Alchemystic

( 17 )

Overview

AN OLD FRIEND OF THE FAMILY…

Alexandra Belarus is a struggling artist living in New York City, even though her family is rich in real estate, including a towering Gothic Gramercy Park building built by her great-great-grandfather. But the truth of her bloodline is revealed when she is attacked on the street and saved by an inhumanly powerful winged figure. A figure who knows the Belarus name…

Lexi’s great-great-grandfather was a Spellmason—an ...

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Alchemystic

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Overview

AN OLD FRIEND OF THE FAMILY…

Alexandra Belarus is a struggling artist living in New York City, even though her family is rich in real estate, including a towering Gothic Gramercy Park building built by her great-great-grandfather. But the truth of her bloodline is revealed when she is attacked on the street and saved by an inhumanly powerful winged figure. A figure who knows the Belarus name…

Lexi’s great-great-grandfather was a Spellmason—an artisan who could work magic on stone. But in his day, dark forces conspired against him and his, so he left a spell of protection on his family. Now that Lexi is in danger, the spell has awoken her ancestor’s most trusted and fearsome creation: a gargoyle named Stanis.

Lexi and Stanis are equally surprised to find themselves bound to each other. But as they learn to work together, they realize that only united can they save the city they both love…

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Belarus name is famous for real estate, but 22-year-old artist Alexandra Belarus would rather spend her days in the studio that once belonged to her great-great-grandfather, Alexander, than meet with contractors. Then, over a very eventful two days, Lexi survives two attacks, discovers ancient family magic, and realizes that her brother's accidental death may not be that accidental. Thankfully, she has her new friend Stanis, a gargoyle created by Alexander with Spellmasonry, which gives life to inanimate objects. Stanis has but one mission; to protect the Belarus family from the malevolent Servants of Ruthenia and other dangers. As the bond between Stanis and Lexi grows, she tries to return him to his full power before she encounters a foe he can't save her from. Strout (the Simon Canderous novels) keeps things moving with action on every page as Lexi develops improbably quickly into a Spellmasonry adept. The dialogue between Lexi and her friends is fast-paced, but the attempt at capturing twentysomething slang comes off as adolescent, though it does lend plenty of humor. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937007799
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Series: A Spellmason Chronicle Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 597,455
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Anton Strout was born in the Berkshire Hills mere miles from writing heavyweights Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. He is an always writer, a sometimes actor, sometimes musician, occasional RPGer, and the world's most casual and controller-smashing video gamer. He currently works in the exciting world of publishing and yes, it is as glamorous as it sounds.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2012

    Not good.

    I got past 100 pages but only barely and by pushing myself to commit to it since I paid for it. It reads like a bad fan fiction. The storyline is weak, the character dialogue inane and tedious. I felt like I was reading something a child wrote between classes. I was psyched about this book's potential only to be shot down in flames. Wicked disappointed.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    Gave up half way

    Even for a popcorn read, this is mediocre. Every hero(ine) is something special or there wouldn't be a book, but when Alexandra discovers she is a target of a generations-old feud, with a living gargoyle as defender, and starts to fall in love with it, I got fed up.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Not good

    The characters are flat and all the dialog thats supposed to be witty and clever comes across as ridiculous and forced by the author to make the secondary characters interesting. It reads like a third grade book. The main character and friends accept the magic and gargoyles too readily and she figures everything out too easily. I was ecstatic to find a gargoyle book and this is a massive disappointment. If this can get published, any eight year old with a book idea can be published too.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2012

    Alexandra ¿Lexi¿ Belarus is a struggling artist living in New Yo

    Alexandra “Lexi” Belarus is a struggling artist living in New York City. She is not a starving artist though, because her family owns a lot of land. But when her older brother, Devon, has a building fall on him, Lexi has no choice but to quickly begin learning about the family’s real estate empire. When Lexi is attacked on the dark streets and saved by a massive winged figure, she begins to learn the truth about the Belarus history.

    Lexi’s great-great-grandfather, Alexander, was a Spellmason. Spellmasonry is alchemy, using arcane chemical processes to imbue materials with different properties than they would normally have. For example, Spellmasonry can give life to stone. Lexi’s GGF had dark forces conspiring against him and his kin, so he left a spell of protection on his family. Now that Lexi is in danger, the magic has awoken Stanis, a stone gargoyle. Stanis has been standing sentinel for ages. The family’s stone ally had even saved Lexi’s father long ago. But why did Stanis not waken months ago, when Devon was murdered?

