Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Alchemist Gift (Alchemist Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – September 10, 2014
|New from||Used from|
|Paperback, September 10, 2014||
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"a style reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magical realism"
Alchemist Gift is a thought-provoking journey through time and the small events that make up the human experience, imperceptibly changing the course of an entire life. Alchemist Gift reminds us that ... time is, perhaps, not as concrete as we may believe. Time connects all human beings and Giglio's novel pushes us to savor and remember as many moments as we can because this allows those moments to live on. Alchemist Gift is a fun romp through a magical world where fiction becomes fact and present becomes past. - Red City Review
From the Inside Flap
Top customer reviews
I have to agree with one other reviewer that the only main character in the book, Roland Hughes, was rather underdeveloped and unappealing--I always feel that characters who are bored with life or who lack direction are difficult to care about, and in this case, Roland has so little personal integrity that it's rather daring of the author to have him carry the weight of the story on his shoulders. Perhaps if Roland did not remember who he was after he "moves," then his looking into his soul and finding some actual strength of character would draw the reader in. But the author stayed true to his unworthy main character and did not endow him with good qualities that seem to come from nowhere, so that is a sign of a good writer.
The book could use a proofread and a minor edit, some long descriptions of what people looked like could be edited out for characters who appear in only one page and are never seen again, but the very long description at the beginning (of the tree) is actually fun to read and really sets up the rest of the story nicely.
One inconsistency that drove me crazy was that when Roland arrives in the Italy of 500 years ago, he just automatically speaks Old Italian. This was never explained AND when Stefano arrives in modern-day California, HE speaks not one word of English. Also, just how did the money to buy the cabinet get into the cabinet in the first place? In a novel this good and this compelling, I am actually surprised that the author did not address these things. And why no follow up on Sofia's parents? However, I see this is a series, so perhaps these things will be addressed in the second book, which, believe me, I am looking forward to in spite of the gruesomeness. I give it 5 stars because I could not put the book down.
The book has a large cast of characters who are all introduced in fine flowing detail, many of who appear in several different time scales as the stories jump back and forth during proceedings.
A dream scene opens the book with a piazza full of people gathering for a town event. We then meet Roland Hughes in present day San Diego, a twenty-eight year old perpetual student drifting through life unsure of his true role. Supported by life-long friend Liz, Roland fails to see that his lethargy to life and love is losing him a future with Liz.
Back in medieval Italy several innocent girls are being accused of witch-craft, until a storm saves them from burning and a miracle occurs. The story then follows many of the characters in tales of their lives, struggles and loves. A special cabinet is made from wood which is believed to have magical qualities. Approximately 600 years later in San Diego Roland finds an alchemist cabinet which transports him in time to the Renaissance era where he is coerced into the life of an alchemist and the ultimate prize to turn lead into Gold.
I enjoyed reading the alchemy parts in the book, but I didn't connect with Roland's character. I also found myself struggling to keep pace with all the characters and the level of their importance to the storylines. The book does offer family trees at the back which could perhaps be placed earlier for an e-version.
This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author.
Roland's gift from the alchemist is another life in another time. Will he squander the opportunity, or find personal redemption? The author keeps your interest and truly delivers in a delicious twist at the end. I'm anxious to find out what happens to Liz, who is left in his past and whose continuing story is hinted at in book.
Most recent customer reviews
If you love full-length novels with twists and turns then you'll love this book.Read more