The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
Publisher/Year: Simon & Schuster January 3rd 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy with a touch of Supernatural
Series: Yes, first book!
Other Books From Author: The Impossibility of Tomorrow (Book 2– It’s out in June!)
Amazon | Goodreads | @averyeverywhere |
Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. Sera ran away from Cyrus years ago, when she realized that what they were doing—taking the lives of innocent people—was wrong. Yet she doesn’t want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies.
Sera has just landed in the body of a girl named Kailey who was about to die in a car accident. For the first time, Sera falls in love with the life of the person she’s inhabiting. Sera also falls for the boy next door, Noah. And soon it’s clear the feelings are returned. But she can never kiss Noah, because for her to touch lips with a human would mean the human’s death. And she has even more to worry about: Cyrus is chasing her. If she stays in one place for long, she puts herself—and the people she’s grown to care for—in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?
If you think you know anything about reincarnation, The Alchemy of Forever will make sure that you know NOTHING! Seraphina first ‘died’ when she was 14 years old, in the era of Old English and poofy dresses, but the smitten son of an old alchemist, Cyrus, tipped a vial of immortality down her throat and she’s now immortal. Fast forward a few centuries and Seraphina is tired of killing girls and slipping her soul into their bodies to stay alive. She wants out, she wants to destroy this dark magic of immortality that Cyrus made, but Cyrus will stop at nothing to find her and drag her back by the hair. EEE!!
Sera makes a very cinematic character. She is optimistic, smart, and feels guilty towards the girls who died for her. After she slipped into the body of Kailey, I had fun watching how she pieces the puzzles of Kailey’s life, from her artful room to her dynamic friendships to the not-so-innocent character stuffed into her drawer. The clues are so subtle that it’s the first time uncovering someone’s life felt like an exciting uphill battle.
Speaking of battle, The Alchemy of Forever gives off a creeping danger, so silent yet so lethal, I had to try very very hard to keep my fingers from shaking. We know Cyrus is out there, we know he’ll be hunting for Sera, and we don’t want to know what tortures he have in mind. His immortality allows him to slip into the bodies of anyone, just ANYONE, and imagine the constant fear Sera has to live in. Who knows if the guy standing next to you is your psychotic ex? Warning signs flash all over the pages and you are in for surprises!
Luckily, we have Noah, the cute-boy-next-door who diffuses the tension with his easy smile. Though Kailey has always kept Noah at arm’s length in public, and has only indulged in his presence when on her own, the old Kailey is gone. As we learn about the many flaws of Kailey and watch Sera try to rebuild her life, we also see Noah falling for the girl who is now different in a good way. Their relationship is nothing explosive or intensive but it adds a wonderful sense of comfort that complements the suspense. We still have evil Cyrus hot on her heels after all…