Cyrus and escapes, planning to let her body degenerate to nothing so that she can finally die. But a second accident leaves her in a position she didn't expect to be. Suddenly she's in the body of Kailey Morgan, a 16-year-old artist. She has two choices, to keep running or to go along with fate. Which will she choose?

It's hard to rank this one since I read half of it several weeks ago and was finally afforded the chance to finish it. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but the break in the reading made the ending suffer. I didn't feel the climactic rush I should have had when the ending smacked me upside the head. This was a bit jarring, and disappointing, but I can hardly blame Williams for my own stupidity in leaving the book behind. Still, I don't think the book is perfect. For me I would have appreciated a little more fleshing out of everyone involved. The character building and the pacing felt a little rushed for me, even with the three week gap in between reading the beginning and the end. It seemed forced to establish a bunch of people and then quickly veer from them to another bunch of people...unless everyone shows up in book two, which I'm sure they will, or else why include them to begin with?

It's a touch flawed. However, for the first time ever I think I am going to say this - I wanted this book to be about 75 pages longer than it turned out to be. It just felt so short and I wanted more. Williams left me wanting more, and that's a good thing to say about a first time book. 4 out of 5 stars. I'm very curious to read the next one.

- Review courtesy of www.bibliopunkkreads.com
Profile Image for Sarah .
146 reviews21 followers
January 21, 2013
This review can also be found here

I bought this book in July of 2012 at Books-A-Million during a sale for $3 and it sat on my bookshelf untouched until recently. I really wish that I had read this one sooner since I absolutely loved it. Everything about this book drew me in, from the plot to the settings and the characters themselves.

I've never read a book anything like this one. The idea of Incarnates taking over new bodies every time they are about to die was a completely new thing for me and I am suprised to say that I found it very enjoyable. Plus this novel uses alchemy for these people to be able to do this and the topic of alchemy is cool to begin with before you throw in centuries old immortals jumping from body to body.

The characters were so well developed and had such unique personalities and I found myself being pulled into the struggles of Seraphina and hoping she found a way to make everything work out. I wanted her to find her happy ending, she deserved it. I hated Cyrus, he was such a mean guy. Sure he claimed to love Seraphina and maybe he really did but he was so controling, he wanted to regulate every part of her life and he quickly got on my nerves. Noah on the other hand I simply loved, he was such a caring and sweet boy and I really loved the dynamic he brought to Seraphina's life.

The story opens up in London in the middle ages and we are introduced to Seraphina while at a ball. This opening chapter was lovely and I just loved the whole masquerade theme to it even though the end of this chapter isn't quite so lovely, you will just have to read to find out what happens. The rest of the book takes place in present day California and the world is one we know all too well where everything seems normal but little do the unsuspecting people know there are centuries old being walking among them.

I loved the suspense this book brought, it had me on the edge of my seat a few times just praying the characters found a way to make things work and this book also brought a hint of romance that was simply adorable. I cannot wait for the next installment in this series, I hope it is every bit as exciting as The Alchemy of Forever
Profile Image for Ducky.
196 reviews
January 29, 2012
3.5 stars

I actually wasn't expecting much from The Alchemy of Forever because, for some reason, the summary didn't click with me...I guess things turned out pretty well, all things considered. There were parts that I loved, but there were others that I felt meh about.

The Good

1) Sera: Some people might find her character a bit too angsty, but I never really got annoyed with her (probably) because I could see where she was coming from. I loved reading about her guilt and her contemplations of death -- even though she came close, she always chose to stay. She made a few idiotic blunders along the way, but it could've been worse. I've seen worse.

2) Mom and Dad: I liked them. I liked that they were normal, involved parents that didn't let their daughter do whatever she wanted. Kailey/Sera still had a lot of freedom, but at least they were present, which was refreshing to see.

3) Cyrus: Surprisingly, he was an interesting evil guy. So creepy and manipulative and horrible -- he was, hands down, the most exciting character to read about.

The Bad

1) Romance: Not believable. *sighs* The real Kailey basically treated Noah like crap, but when Sera comes along and replaces Kailey's soul, Noah forgives her almost immediately and they fall in love? There's no development -- Sera meets the boy and falls for him practically overnight. Not believable at all.

2) Ending: I wanted to facepalm/headdesk/throwsomethingacrosstheroom when because I totally saw that coming. From a mile away. But I do applaud Williams for leaving us with a huge cliffhanger because now I just have to read the next book. Wonderful.

3) Too Short: I wouldn't have minded a longer book. It felt rushed, and the plot/characters were underdeveloped.

