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Posted July 16, 2013
I'm not sure if my review can be counted as valid, seeing as I was incapable of finishing this book. While reading, I couldn't even get through the first few chapters without bursting out laughing. Even for the fantasy genre, the story was far-fetched to the point that it was comical. The plot is two-dimensional and not suitable for a picture book, much less a novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 27, 2012
The Alchemist's Academy is another winning series for Kailin Gow.
Every series that I've read so far has such different characters and storylines, and I always love delving into a new book to see what new and exciting world Kailin has come up with.
This time we have Wirt (a very unique name and a nice change having a male protagonist) who discover's he has magical abilities after he 'accidentally' transports himsefl to a school for magical children, but don't mistake this for a Harry Potter knock-off, the basis for the magic in this story is the legend of King Arthur and Merlin.
With the help of his roommate Spencer, Alana (the girl that they both have a crush on) and Miss Lake (a well known person from the Arthurian legend) the try to find an Urn which is a magical artifact stolen from the school, and not a good thing to fall into the wrong hands.
I really liked the descriptions of the school and all the different magical subjects that the students can enrol in.
A really fun, fast paced read, now onto the next one.
Posted December 9, 2012
It's been a long time since I read a book about magical characters. I guess I was careful because I didn't want to run into any 'Harry Potter' fan fiction. So, dreading the worst, I turned on my Kindle to read "Stones to Ashes' by Kailin Gow, and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. This book was different enough that I saw a story that, although based in a school, kept my interest.
Kailin Gow introduces us to Wirt, a boy who is being chased by bullies and ends up transporting himself to a new school that is totally different than his. Almost immediately, he is thrown into the mystery of who stole a chalice which could return stone to life. There's a lot of adventure and mystery in this book, especially with the school itself.
The school is not a normal school as you will see if you read it. It was really quite clever in its way. The school also houses students from different dimensions. Yes. This school is not in Wirt's dimension. The classes are quite unique too. There are classes in everything from 'How to be Royal' to being able to transport yourself. There are friendships made, subtle jealousies, mystery and most importantly ... magic. There is a strong hint of mythology in this book - King Arthur's time, I believe. I loved Merlin.
Every book has its bad guy and this book is no exception. What's great about this book is that you don't know who it is. There are so many it could be. And so many people who just want to use Wirt for their own purposes.
Now let's talk about characters.
Wirt is a character who had gone through foster care and who believed no one really cared about him. And, I really felt that was the case, I couldn't help thinking that when he disappeared everyone would just think he ran away and nothing else. There was definitely a sense of vulnerability about him. He was relatable, smart and quick-thinking. I think the thing that bothered me, about all the characters actually, was the lack of back story. I knew that he had bounced from foster home to foster home, but there was nothing more.
Alana was being raised to be the royal adviser to her friend, Princess Priscilla. She wasn't a character to take lightly. I wouldn't say she was a kick-ass character, but she was a very determined one. She was a friend to everyone and even handled an awkward romance moment quite well. I ended up feel sorry for the other person involved in that moment. She was kind of the force that held all the characters together.
Spencer was a boy who was controlled by his father. Everything he did was for his father. He had his friends, but he tended to care about his father's opinion to much. He was bright and, apart from Alana, was the first one who met Wirt. He was the quieter one of the three.
There were also other characters who played their part as well. I won't go into what I think about them because there are too many.
The story line is familiar, as most magical books are these days. You'll see what I mean if you decide to read it. The pace of the story is fine. I didn't get bored, and I wasn't tempted to go off and read other books, which is good for me.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a little magic in their life. We all need that, don't we? A little magic.
Posted December 7, 2012
I Also Recommend:
Stones to Ashes introduces Wirt Newton, Kailin Gow's dashing hero of The Alchemists Academy series. Set within an enormous magical tree that branches into worlds unknown, Wirt's story is exciting and adventurous and rounded off with a little mystery.
Wirt gets himself out of a very sticky situation by unwittingly teleporting to another world. This accidental trip to The Alchemists Academy turns his life upside down with the discovery of magic and the school that prepares its pupils for dark wizardry. The idea of the school is definitely different and interesting. How often does one read about a school of magic with self-proclaimed evil teachers? Without a doubt that's the biggest draw for Stones to Ashes!
Kailin's characters are pretty cool and add something different from her other young adult stories. Wirt has some baggage that will most likely be explored even further throughout the series, but he's great at focusing on what's right in front of him and keeping up with a changing atmosphere. He's definitely a guy's guy that teenage boys will be able to relate to. Wirt's new friends Spencer, Alana, Priscilla, and Robert are humorous and fresh and add to the story's flavor. Though the friends all have personalities ranging from flamboyant to geeky, they're a very complimentary group to Wirt and another favorite from Stones to Ashes's story line.
The Alchemists Academy is off to a brilliant start. Being familiar with Kailin's writing style makes it easy to see that there's so much more to come in this series that readers may not be prepared for. Wirt's adventures have only begun and they're very likely to grow in danger and excitement!
*ebook provided in exchange for an honest review and blog tour purposes*
Also posted on Lovey Dovey Books
Posted December 4, 2012
I really liked this story. It was interesting from the start and Wirt is an irresistible character to fall in love with. The other characters are great as well! The in depth personalities that Kailin gives each one is awesome!
I liked the flow of the story and how easy it was to get lost in the magical telling of the school in a tree! I would recommend this book to everyone!
Posted September 26, 2011
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