Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Shelf: The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1) by Avery Williams

Seraphina has been alive since the 1300's, made immortal when the boy she was beginning to love back then, Cyrus, saved her from death with a strange liquid - a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. But now, in modern day America, Sera has decided that she can no longer bear the weight of stealing people's lives so she can keep living on. So she decides to run away from Cyrus and end her stolen existence once and for all.

Her plan goes awry when she accidentally takes the body of a dying teenager and feels forced to take over her life. When the lines between Sera and Kailey's identity begin to blur, Sera finds a reason to desire to live once more. But she can't shake the guilt of having taken Kailey's life, even if she was dying. And what if Cyrus finds her?

More info: Goodreads


The Alchemy of Forever is a fresh, fun debut by Avery Williams that had my direct attention from the beginning and left me wanting more!

A surprisingly short novel, just under 250 pages, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Seraphina’s entertaining tale. In fact, I breezed through it, reading it in one sitting. Williams form of alchemy was interesting and fresh. I loved the idea of the transference of souls from one body to another and thought Williams wrote it well. Personally, I would have liked a bit more explanation into the history and occurrence of this form of alchemy, but considering the shortness of the story, I understood the lack of this explanation.

I found our heroine and main character Seraphina to be surprisingly layered. Despite her 600-years-long life, Sera is desperate to escape the life of murder and manipulation that she has lived. Her desperation to escape the clutches of her captor and once lover Cyrus bleeds through the novel. From the very beginning, it’s impossible to ignore her desire to escape the only way she knows die. Sera is in no way blameless, but has instead grown weary of taking life after life in an effort to keep her immortality. I found Sera to be really brave to attempt to escape the world she lives in. Williams wrote her in such a manner that Sera’s confliction transfers to you as the reader as you weigh her past actions with her current ones. She’s conflicted--wanting to do the right thing, despite all her years of painful decisions.

Watching Sera immerse herself in Kailey’s life, the girl whose life she attempted to save but instead ended up taking, you can see such fragility in her. She grieves for the girl she doesn’t know and the family and friends who love her but don’t know she’s gone. As Sera begins to come to love the people of Kailey’s life, her parents, her brother, her friends, and her next-door neighbour Noah, she begins to live for the first time in hundreds of years. She struggles all the more knowing that Cyrus won’t let her go, but not wanting to leave and cause them the pain she knows she ultimately will.

I was really intrigued by a lot of the characters in this book, not only Sera. The individuals from Sera past mixed with everyone from Kailey’s life to form a great cast of colourful side characters. As the villain, Cyrus was one who especially perked my interest. I wondered how the young man from the prologue became the cruel, controlling character we glimpsed throughout the rest of the novel. I definitely want to learn more of his history throughout the rest of the series.

Sad and painful; filled with longing and desire, The Alchemy of Forever is a light, whilst still emotion debut about hope and one girls path to redemption! Williams ends the story rather abruptly, but in a manner that leaves you wanting the next instalment, stat!

Source: Sent for review by Simon & Schuster Australia (Thank you Caroline!)
AU Release Date: Available now!
Buy it: Booktopia // The Nile // The Book Depository
Reccomendation: If you're looking for a light and fresh read with a touch of emotion, this one is for you.
Cover: I admit I'm a bit in favour of the US one, but this one is beautiful too.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes, I'd  like more after that ending.


  1. SO glad you liked it, Rach! I'm DYING for the sequel... I mean... SERIOUSLY. THAT ENDING.
    But oh, it was so sad and haunting, and Sera's desperation, and Kailey's life... *hugs* fab review ♥

    1. I'm looking forward to the sequel too. The ending was killer!

      Aw, thanks babe <3

  2. I didn't love this like I thought I origianlly would. For me it was an OK read. Even though I struggled through this, I'm really interested to know what happens next! I mean, that ending? GAH. I'm glad you enjoyed this. Great review :)

    1. I have to admit this wasn't as "epic" as I thought it would be, but it was still a really awesome read. Looking forward to the next one!

      Thanks Rebecca! <3

  3. I enjoyed this book (need to find out what happens!!! though considering the ending), so I'm glad you liked it too. Great review!


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