The Alchemy of Forever definitely had the potential to be something brilliant. There were moments that I loved, and I did practically devour the book from start to finish, but it kinda fell flat. I'm slightly disappointed, but I'll read the next book anyway because I want to know what happens next. I hate cliffhangers...
Profile Image for Sonia.
290 reviews52 followers
February 22, 2012
4.5 stars

Avery Williams entices and ensnares in this dazzling debut.

Seraphina, or Sera as she likes to be called, is a heroine that possesses a more subtle kind of bravery. Emerging after centuries of guilt and desperation, it propels Sera to take some pretty drastic measures to get away from her boyfriend, Cyrus, and the ruthless measures he's been taking to stay alive. I liked Sera a lot. She's honest with herself and you can see the weariness her life has brought her. She has a conscience.

I read somewhere that someone was rather taken by Cyrus and I just... NO. Maybe this is an unpopular viewpoint (I really don't know) but I found him creepy and manipulative and possessive. In other words, not exactly ideal boyfriend material. Noah, on the other hand, was amazing. I couldn't help but feel really, really sorry for him -- and pretty much everyone else that knew "Kailey."

The novel is rather slow-paced but I never found it boring personally. Sera does a lot of reflection and she's very introspective so a good chunk of the book is focused on that rather than the action. There is also a great amount of focus on the science of alchemy which I found fascinating. There's really that debate of whether it's science (Cyrus) or magic (Sera), and not just with alchemy. My interest was definitely sparked.

Then we have... the end. HORRIBLE. EVIL. CLIFF-HANGER. Also, one that in no way did I see coming. Since I was reading it on the Pulse It website, I wasn't paying attention to the fact that the book was nearing its end and thought it would all wrap up with a pretty bow. So not the case. Evil, but awesome, awesome set-up for Book 2.

Interested in incarnation? Try The Alchemy of Forever.

Cover Comments: I like the multiple copies of Sera... nice visual representation of her many lives. The colours look good together as well and apparently the book is rather spiffy in person.
Profile Image for Tabitha (Bows & Bullets Reviews).
492 reviews79 followers
October 1, 2016

The review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews

I hated this. If I was reading this in a physical form instead of digital, I probably would have thrown the damn thing out the window and set the damned thing on fire.

I was iffy going into it but I read a few glowing reviews and thought I would give it a shot....I wish I wouldn't have. I wish I would have went with my gut instinct and stayed far fucking away. I thought the majority of this book was tolerable, even enjoyed bits of it. I loved Noah and Charlotte. I like the world it was in and the idea of the incarnates. But that ending ruined any chance this book had to even get a 2 star rating. It I could rate negative stars, I would.

What, you ask, can be so bad that I will refuse to read the sequel even though I have very big need to finish all the series I start even if they suck? She kills Noah. DEAD. At the very end, after Seraphina (I love her name) thinks everything is okay and she'll get her happily ever after, she learns that Cyrus isn't actually dead, but instead he took Noah's body. Now in another book this may mean that Noah is just suppressed, but not in this one. Avery Williams spends a good deal of time explaining that to take over a body, you must first get the original soul out of it. Therefore Noah is fucking dead.

No...that's all I really have to say about the sequel. I do not want waste my time reading while Ms Williams paints herself out of a corner. Hell no. FUCK NO. Just plain old N-O.

EDIT: Someone has pointed out a legitimate possible way Noah is alive to me, therefore, I *MIGHT* read the sequel if Noah isn't dead. So, anyone who has read my ranting review who reads the sequel, please let me know if it is worthy of my efforts. Thanks!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cindy.
813 reviews41 followers
February 21, 2012
I really liked this book. I am not a huge fan a reincarnation stories in fact I usually avoid them. I am really glad I read this one though. I think why this one worked for me is that you are not reborn a person, you just take over the body of someone else. The writing was just wonderful. I really did not want to put the book down between the rich flowing words and the interesting tale Mrs. William had me hanging on every page.
This story is about Seraphina and Cyrus he is the son of an alchemist and she is the love of his life. They have been together for about 600 years. Seraphina has a conscience and can not bare to take the life of another in order to keep living. So she leaves (that's putting it mildly). She happens upon a girl Kailey who has just been killed in a car accident, while trying to save her she takes over Kailey's dying body. From here the story unfolds nicely, and I will leave it at that to say more I would have to tell you to much and I do not wish to spoil it for you. There is a ton I am leaving out, but if you like well written books, a different kind of reincarnation, villians, and amazing people this might be the book for you. I definitely enjoyed it and hope there is to be a second.

Clean language
clean romance
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