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The Alchemy of Forever

(Incarnation #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  5,048 ratings  ·  662 reviews
In the first novel of the Incarnation series, the immortal Seraphina grapples with a wrenching truth: Falling in love might mean succumbing to death.People say “love never dies”…but love might be the death of Seraphina.

Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,048 ratings  ·  662 reviews

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Aj the Ravenous Reader
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Alex

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 he
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
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 ...more
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 w
Amber at Fall Into Books
Feb 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
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, c
Lindsay Cummings
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 wonderf
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Calzedonka by: Alchemy

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
Providing readers with a thoroughly interesting and unique perspective on incarnation, Avery Williams has great promise to offer with her Incarnation series, a good portion of which is executed in The Alchemy of Forever. Williams' take on the thought-provoking concept of incarnation is certainly a refreshing and alluring one, touching less on religion and life after death, as I had initially expected, and more on science, which I found to be exceptionally original and fascinating.

The characters
Vi Vi
Nov 15, 2011 marked it as to-read
"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. "

Jan 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Aleixie by: Goodreads
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
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 he ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
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
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
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 sha
That was really cool! Just when I thought I've read every type of YA book imaginable, The Alchemy of Forever takes me by surprise.

Seraphina is a 600-year-old Incarnation, an immortal who takes other people's bodies to continue living. But after six centuries, Sera is tired of living and killing other people just to extend her own life. She plans her own suicide in secret, desperate to get away from her controlling sorta-but-not-really-boyfriend, Cyrus. Only in the act, she accidentally takes ano
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
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 a
Rachel Gunter
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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? (view spoiler) ...more
Adelle R.
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 :)
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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.

May 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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 bod ...more
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 he ...more
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was ok

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 A
Review originally posted at

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 th
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Janus the Erudite Artist
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 bo
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 PN

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
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 an
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 deat
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 r
Tabitha (Bows & Bullets Reviews)
Jan 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who like horrid endings.
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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 ...more

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“People are always looking for magic, when the natural world holds true miracles” 39 likes
“That's fine. You decide to live one moment at a time. When it's time to die, really time, you will know." -Seraphina/ Kailey” 26 likes
More quotes…