Andrija's Reviews > A Conspiracy of Alchemists

A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
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's review
Dec 28, 2012

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Full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes. Benefits of a book club!

An interesting debut, Schwarz mixes steampunk and paranormal romance elements into a quick and engaging read about Eleanor "Ellie" Chance, airship pilot and suffragette, whose latest job plunges her into an ancient conflict. The book takes a bit getting started. I found the initial antagonism between Chance and her would-be paramour a bit predictable. But once the preliminaries were out of the way, the pace quickened.

I enjoyed the deliberate choice of the Edwardian era (as opposed to the Victorian time period), and the asides from an important but unnamed character as the book went on. My favorite scene involved the brewing of coffee. I almost wished there were further asides like this one, digging into the every day life of this altered world. If the book is successful, I hope more small details of life peek through the grand conspiracies.

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