    As Lexi searches for Alexander’s hidden tomes of knowledge, she learns that Stanis once had four soul stones. For an unknown reason, Lexi’s GGF removed them and hid each somewhere in the city. Riddles have been left to their locations. Lexi vows to restore the stones to Stanis so he would be at full power to help protect the family.

    With Lexi is her closest friend, Aurora “Rory” Torres. For years Rory has toned her body through dance. She soon discovers that dance and gracefulness is perfect for fighting. Marshall is Rory’s roommate. Marsh is no fighter, but he is a geek. His years of playing Dungeon and Dragon games have made him into a brilliant tactician. With the stones often surrounded with magical traps, Marsh is actually the most experienced. As a gamer, Marsh is eating this stuff up!

    As the secret order trying to kill Lexi and her parents close in, the race is on to find and restore the gargoyle’s soul stones. All the while, Lexi must quickly learn to become a Spellmason.

    ***** FIVE STARS! Wow! Just…WOW! This is the first time that I have had the pleasure of reading any story by this author; however, he has already made a fan in me! This story will greatly appeal to fans of Fantasy and/or gaming (on board, PC, or consoles), as well as fans of action movies, such as X-Men, Indiana Jones, and Tomb Raider. If any of that fits you, then you will instantly be a perspicacious reader. But no worries, the author explains everything in such a way that non-gamers will totally understand and enjoy.

    The story is set in the present. No one knows or believes in magic. Yet any reader who actually lives in New York may find his view of the city to become a bit warped. The characters show themselves to have the same indomitable spirit of those that (in reality) reside in the great city. The author exposes some of the abandoned underground areas, painting the scenery so vividly that I actually began to feel a prickly sensation at one point. The best I can describe Strout’s writing style is to say that he seems to write with a patience coupled with ferocity. I eagerly wait for the next installment of this series. Exhilarating and highly recommended! *****


    Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Poor

    I wish i had never bought this book. Not only is it poorly written, but the characters are inconsistant at best. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2012

    A Fun Urban Fantasy Adventure

    Yay! Been waiting for this one for too long. Sure, I'd prefer a new Simon Canderous novel, but this makes up for it.

    This isn't a conventional UF--your three human heroes are definitely not run-of-the-mill, which is nice; they're all likeable, which is nicer. You want to spend time with them, you want them to come out on top, you want the giant, nigh-humorless and nigh-invulnerable, living statue to come to their rescue. Which works out for everyone, because that's what the statue wants, too.

    Stanis, the statue--gargoyle--in question here is a pretty nice character, too. Can't get into all of it without entering spoiler territory, but for a superhero that gets, but doesn't totally get, these odd humans, he's pretty fun.

    That's a good description for the whole book--pretty fun. Not as intense, or dark and brooding, as a lot of UF. But a nice, fun, character-driven read. Good ending, that's not quite a cliff-hanger, but whets the appetite for volume 2.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Concept good, writing not so much

    Formulaic writing and misspelled words, erroneous word use ruin the flow. Too much explaining - telling vs showing - and choppy transitions. Should not cost the same as the much better written Aaronovitch series. A professional editor would work wonders.

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  • Posted April 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is the first book in The Spellmason Chronicles by Anton Str

    This is the first book in The Spellmason Chronicles by Anton Strout. I picked this book up because I liked the cover and the blurb sounded interesting. I have always had a thing for gargoyles and this seemed a good fit.

    The book opens from the point of view of the gargoyle, or as he prefers to be called a Grotesque, Stanis. It seems he only really awakens when the urge to Protect calls him. Otherwise, he is in some kind of half-wake state where he just absorbs and collects the changes going on around him without any real comprehension. 

    The second chapter gives us Alexandra, or Lexi as her friends and family call her, the main protagonist of this book. Her side of the story opens with an argument with her older brother defacing some of her art work. As a sculptor, she believes that their family heritage has more to do with the art and architecture of the Belarus family. Her brother Devon believes that is about managing their real estate holdings. Shortly after the argument, she gets a call from the police that her brother has been killed in a building collapse. He is identified by the family ring he was wearing holding the phone that he had just spoken to Lexi on. 

