Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Alchemy of the Soul
How does the soul connect to our body? Is it possible to still be you if you lost a limb? A heart? A head? So what makes us who we are? And if we answer that question, what keeps our souls connected to our bodies? In The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams, alchemy has answered those questions, and corrupted the very meaning of life.
Seraphina has been alive for 600 years, but she must change bodies every ten years or so. That is how long it takes for her soul to burn out the host body. Seraphina was made an Incarnate by Cyrus, an alchemist who brought her back to life after she had been attacked. At the time, it seemed like the natural thing to do, save your own life, but now she knows being an Incarnate is anything but natural. In fact, it makes her and the rest of the coven into cold-blooded murderers and she can't take it anymore. She is ready to end her life, permanently.
But cyrus would stop her if he knew what she was planning. He enjoys controlling their coven and wouldn't appreciate Sera leaving them. She has a plan to escape, complete with a get-away vehicle and a way to finish her life for the last time. But nothing goes as plan. And a final act of kindness leads to her demise where a young girl gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her. Sera tries to save her, but the pull f the dying body is too much and Sera's soul takes over Kailey's body. Now stuck inside a 16 year old girl, Sera must find a way to live Kailey's life and stay hidden from Cyrus. What she doesn't expect is for Cyrus to find her so easily and for Sera to truly love the family who took in the woman who ended their daughter's life.
The idea of what makes us who we are has always intrigued me, and it is a question you can mull forever and never truly come to a conclusion for. In this book, we have a lot of questions, some unanswerable, some with necessary answers, but many go unanswered. I was surprised how many loose ends there were throughout this book. In fact, the ending felt more like the end of the first part of one volume rather than the end of an entire installment. There was so much left unsaid and unresolved, it felt unfinished and incomplete. I assume there is a second book since it just *ENDS*, but I haven't checked it out yet. I understand the idea of keeping the reader interested, but too many loose ends can be discouraging.
I did like the story, however, I just wished things were more complete. I liked the idea of jumping bodies and the moral issues attached to ended a life to further your own. It was a great moral dilemma that could encourage great discussions. I hope the next book has more explanations and answers, but fewer questions, of course. And I hope Kailey/Sera gets some resolution. The idea of her trapped between a man she desperately needs to escape and a family she has grown to love is quite an emotional roller coaster.