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on 30 August 2013
Sadly, this one didn't work for me as well as the first in the series.

The heroine, Jo, is not growing on me. She was interestingly damaged in book 1. In book 2, she seems rigidly closed. I have no idea at all why the people around her seem to want her to stay... She seems prickly, ungrateful, uncooperative, resentful and petulant. Not much for me to like there. She has a strange relationship with Cormac. I don't understand why he seems to fancy her, and there is little about him that seems attractive. They argue with spectacular, public childishness, but no one takes much notice.

Jo makes a single, large gesture of generosity to her 'friend' the waitress. However, I haven't seen enough of their relationship to value the gesture. I've only seen the girl twice in this book, once she was sniping at Jo, the other time she wasn't involved in the romantic subtext... The effect? I don't care about her, and therefore I don't value Jo's self sacrifice.

I'm not sure about the writing style, either. There's a lot of 'telling' and not enough 'showing'. Jo manipulates wormholes with amazingly awesome uniqueness, but we get no details on how, which kind of deflates her impressiveness. Scenes where she and others manipulate cosmic forces, wormholes the size of cities, alchemical planet saving, are a few paragraphs long. They read rather like 'I told them to channel me more power. They did. I felt the wormhole's edges knit together. We were really glad when it closed.'

Am I exaggerating? Yes. Am I being unfair? Possibly. I guess I just like to have things described in enough detail for me to visualise the (amazing) scenario, and empathise with the characters as they risk their lives. I would also appreciate more description before and after these earth shattering events - a little more performance anxiety beforehand, and post-crisis fatigue would add to the effect and increase my identification with the characters and their danger.

I suppose the writing seems choppy. Do you think the author writes in small chunks? Small sound bites of creativity, rather than long relaxed sessions of writing? I noticed that one chapter changed subject 3 times in the first three paragraphs. Each one was appropriate to the plot, but it was disruptive and distracting to be dragged from subject to subject.

My interest waned about 3/4 of the way through the book, and this bitty, choppy style meant that when I started to skim read (to find out what happened at the end) I lost track of the action very quickly. It also meant that I nearly missed the grand finale - the lack of build up, the short event, and brief end phase meant that I skimmed right to the end of the book without realising that there had even been a finale! I had to backtrack to find it.

So what would have made this more absorbing and an easier read? It wouldn't take much.

The plot and world building has fascinating and limitless possibilities. More detail please! Jo and Cormac went to another planet, but apart from a tiny bit of description about thin air, moss, trees and buildings, I haven't a clue what the place was like. Smells? Weather? Animals? Birds? Insects? I don't even know what the werewolves look like in wolf form!

Jo was a pre-med student, so she is intelligent. Wouldn't it be marvellous if she used that intelligence? She should be thinking, plotting, planning, researching... Instead she strops about sulking and complaining. Surely she is bright enough to win the odd argument with Cormac, every now and then.

Why doesn't she ask questions and find out who and what she is? She could be picking the brains of henchmen, elves, other keepers... She could be testing the limits of her 'powers', ransacking peoples memories, questioning how the contracts work, building a knowledge base... Instead she marches into danger (alone), and lets Cormac mop up afterwards (again), and waits for other people to feed her info.

I suppose, the root of my problem with this book is the characterisation - none of the characters rise above 2 dimensionality - which is a great pity, because the potential is vast.

I have noticed that the longer my review, the more I am disappointed by the waste of potential, and there is sooo much potential here. If the writing just kicked up a gear, this series could be a winner, and then I would write some short sycophantic review that just gives the author another notch on their quill.
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on 24 August 2013
What an exceptional second book in the Alchemist series! Continuing from `The keepers' this paranormal suspense romance book will have you addicted to this story. The author has a knack of bringing out your emotions with the characters in her writing. I laughed out loud with the humour, my heart pumped in the action adventure scenes, I puzzled over the mystery and suspense trying to solve it, my heart ached over the sad scenes and got butterflies and a silly grin during the sexual banter from a very sexy Cormac that you just hope he and Jo will finally get it on!

The story continues with Jo still working for Cormac at Lacard casino in Vagas. The new threat is Senator Core, intent on destroying the world - no one seems to know what he's up to, what he is or where he will pop up next. Jo takes it on herself to find a way to protect the ones she loves and to save the world. Being an orphan and on her own the majority of her life, Jo is set to do what she does best; her own thing! Of course Jo is always planning to slip past the ever controlling Cormac, who is out to protect her at all costs and the arguments they have are amusing and hilarious as Jo is not use to someone looking out for her and Cormac isn't use to anyone disobeying him and both are stubborn and won't back down or show how they feel.

There is never a dull moment in this book. And the ending - the ending left me wanting to read more!

I love the writing style - from Jo's POV and being a great character that rebels from the dominant controlling Cormac, it's entertaining and an easy flowing book to read. I could not put this down and when I did prise myself away from the kindle, I kept thinking about the book and what will happen and try and work out the mysteries that need solving.

This book was well written and even though the Express editing solutions did a better job on this book than the previous company did on `The Keepers book,' there were still a few little typos missed. I would like to say; Come on you editors bring back the proof-readers - attention to detail is paramount for all authors and their reader's and the enjoyment in the books they read and your companies too!

I am a huge fan of Donna Augustine and if you haven't already read it, I recommend Obsidian Soul (Souls book 1) and hopefully book 2 `Pieces of the Soul' will be out before the end of 2013.
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on 29 July 2013
This is my fab new series addiction! It's fresh and a completely new way of writing about wolves and fae. This story had me gripped from the start. The lead female Is a lot like me stubborn honest with a little humour thrown in. Can't wait for the next one!
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on 6 August 2013
Book 2 of the series and it's a great read. Really enjoyed the plot and characters a well written book.
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on 20 January 2014
This novel is the second in the Alchemy series with The Keepers being the first. I really enjoyed reading this and downloaded the next one straight after. The premise is unusual in that this deals with supernatural abilities on the part of the protagonist such as controlling wormholes but it is definitely not science fiction. It stays firmly in the urban fantasy genre with a strong romantic thread that is drawn our nicely. It develops very well from the first and the author keeps you amused especially with the tense and verbal volleyball type interactions between Jo and Cormac yet continues to ramp up the tension and impending danger.
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on 2 October 2013
An interesting story which continues to reveal itself. Must be read in order to understand what is going on and finished totally unexpectedly and I can usually see where a plot is going. Well worth reading
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on 18 October 2013
Loved this.A great follow up to the first.The relationship between the two main characters is one I adore.Waiting for the third book and I can't recommend enough.
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on 16 April 2014
Enjoyed the first two books except I really am not keen on Jo, so childish, spoils what could be a good series, won't be reading book three, sorry.
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on 20 January 2014
Love this series cant wait for the next one fast paced great characters could not put it down will look out for more from this author
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on 25 October 2013
Having read the first two books I'm addicted and really want to know when the next instalment is coming!!!! Let it be soon!
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