Published: April 26th 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback, 256 pages
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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?
I absolutely love the premise of The Alchemy of Forever! I liked how the concept of immortals who transplant bodies is explained well so that there is never any confusion in the process. This book isn’t about a teenage girl who becomes an Incarnate – it’s about a girl who has lived hundreds of years and is wracked with guilt over the suffering her existence causes. Through living Kailee’s life Seraphina is able to find new reasons to keep living and keep fighting the controlling and downright evil Cyrrus.
The characterisation of Seraphina and Cyrrus is clear and executed well, but the other characters blend into the background and are only pulled out by the author when they are needed. It would have helped my understanding of the other Incarnates if it had been explained WHY they chose this life in the first place – it seems unlikely that they all believed Cyrrus immediately and wanted to undergo the process.
The Alchemy of Forever is a well paced enjoyable book that I think most people will like. It uses old concepts and myths in a new way, and I ripped through it! A wonderful debut for Avery Williams – I am looking forward to reading more of the series (especially after that cliff-hanger!!).