- File Size: 3782 KB
- Print Length: 340 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0986618489
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Seamchecker Ent.; 1 edition (October 4, 2016)
- Publication Date: October 4, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01IUL6VOY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,862 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
That Potent Alchemy (Treading the Boards Book 3) Kindle Edition
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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On top of this there’s a sort of mystery threaded throughout, but instead of leaving it as a subtle, low-level possible curse of the Scottish Play, we get scenes from the pov of a character involved, thereby removing the mystery and again leaving me impatient for the whole thing to just move along.
Which is a shame, because I liked Isaac. He’s inventive and clever and ambitious. His focus does sometimes let him down on the emotional front, but his curiosity more than made up for it in his pursuit of Grace and his willingness to except her for exactly who she is. I would have liked to have seen more of his chemical experiments, but on the whole he’s likable and interesting enough.
Grace was tricky. I wanted to like her, but the mistrust and prickliness that grew as a result of her past made it hard for me at times. Her determination never to actually care for anyone or anything makes her borderline miserable and her fixation on only seeing the worst in Isaac got rather annoying. Her strength and determination to live her life on her terms are definitely admirable, though.
I also found the lack of discussion or introspection around her gender-fluidity a little disappointing. Because she lives in the theater world and Isaac is enamored with everything about her, her quirk of dressing certain ways on certain days could be easily be glossed over or ignored. It’s great that she’s comfortable enough with her identity that it rarely comes up in her thoughts, but at the same time, the lack of issue around it makes it far too easy to dismiss. She essentially reads as female throughout, but one who likes wearing mens clothes and taking a more dominant role in the bedroom on occasion.
The historical setting was fantastic. Filled with interesting snippets and just enough information to bring the time and place alive as well as the hard work of the theater, without being too much or getting bogged down in minutiae. I also really liked Isaac’s family, warm and kind and fun as they were, though his brother Colin/Nicholas was a bit confusing at first, since I’ve never seen Colin used as a diminutive of Nicholas before.
So it’s a bit of a mix. A slow pace with sexy scenes thrown in along the way, but although the characters are interesting at first, I did struggle to maintain my interest at times. The history is good, but the romantic connection beyond sex doesn’t really appear until very close to the end. If you’re reading for the POC characters (and that gorgeous cover), then you shouldn’t be disappointed on that front, but the genderfluidity was less than it could have been. In all it’s okay, enjoyable in parts but not as compelling as I’d hoped.
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
I love, love, love Grace to pieces. I really do. She is cautious, self-reliant, a bit snarky. But there wasn't enough discussion of her feelings on gender to satisfy me. We get lots of hints of something shifting in her from time to time, but I'm not sure I would have picked up she's genderfluid if the cover copy hadn't said so. That's just me though, hungry for all the exploration on gender and presentation.
Our other lead is Isaac, an amateur chemist who works the special effects for stage shows. Most of the drama in the book revolves around these special effects, and it was so interesting to read about. The crew behind theatrical performances rarely get their stories told. I adored Isaac quite a bit too, although I liked him way more when he was around Grace.
Grace and Isaac are so much fun together, and I giggled so much during their romantic scenes. I loved how Isaac threw himself completely at Grace while still respecting her boundaries. And when Grace alluded to pegging him and he didn't say no, heh heh heh, that was probably the moment I fell in love with these two.
I had a few nitpicky issues with the end, particularly what one antagonist's punishment is, but most of the book was a real pleasure to read. While this is the third in the series, there's no need to have read the previous two books to fully enjoy Grace and Isaac's story. Bowery's fabulous writing makes this feel like its own standalone.
***e-ARC provided by NetGalley***
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