Random House LLC
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A Conspiracy of Alchemists: Book One in The Chronicles of Light and Shadow Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The female protagonist, Elle Chance, was one dimensional and acted more like a spoiled teenager than an adult. When given directions she protested and complained or lashed out rather than asking for more information. I appreciate a character who is not a doormat, but is "Why?" really too much to ask before assuming that someone is trying to order you around for no reason? So much unnecessary melodrama...
The setting, being somewhere in between historical and fantasy, was interesting but not particularly well developed. Fleshing out these types of things would have contributed to world building. Instead of a fully realized world, this book felt like a tossed salad of tropes and things that the author thought would interest readers, with no true connectivity between them. The scenes which involved travel to various European locations didn't have any sense of being in those places or any connection to the locations. Generally if the setting changes a lot in a book, either the travel or the different places serve almost as characters within the story; contributing tension, atmosphere, romantic mood, or something. The settings here contributed so little the whole book might as well have been set in the same city.
Considering all of that, it isn't surprising that the male protagonist and the secondary characters were just as unsatisfying. Also, the plot's primary focus felt forced and sort of silly. Perhaps if the characters were well actualized, or the atmosphere of the locations was felt in the writing, or if the world was fully realized then the lame plot wouldn't matter so much. Unfortunately, with nothing to support it, the plot lacked excitement.
On the whole I was extremely disappointed with this book, and will not be continuing with the series.
With steampunk stories fast becoming a new favorite genre, I jumped at the opportunity to read Schwarz's debut. I loved her world-building -- she has all of the traditional steampunk elements, from dirigibles to clockwork inventions -- but where she separates her vision of early twentieth-century Europe from the rest is in her delineation between the elements of Shadow and Light. The Light represents Elle's familiar world -- her father's work as an inventor of spark-powered flying machines, a world of scientific, rational thought and technological advancement.Read more ›
You don't have to be a Steampunk or Fantasy fan to enjoy this; as I have stated it's easy to pick up and read. If Steampunk and Fantasy are your cup of tea, give it a try. You might enjoy it.
Easy to read
Recommended for Steampunk and Fantasy fans or those curious
Somewhat Repetitive Plot
Disclaimer: Received from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
This was a fun, well-paced steampunk fantasy romance! I thought it was a strong start to a new series that I will be snatching as soon as available. It starts off with intrigue and action and keeps it up throughout the book. I loved the absinthe fairies and the inner monologue of Adele as she travels with Elle on her adventure.
I've always liked Wonder Woman and the archetype of strong, self-efficient feminine leads without them acting as if they have something to prove. Elle Chance is this kind of character. She is self-sufficent and able to stand on her own, but doesn't have that self-aggrandizement that can be so annoying. She questions Marsh and his motives from the beginning, which was smart in my book as why ever would you trust someone with your life and the life of a loved one based on his word alone?
Marsh, as her counterpart, is likeable with the tiniest hint of "hurt in the past" that makes you want Elle to fix him. Dashing, gentlemanly, and never condescending.
I enjoyed the turns of mythology in regards to oracles, the fantasy of magic with warlocks, and the steampunk ships, creations, mechanicals, and alchemists. The ending was satisfying even though it left you with heart palpitations and wanting the next book RIGHT NOW.
A Conspiracy of Alchemists publishes on March 4, 2013. So get it now and join me in the "wait, when is the SEQUEL?!"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the author's first published work. She has picked a hard piece to do well. She is trying to show the split emotions of an independent young woman in a time were the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Paul Pawelski
This is a romance cloaked in a steampunk/magic suspense novel. In a world where magic is in danger of being supplanted by science, a strong-willed heroine meets a handsome... Read morePublished 10 months ago by C. Bouldin
Popular formula today with Victorian steam technology taken to extremes. Heroine looked good, but turns out to be mostly a damsel in distress unable to help herself at all. Read morePublished 11 months ago by E.P. McLean
I decided to read this book because the two main characters, Elle and Marsh, were listed on a top ten steampunk couples list somewhere. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Veronica 87
<blockquote><strong>LEAVE IT TO CHANCE.</strong>
Eleanor “Elle” Chance, that is—a high-flying dirigible pilot with a taste for adventure... Read more
I thought the book was interesting. it was a good read. I like historical sci-fi fiction. I definitely recommend this book!Published 17 months ago by Judy Soy
Steampunk is one of my very favourite genres. This book was certainly fun that the steampunk elements were great! Read morePublished 21 months ago by Preethi
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