- Series: Dark Alchemy
- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse (April 28, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006240492X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062404923
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 50 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,584,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dark Alchemy Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2015
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“This fun adventure in modern-day Wyoming introduces Petra Dee, a geologist looking for her missing father and trying to make peace with her past. Bickle (Rogue Oracle) adds a dash of romance to the charming adventure, wrapped up with a perfect ending.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Dark Alchemy reads like a stand-alone work, but Petra is such a likable protagonist… that it’s hard not to hope we’ll see more of Petra’s adventures. [Bickle] has a clear, clean sense of plotting that gives the novel a wonderful pace and sense of completeness. More, please.” (RT Book Reviews on DARK ALCHEMY, 4.5 Stars)
“You should read this wonderfully odd book that’s an irresistible mashup of folklore, horror, and Wild West story. You really should. It will surprise you.” (My Bookish Ways on DARK ALCHEMY)
“Dark Alchemy is brilliant as a stand-alone, yet a return trip to Temperance wouldn’t be unwelcome. Come for the western, but stay for the weird science!” (Tez Says on DARK ALCHEMY)
“A fun urban fantasy read, complete with undead cowboys, Dark Alchemy… is a great standalone for readers not looking to jump into a series.” (Bookish on DARK ALCHEMY)
“I’m just so glad I didn’t miss out on this book. You shouldn’t either!” (Christy's Love of Books on DARK ALCHEMY)
“The best part of Dark Alchemy was the creep factor Laura Bickle infused into every page. This isn’t a scary book, but it carries a subtle dread throughout. I know I would be first on the train if Petra’s story did become a series!” (Bad Ass Book Reviews on DARK ALCHEMY)
“If Dark Alchemy was a movie, it’d pass the Bechdel Test and more than passes equity tests... Dark Alchemy was a compelling read with a satisfying conclusion promising more Petra Dee stories set around Temperance. I’m hooked.” (Dark Matter Zine on DARK ALCHEMY)
“Dark Alchemy is a fascinating page-turner. It’s something new, different, and refreshing.” (Books that Hook on DARK ALCHEMY)
“Dark Alchemy plays with the typical urban fantasy tropes, but puts a unique spin on them all. The magic and the mystery are the hook, but the characters are what will keep you reading. It’s a fast-paced adventure… racing towards a suitably epic climax.” (Beauty in Ruins on DARK ALCHEMY)
About the Author
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology–Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. More information about Laura’s work can be found at www.laurabickle.com.
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Geologist Petra, after a horrific accident at her former job, has found a new position on the outskirts of Yellowstone, in the area where her father disappeared many years ago. But the town is has some weird stuff going on that has a lot to do with two even weirder groups, one, associated with the rancher who has secrets buried in his property and a group of dangerous ranch hands and law enforcement in his pocket to help keep those secrets, and another, associated with the Alchemist and his group of meth heads.
I liked Petra, for the most part she comes off as competent and intelligent though for a scientist she does accept the woo woo stuff fairly easily, I also liked the unusual pet who adopts her. Also very interesting is one of the cursed ranch hands, Gabriel, after all is said and done I still want to know what happens to him next.
In some ways the story felt finished at the end, but there were enough threads left, not really dangling, but waiting to be pulled that I had to email author Bickle to find out if there would be more. Though she didn't exactly say yes, she did say news was forthcoming, so I am very hopeful for seeing more of Petra and Gabriel in this very different world.
With a fully realized female lead in Petra Dee, sinister and mysterious magic, a surprisingly lovable coyote companion, and a small rural town - Temperance - that almost feels like a character unto itself, DARK ALCHEMY has a lot going for it. The plot is engaging, pulling me along as it sorted through mysteries both old and new, with hidden dangers around ever corner. The characters all felt real with believable motivations for their actions, which I've found to be a rare thing these days, even among bestsellers. The dialogue and prose were both spot on, giving me just enough to let my imagination fill in the rest.
The only complaint I have is that not everything is wrapped up neatly in a little bow. Some things are left unsolved. My greatest hope is that this gets made into a series and I can dive deeper into the fascinating tale of Petra Dee and a town called Temperance.
If you like Urban Fantasy and want something completely new then read Dark Alchemy!!
If you want your UF with a side of darkness then read Dark Alchemy!!
Don't let the cover fool you- this is not a Western in the traditional sense at all. Lol.
This was my first time reading a Laura Bickle novel and I am looking forward to book #2 in this series!