A Conspiracy of Alchemists
by Liesel Schwarz
Cover Review: The cover is one of the things that originally caught my attention. The bright pink letters, the intriguing girl, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower with a dirigible flying by. The font is a little hard to read and the author's name blends in a bit, but otherwise I like the framing. Everything's well placed.
The blurb: LEAVE IT TO CHANCE.
Eleanor “Elle” Chance, that is—a high-flying dirigible pilot with a taste for adventure and the heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, steampunk, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.
It is 1903, and the world is divided between light and shadow. On the side of light is a wondrous science that has transformed everyday life by harnessing magical energies to ingenious new technologies. But each advance of science has come at the expense of shadow—the traditional realm of the supernatural.
Now two ancient powers are preparing to strike back. Blood-sucking immortal Nightwalkers and their spellcasting Alchemist allies have a plan to cover the whole world in shadow. All they require is the sacrifice of a certain young woman whose past conceals a dangerous secret.
But when they come after Elle, they get more than they bargained for. This enterprising young woman, the daughter of a scientific genius, has reserves of bravery and determination that even she scarcely suspects. Now she is about to meet her match in more ways than one: a handsome yet infuriating Warlock named Hugh Marsh, whose agenda is as suspect as his charms are annoyingly irresistible.
I didn't like this book. The blurb sounded exciting and I was eager to read it. However, once I started I couldn't get into it at all.
First, Elle was boring. The blurb made her sound daring and exciting. She was daring, but she fell flat. She would repeat things she already said, which is annoying. Makes you want to say get on with it. Most of the other characters, except her father, were more interesting than her.
Second, the plot was confusing. There are Nightcrawlers, which are basically vampires, and pirates and alchemists and warlocks. I think there were too many elements and not enough cohesiveness. I wasn't even sure what happened in the climax.
And most of the plot was predictable. Elle starts off hating Marsh and they end up kissing. It's not that I mind that, but it felt cliche. Her father is a mad scientist type of guy. Elle turns out to be the person with special powers the warlocks are looking for, obviously. Even the plot twists didn't surprise me.
If you don't mind reading a slightly confusing plot with distant characters, there are some cool elements. The absinthe fairy for one thing. If you like steampunk and paranormal, this book is for you.
Have you read this book? Do you like steampunk? Let me know in the comments.