Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Series Review: Incarnation (Alchemy is Forever and The Impossibility of Forever) by Avery Williams

The Alchemy is Forever (Incarnation #1)
Author:  Avery Williams
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 246 pages
Publication Date:  July 10, 2012

From Goodreads:
People say 'love never dies' but love might be the death of Seraphina.
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?


Review:
I loved the premise of this book, where you have a group of people who are immortal, but they have to switch bodies every 5-10 years.  That means they have to kill in order to live.  Seraphina has been alive for 600 years and wants to finally die. She feels guilty for taking other people's lives, although she's always made sure she picks people who are on the brink of dying (somehow when they take over bodies any physical ailment is cured).  She's been under the thumb of Cyrus, who she used to love, for all this time.  He's made her entirely dependent on him and he's controlling and ruthless.  She plans her escape on the night she's supposed to find her new body.

After she runs, she witnesses a car accident and tries to help the 16 year old victim, who is about to die.  Instead, she takes her body, but since the body is almost dead and really injured, she passes out and wakes up in the hospital, where her "family" has been waiting for her.  So now she has to pretend to be Kailey and worry about Cyrus finding her.  She starts making friends and even starts liking the boy next door, Noah (there's some insta-love going on there, but that can be overlooked).  Oh, and by the way, although the synopsis states that she can't kiss him because otherwise he will die, that's not true so I have no idea why the synopsis was written that way.

Then, right when things start getting really exciting, it's over.  Big cliffhanger.  So my main complaint is how short the book is, which really affects how well fleshed out the characters are and the world-building.  We don't know that much about Cyrus and the other members of the group. We don't know that much about Sera, to be honest, and we are just starting to get to know Leyla, Nicole, Noah, and her brother Bryan (there are a couple of other friends as well) when the book ends.  But I'm hooked so I have to read the next book.

The Impossibility of Forever (Incarnation #2)
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 384 pages
Publication Date:  June 4, 2013

From Goodreads:
Seraphina has been living for centuries, thanks to a special method of alchemy, but only recently has she really felt alive. She’s finally broken free from her controlling boyfriend, Cyrus, and after years of swapping bodies to preserve her immortality, is happily settled into a life worth sticking with. Because in this life, she has Noah.

But Noah might not be as trustworthy as he seems. After he delivers an ominous message that could only come from Cyrus, Sera is worried that her new friends and family will find out her secret. And as her suspicions extend beyond Noah, Sera is forced to wonder about her new friends as well: Could her old coven be disguising themselves right under her nose?

Will Sera have to move to another body—and take another life—or can she find a way to keep what she’s got, forever?


Review:
Sera can't trust anyone because she knows that Cyrus has killed someone and taken over his/her body, but she doesn't know who.  Could it even be Noah?  Sera starts investigating to try and find out so she can kill Cyrus and be free from him once and for all.  There's action, romance, and plenty of plot twists, and I loved not knowing who Cyrus was (although I did guess right).  However, I never really connected with the characters, and I never fell in love with the romance.  The relationship between Sera and Noah just didn't really seem to be based on anything.  And it just seemed unrealistic that no one, not Kailey's parents or her brother, ever suspected anything was off about their daughter.  And I don't know how someone who is 600 years old should sound, but Sera sounded just like an average teenager.  

In the end, a fun, fast-paced read that wraps everything up, but at the same time, leaves an opening for another book.  To be honest, I'm not sure if there are going to be any more books in this series.



Posted by:  Pam

6 comments:

  1. Hmmm this kinda reminds me of The Pledge by Kimberly Derting. You know with the Essence of (crap I can't remember her name now) the queen? Sound interesting. Great reviews!

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    1. Oh yeah, I wasn't even thinking of that book when I read these. Really cool premise, I just wish I would have connected more with the characters. ~Pam

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  2. I REALLY loved this series! It was unique and unlike anything I've read. I agree though, the romance was never that strong in the second book. But the premise, especially the first book, was pretty cool.

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    1. I did love the premise, but yeah, the romance was disappointing. Glad you enjoyed the series! ~Pam

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  3. Hmm I am a little torn. I like the premise (kind of reminds me of that Kate Hudson Movie, can't think of the name) and the second book sounds really good, but I don't know if I can overlook the insta-love or the so-so characters.

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    1. They were good, but not great, to be honest. ~Pam

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