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Book Review: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1)Title: The Alchemy of Forever 
Author: Avery Williams
Series: Incarnation, #1
Pages: 256
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date of Publication: 26th April 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: After spending six hundred years on 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 from 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 in love with the 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 about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

My Thoughts:
I read The Alchemy of Forever hoping I would get a short and sweet read that would take my mind off things for a few hours, a quick weekend read. I wasn't looking for amazing things - I'd just read something amazing and needed something to wind down with, and this book is perfect for that.

The concept itself was interesting - Sera suddenly finds herself reincarnated inside the body of a girl who has a life. Friends, family, hobbies and interests - and Sera has to act like this girl and pretend that she is her, because who would believe her if she told her real story? I thought that this idea had potential for some great reading, and while it didn't quite keep me on the edge of my seat, I did feel engaged in the story, and I wanted to know what the outcome would be.

Most of the characters, for me, were pretty unremarkable. There were a few that stood out but the rest were pretty two dimensional. I wasn't sure how I felt about Sera - on the one hand she was strong and brave as she had to pretend to be someone else while knowing nothing about her, but on the other she was really weak because at the beginning she set out to do something and then her self control let her down spectacularly...

I also felt that the book was a little bit rushed. At 256 pages, it's very short, and I think the author could have taken a little bit more time to let us get to know the characters and the situations they found themselves in. Sometimes I needed just a page more about certain things, and I'd have loved to have read a little more about Sera's life before she left Cyrus, just so I could really understand where everything went wrong.

Overall though, The Alchemy of Forever is a strong debut, and I am looking forward to reading the sequel. The writing's good, if a little rushed, and the plot is interesting and will keep you reading for a few hours at a time. I'd recommend this to avid paranormal YA fans, or if you're looking for a short and sweet little read to calm down with at the end of a busy week.

*Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book.


  1. I agree, I think it would have been a lot better if it had been longer and if the characters had been better developed. The only character I really loved was Cyrus, because he was so creepy!


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