Monday, April 29, 2013

The Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

The Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
Publication Date: March 5th
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Publisher – thank you!
Rating: I liked it
Eleanor “Elle” Chance, that is—a high-flying dirigible pilot with a taste for adventure and the heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, steampunk, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold. It is 1903, and the world is divided between light and shadow. On the side of light is a wondrous science that has transformed everyday life by harnessing magical energies to ingenious new technologies. But each advance of science has come at the expense of shadow—the traditional realm of the supernatural. Now two ancient powers are preparing to strike back. Blood-sucking immortal Nightwalkers and their spellcasting Alchemist allies have a plan to cover the whole world in shadow. All they require is the sacrifice of a certain young woman whose past conceals a dangerous secret. But when they come after Elle, they get more than they bargained for. This enterprising young woman, the daughter of a scientific genius, has reserves of bravery and determination that even she scarcely suspects. Now she is about to meet her match in more ways than one: a handsome yet infuriating Warlock named Hugh Marsh, whose agenda is as suspect as his charms are annoyingly irresistible.

The Skinny: A quick, easy read

In the Conspiracy of Alchemists, readers are introduced to a rich world filled with all of the goodies that make urban fantasy exciting. This steampunk novel will appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction and paranormal elements. I am a fan of historical fiction and paranormal tales, so this combination is a first for me.

Elle is a pilot who meets the dashing Marsh and together they embark on a little adventure. Marsh is a fascinating character, and I really enjoyed reading how his character developed throughout the story. He is complex and his motivations are revealed slowly and thoughtfully. The relationship between these two characters is interesting, because it evolves over time. It is not the quick instalove that is so prevalent in today’s books. While I admired many aspects of Elle’s character, such as her bravery, intelligence, and loyalty, there were times when I wanted to crawl into the book and talk some sense into her. I will say that my frustrations with her character did not ruin the story for me.

The Conspiracy of Alchemists is an interesting story with some pretty good world-building. It is a premise that I have not seen before, so I appreciate the creativity and uniqueness. While I liked The Conspiracy of Alchemists, there were a couple of aspects that stunted my enjoyment. The dialogue was a bit off, and I found many comments to be unrealistic and strange. The pacing was a little slow at times, and I often flipped pages until the story picked up again. In the next book, I am really hoping for a faster pace and more believable dialogue. I would also like to see how the story develops, because the world is so interesting.

If you enjoy steampunk, you should definitely check out The Conspiracy of Alchemists. There are a few low points but enough interesting bits to make this worth your time.

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