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Monday, December 31, 2012
Book Review: Alchemystic by Anton Strout
Author: Anton Strout
Series: The Spellmason Chronicles, book 1
Source: From publisher for review
Buy it here: Amazon | Book Depository
For more information visit Anton Strout's website
Reviewed by: Ronnie
Alchemystic is the story Alexandra Belalrus, an artist who has been living in New York City until tragedy strikes, and she’s forced to move back home with her parents at the Gramercy Park Building. “Lexi” struggles with doing the right thing and starts to learn the ins and outs of her family’s real estate business instead of pursuing her art career. The secrets behind Lexi’s bloodline and great-great grandfather are revealed pretty early on after being attacked on the street and saved by the Gargoyle, who we come to know as “Stannis”.Lexi discovers that her great-grandfather, Alexander, was a Spellmason and could work magic on stone and she, too, possesses these particular abilities as well.
The book didn’t work for me on a couple of levels, but I will say that Alchemystic has a unique premise with strongly developed relationships and that is what made me continue on in reading the book. Early on, Lexi establishes what I’d call the embodiment of, “TSTL”. (For those who don’t know – TSTL – Too Stupid To Live) She makes bad choices, starting with not paying attention to where she’s going when she’s walking home alone.She goes out on her own after discovering that the man who held a knife to her throat was killed not far from her family’s home. But the really standout choice that Lexi makes is after she discovers what Stannis is and what his responsibilities entail, she decides to test out that particular theory by jumping off the side of a building. Just because that’s what you do when you find out your family has a protective Gargoyle guardian. I pretty much stopped caring what happened to Lexi right after I read that scene.
This was a book I had a lot of trouble getting through as well. I’d pick it up, read for a bit, then find a chore that took precedence over my reading time. I probably stopped and started the book about 8 or 9 times within a period of a few days. While I didn’t find myself drawn into the story, I did appreciate how the relationships were portrayed within the book. Lexi has two good friends, Marshall and Rory, that frequently come to her aid and question her decisions throughout the whole book. They tease, they fight and get mad at one another, and come to each other’s aid. This was one of the best parts of the entire novel. A lot of UF these days has protagonists that are loners with few, if any, friends. This was not the case with Alchemystic.
By the time the mystery of who is behind the attacks is revealed, I found myself to be rather bored and just wanted to finish the story for the sake of knowing how things are tied up. The supposed “twist” to who was behind the attacks wasn’t surprising and I really wished it had been otherwise. A unique premise in a crowded UF field, but fell short with the execution.