Tag Archive | book reviews

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

What would you do if offered the choice to live forever? Fourteen-year-old Seraphina didn’t think when her life slipped away, and was saved by the handsome Cyrus. A kind gesture at the moment but even a crush from the 1400’s eventually evolves over six hundred years. Cyrus may have the answer to eternal life but the price becomes too high for Sera. Their routines for survival are flawless, but Sera longs for the next stage in the afterlife.

After an attempt to escape Cyrus’ clutches go awry, Sera finds herself being a teenager with a normal family. Being sixteen with best friends, a secret neighbour boyfriend and parents all over her, Sera settles into this life she accidently stole. But Cyrus isn’t like any ex-boyfriend. He’s looking for Sera and will do anything and everything in his power to find her to bring her back to the fold…

The Alchemy of Forever is an unusual take on YA paranormal romance. Mixed with fantasy and urban magic, I was pleasantly surprised to learn this book is the first in a series. Seraphina gets an opportunity most people long to experience, living forever. It’s refreshing to see her take the side of being tired of having been there and done that. Sera is such a delightful character, a strange mix of naïve teenager and wise old voodoo priestess. Although living through her pasts could have been more prominent to give Sera a deeper sense of character. I hope this issue is further explored in the next book.

As Sera evolves into Kailey and discovers love, perhaps a true love for the first time in six hundred years, she’ll do anything to remain hidden from Cyrus. You can’t help but hope that Sera will find a way to be rid of him, or accept her fate and kill herself for real. The book finishes on such a cliffhanger that I was mad it had ended! With Goodreads showing it’s a series I can’t wait for the next book to be published next year. It’ll be interesting to see if this series will go the Twilight route, meaning focusing on obsessive love or if can dig a little deeper into this idea of living forever. Relevant and in the know it’s a quick read for young teens of today.


(Click photo to enlarge)


By Marcus Sedgwick

263 Pages

Published 2011

USA Publisher: Roaring Book Press (Macmillan)

UK Publisher: Indigo (Hachette)

Torn apart,

By blood,

For the future.


Love so true,

To be united,

Seven times.


A sacrifice,

Both sides,

On Blessed.


A unique island,

Holding secrets,

Discovered page by page.


No children,

A dragon flower,

And a wandering hare.


Born before,

Born again,

Born another time.


A story of reincarnation,

True love,

A sacrifice for prosperity.

The poem is my form of a summary for the book. It’s difficult to write an informative review of such a book that needs no explanation. Just read it. Honestly, I didn’t want to like to Marcus Sedgwick’s Midwinterblood. Sedgwick’s been publishing books since 2000, but this is my first.  The beginning section was a bit rough; I found some of the sentence structure distracting. However, once that section was finished, boy does the narrative change and pick up! I found myself being sucked in, and finishing the last 150 pages in one sitting.

Moving back in time with each section the reader is given further clues as to what exactly is occurring during the first. The ability to switch point of views and effective tones is miraculous. With each passing section secrets are discovered, causing the need to finish to see how it ends. The subject of reincarnation is subtle, presenting the reader with an unconventional love story told throughout time.

Sedgwick’s Midwinterblood is an unusually engaging time travelling love story. It presents the idea that true love will always find each other, although not in the traditional sense. Delightfully weird, I’d give Midwinterblood a chance if you have a long train journey, because you’re sure to finish it before you reach your destination.