JM's Reviews > Alchemy

Alchemy by Margaret Mahy
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's review
Feb 03, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: ya, ya-specfic, setting-new-zealand, fantasy

YA fantasy. When charming, intelligent highschool student Roland inexplicably commits a petty crime, he finds himself blackmailed by a favourite teacher into befriending misfit Jess Ferret. But Jess has her own problems, and they're bigger and darker than Roland could have imagined.

I loved this book. I knew I loved it from the first page. It opened with a dream sequence, and I still loved it. There are things about Mahy's style that don't work for me: in particular, the dialogue, although it's spirited and interesting, doesn't quite have a natural rhythm. I buy into it, though, to gain entry to Mahy's world. Her use of magic, of character motivation, the way she describes what happens to Jess's house ... just fantastic.

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