Source: Mark My Words Publicity– I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation
Edition: Hardcover, 269 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Survival/Post Apocalyptic
Purchase:Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
We didn’t know how much we had to lose until we were infected with magic. Sam was in love, Juliette was the main caretaker for her siblings, and Ana and her dad planned the best parties in New York. But we lost it all when we were shipped to Chebeague, an exclusive school for newly infected mages.
Everyone knows about the mages, those who survive the infection and end up with magical abilities. We’ve seen the power of magic, the high-paying jobs, and the world fame. But we never saw the cost. We didn’t know we’d be forced to give up everything: sanity, family, even the right to talk on the phone.
We didn’t know mage was just another word for prisoner.
Alchemy is a joint venture between three different authors, who each tackle one point of view throughout the story. I’ll admit to being a bit worried when I saw the three names at the top of the cover. I rarely read books with more than one author because I can usually tell when one person’s work ends and the other’s begins…in the case of Alchemy it turned out to be a plus.
Alchemy takes that normally pleasant magic boarding school idea and turns it on it’s head. Chebeague holds a ton of potential for being a fantastic place however there is a fog of unease and imprisonment that settles over everything and lends a different feel. Add that with the rather interesting magic system and we have a winner. The mages in Alchemy are not your typical run of the witches and wizards, instead they are people who have become infected by the magic and must learn to control it or they run the risk of loosing their minds. I also really loved the interesting variety of magic, which include things like: Temperature Control, Super Senses, Healing, and Alchemy. However despite the innate coolness of mages, most people in this world fear them and with good reason. Magic can be spread like an illness not to mention the mages who go off the deep in and destroy innocent people. I think that underlying sense of danger is one of the many things I enjoyed about this one, because as I learned more about the characters I came to fear the possibility that the tables could turn.
As I mentioned before each author handles a different point of view, which lends each character a wholly different voice. The chapters are written as journal entries which I wasn’t really sure about in the beginning but I came to like being privy to the ‘inner’ most thoughts. Sam Ryan is use to attention and he’s a complete flirt, which did him no favors in the beginning but over the course of the novel he matured and I came to like his quirks. Once I got to know the reasons behind the things he did and especially once he realized what he was doing, I ended up liking him quite a lot. Juliette was the one that had me going back and forth between liking her and hating her. She’s a emotional mess and sometimes it’s downright volatile, but like Sam she grew on me and I definitely think she grew as a character. I’d have to say she’s probably my favorite character too, despite the rocky start. Ana is the one that surprised me the most. From the beginning she’s sort of surrounded by a sense of mystery, we know her background and her personality…but something is off about her. These three have an odd sort of friendship that is really cute and reminded me a lot of the circles of friends I hung out with in high school. There is some romance in this but it doesn’t dominate the story. Overall I think that all of the characters these three ladies created were incredibly believable and thanks to the added pressure of magic and school they become a bit more complex.
Alchemy turned out to be a great start to a series, from the fun and detailed characters to the intriguing magic system. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the Prophecy Breakers series turns out and just what Sam, Ana, and Juliette will have to deal with next.
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