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I Belong

Review: Alchemy by K.J. Wignall

Title: Alchemy

Author: K. J. Wignall

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Mercian Trilogy (Book 2)

Publication Date: September 25, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 160684265X  (Egmont USA)

ISBN-13: 978-1606842652 (Egmont USA)

Reviewed by: Michelle


In the thirteenth century, William, heir to the Earl of Mercia, was attacked and turned into a vampire. For 750 years, Will has spent his life in the shadows. Until he met Eloise.

Together, Will and Eloise must destroy an ancient evil that has led them to Marland Abbey, where Will’s ancestors lived and Eloise attends school. Here they uncover the truth about the four vampire kings, Will’s past, and an uncertain future.

But the mysterious sorcerer, Wyndham, is still hunting Will and using Eloise as bait. To protect the girl he loves, Will goes in search of answers—but does that mean walking right into the enemy’s trap?

Quick & Dirty: A sequel a little better than the first, but just didn’t grab my attention.

Opening Sentence: A demon ended my childhood.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

K.J. Wignall brings us back to the Merican Trilogy with Alchemy. The story begins shortly after the end of Blood. Eloise has returned to school with the purpose of investigating Will’s past. Only visiting Eloise in the evening, Will has inhabited his family’s property. But danger has risked Eloise’s safety, forcing Will to keep her safe. A sorcerer named Wyndham is a threat, keeping watch over their actions. The plot progresses and the momentum moves forward. Can Will keep Eloise safe? And will they find what they’re looking for?

Each moment is cataloged in a journal-style entry with a third-person narrative. Wignall changes Will’s voice, which makes him a little more appealing. It was hard for me to connect to him in Blood, but that changes a bit in Alchemy. Will is a little more believable, a little more human. Will’s emotions, his vulnerabilities and fears were the one thing that allowed me to connect to him. There was a moment of disparity that made me long for his well being.

It’s rare that I would like a sequel over a debut, but that is the case for Alchemy. The writing seemed to have developed into something more natural, whereas Blood had a more forced plot. The depth of the characters were more substantial, easy for me to form tangible people rather than just words on a page. Wignall’s world was a little more believable, but there was something about it that I just couldn’t connect to.

It’s difficult to be a book in the sea of young adult paranormal stories,  I felt that there were too many things already done before. I felt that the characters’ chemistry was too easy. The romance, which should have been complex and complicated, was actually fast and cliche. An arch nemesis was introduced, a rival to be defeated.

I wanted to love this book, and maybe I would have if I just didn’t read another amazing book previous to this. The world and the history of Will seems well-thought out with substance. But I couldn’t connect, and simply, I didn’t love. There were a few mistakes, but they were easy to look over.

It’s sad when my heart isn’t in a book. I hope that you’ll give it a try and maybe it will work for you.

Notable Scene:

Will thought of her clutching the pendant round her neck, but he had not seen the item of jewelry and could not now know what it had signified. Unless . . . He reached up and held the broken medallion round his own neck, wondering if this was what she’d been trying to tell him, to think on this medallion and all it promised. It was cold in his hand now, but it had been warm, and somewhere else its twin was warm against Eloise’s skin. It promised a different future to the one painted by Fairburn, and that different future was the only one Will dared imagine.

Mercian Trilogy:

1. Blood

2. Alchemy

FTC Advisory: Egmont USA provided me with a copy of Alchemy.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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