    Fast forward a couple of months, and Lexi is now hip deep in the family real estate business. She was forced to start learning as the last remaining Belarus heir. To keep her sanity in the nightmare that is the corporate world, she continues to try to work on her art at night. Unfortunately, she is constantly either late to or missing classes due to the family business commitments. Commitments which she only half-heartedly works at because its not the life she wants. Basically Lexi is a big ole hot mess.

    Then, while walking home from class, Lexi is accosted and Stanis is awakened and comes to protect her. After a conversation between Lexi's accoster and Stanis, we find out that someone knows who Stanis is and believes that all the Belarus must be punished for what they did to Stanis. At first Lexi doesn't know how she escapes. Then with the next attempt at her life, she finds out a bout Stanis and his urge to Protect the Belarus family.

    This was a very interesting book. I did like the way the story kept changing view points between Lexi and Stanis. There are lots of secrets and puzzles to be revealed and solved. Many go back generations. There were several times in the book I did the "Say what?" or "Really? Truly?" because the characters took huge leaps in faith several times. Things happened that I just could not wrap my head around as everyone just believing in and accepting as okay dokay. But that may just be me. I did enjoy the book and am interested to see where the author is going to go with the next book in the series, so I will be watching for it. I am giving it 3 stars on Goodreads. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2013

    Funny story about this book...I'd have given it at least four st

    Funny story about this book...I'd have given it at least four stars anyway. I found it to be fun, fresh, and hell, it has GARGOYLES in it. While it had the darkish feeling that an urban fantasy should have, there was plenty of humor that didn't feel forced (forced humor is a pet peeve of mine), and I felt that the characters were relatable--really liked the dynamic between them. All good things. But this happens to be the book I brought with me on a cross-country trip to Seattle a few days before Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast. And I'll tell you, if you're a nerd like me who happen to be stranded indefinitely on the west coast, 3,000 miles away from most of your friends and family, this is a great book to have. I was able to disappear into the world of this story, with characters who were disturbingly like some of my closest friends from back home (not to mention me...yes, I did indeed identify with one of the characters, but I won't say who--you'll just have to read and find out!). So I gave this book an extra star (maybe...as I said, I was on the fence between four and five to begin with) for being my home away from home when I was stuck in a really bad place. Anything that could let me escape from that acute homesickness has to have been magical indeed!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 21, 2012

    Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Guest Reviewer, LadyTechnie:

    Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Guest Reviewer, LadyTechnie:

    Truly amazing book! I received an early copy of the paperback edition for review from Literal Addiction. I am already a fan of gargoyles. I was a fan of the cartoon and love seeing pictures of them and especially love seen buildings that have gargoyles carved into the architecture. Alchemystic was a great adventure. I loved every page of it. It was the story of Alexandra Belarus who comes from a family with a deep architectural history in Manhattan. The Belarus clan also has a secret which they were not even aware, Alexander Belarus was gifted in magic that could control stone. He did leave them protection from something they are not even aware is a danger to them, something from his past. This protection comes in the form of Stanis, the coolest gargoyle ever!

    This book has some wonderful character development. There were times that I wanted to kick Alexandra. She had her moments of being obviously entitled, bossing her friends around as if they were her sidekicks until she was faced with how treating them that way might affect her relationship with them. We watch her grow as a person and as she comes into her gifts. Alexandra's parents have secrets of their own as do most people. What happens when family secrets come to light? Some serious tension which pushes this book's characters stand out more. Alexandra's relationship with her brother is best depicted by the opening scene of the book. Words cannot express my opinion of Devon. He has to be experienced by each reader for themselves.

    The action and magic in this book was truly great. The fight scenes were very well written and they did not all involve Stanis, though he was truly bada**. We learn a lot about his background and what his desires and goals are and how he is driven to complete those goals. No other words describe it and I love a well developed action sequence. This book had several exciting action scenes and architectural exploration hunting for hidden items needed to solve a mystery. I loved being introduced to Anton Stout's creatures in this book and his own spin on alchemy and gargoyles. I am totally enthralled by this story and I am really ready to know when book two comes out because it promises to be a serious knuckle biter!

    LITERAL ADDICTION's Guest Reviewer gives Alchemystic 5 Skulls.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    Couldnr T Great read

    Couldnr o
    Put

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 22, 2012

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    Posted November 20, 2012

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    Posted October 6, 2012

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    Posted October 22, 2012

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    Posted January 2, 2013

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    Posted August 8, 2013

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