The Alchemy of Forever: An Incarnation Novel

The Alchemy of Forever: An Incarnation Novel

by Avery Williams


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Seraphina’s first love made her immortal…her second might get her killed.

Incarnation is a new series that introduces a fresh mythology perfect for fans of bestselling series like The Immortals by Alyson Noel and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

After spending six hundred years on earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world’s riches, but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to swap bodies with other humans, jumping from one vessel to the next, taking the human’s life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she’s done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she’s inhabiting—and falls for the human boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she’s his again, and every moment she stays, she’s putting herself and the people she’s grown to care for in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442443167
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Avery Williams was born the day after Halloween in Los Angeles and has since lived in five different states due to her father’s job as a radio disc jockey (though she sometimes claims her parents were in the circus). Now she makes her home in Oakland, California, with her husband and a cat named Vendetta. She enjoys riding her bicycle around town and working on her hundred-year-old house. She is the author of The Alchemy of Forever and The Impossibility of Tomorrow.

Read an Excerpt

The Alchemy of Forever

  • The late autumn day is oddly hot for San Francisco. The morning fog has lifted and the sun’s rays reach my pale skin, but do not warm me. For the past year I’ve stayed bone white, no matter how much time I spend in the sun, and I’m freezing, all the time. It is always this way when death is near. I’ve put this body through hell, and it’s finally catching up with me.

    I wince as I lean back on one of the steel chaise longues scattered around the pool on the roof of my apartment building, a brash glass tower, all angles and blue tints, jutting upward over the SOMA neighborhood. The sunlight glints off the surface of the pool; it’s almost too bright for me, even behind my large sunglasses. I blink, watching a hummingbird makes his way to the roof deck, zigzagging madly between the ruby-colored morning glory blossoms spilling out from galvanized planter boxes I had bought at the local flea market. I am always amazed when birds appear here, twenty stories up in the middle of the city. How did he know there were flowers? Was it instinct that drove him upward, or blind luck?

    When I try to fly away, will I be as lucky and find what I am looking for?

    Living like this—the persistent cold, the pain radiating through my joints at a constant interval, the shortness of breath accompanying my every movement—has made my choice for me. For once my body is as weary as my soul. I’ve dragged it all over the globe for six hundred years—it’s time to let go of this life and figure out what comes next. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified, but a thrill of excitement runs up my spine every time I think about it. It’s been so long since I’ve ventured into the unknown.

    “I know that look. What are you thinking about?” Charlotte, my best friend, asks as she comes through the glass door to the deck. She carries a tray of iced tea, moisture already beading like wobbly diamonds on the outside of the glasses. When I take one, the little droplets fall to the ground and immediately turn to steam.

    I push my sunglasses up into my dark hair and smile at Charlotte. “Nothing,” I lie. “Just enjoying the sun.”

    I can tell no one of my plan to die, not even Charlotte. Cyrus would never let me leave. Not without a fight, and one that I would surely lose. More than anything I want to be free of the man who controls me with his fists, his words, and his iron will—the man who made me what I am.

    Charlotte narrows her hazel eyes at me, but says nothing. After two centuries of friendship, I can’t get anything by her, but I also know she won’t pry. I cherish her understanding and acceptance; it is what I’ll miss most when I leave. That and the sunshine, but I can’t afford to think about what I’m leaving behind if my plan is going to work.

    Moving around the deck, Charlotte offers drinks to our other friends. Jared pulls out a flask to spice up his, looking every bit the pirate he was when I first met him in 1660, a row of studs and hoops trailing up his earlobe like a rocky coastline. Amelia declines, her white-blond hair gleaming in the sunlight and her deep tan a stark contrast to my milky skin.

    When Charlotte approaches Sébastien, his long dread-locks pulled back in a low ponytail, a shy smile flickers across her face. He leans on the orange metal railing that encircles the deck. I notice his fingers grazing hers as he takes his tea, making her shake her head, slightly embarrassed, her copper curls falling forward in her face.

    I have always loved her red hair, which is not so different from the hair she was born with. All of us have had a similar experience: When Cyrus made us Incarnates, we went through periods of trying out different kinds of bodies. Old, young, male, female. But we all found the experience too disorienting, and eventually settled in forms that reminded us of our former selves. I’ve been a different incarnation of myself—brown eyes, long brown hair—for centuries.

    The glass doors open once more, and Cyrus, our leader, joins us on the deck. He’s wearing a well-tailored black shirt that sets off his platinum hair and tall, lean frame. Around his neck is the vial of elixir he used to make us Incarnates. I can’t say he’s not beautiful, though the magic I once felt when looking at him has long since dissipated.

    He sits next to me, regarding me with his icy blue eyes and running his hands through my hair possessively. I shiver but don’t pull away. “I want to discuss Sera’s party,” he tells us. Yes, the party in my honor. Although it would be more apt to call it an execution.

    I sit up, my muscles straining from the effort, and am momentarily dizzy. When my vision clears, I see the hummingbird fluttering around a cluster of lilies, his wings a red blur.

    “It’s going to be at Emerald City,” he announces, and Amelia’s eyes brighten. Emerald City is the most exclusive nightclub in San Francisco. People more important and more beautiful than Cyrus have been turned away at the door.

    Jared lets out a low whistle and pulls his chair closer to Cyrus, the metal screeching against the concrete deck. “Pulling out all the stops, eh?”

    Amelia chuckles, arching her back toward the sun. “It’s not that often that Saint Sera deigns to take a new body.”

    I detect an undercurrent of nastiness, but I don’t let it get to me. She’s right. I’ve been putting off this moment for as long as I could. We get about ten years in a body, even if the body we take is already sick, broken, run down by years of abuse. When we transfer our spirits, the body regenerates. But the energy expended in healing the body is also its doom, leading to organ failure five or ten years down the road. Unlike my friends, I try to stay in a body for as long as possible rather than switching into a new one as casually as I might try on a dress. Even Charlotte has no qualms about killing. It’s the only way for us to stay alive, she says. Why waste this gift?

    “My little darling,” Cyrus murmurs affectionately, pulling me into his lap. I try not to cringe at his touch. “I’m going to miss this body when it’s gone. Only one more week. But don’t worry, we’ll find you another just as beautiful.” Amelia looks away, scowling.

    He does love me, I’ve never doubted that. I’m his touchstone, his only link to his real past, to the body into which he was born. He’s told me as much, crushing me in embraces that leave bruises the following day. Seraphina, I would die without you.

    What will he do when I’m gone?

    Jared and Sébastien will be fine, as long as they continue to follow orders. Amelia will be happier without me—she’s always had a crush on Cyrus. I worry about Charlotte, though. Cyrus has never liked her.

    I met Charlotte in New York in the early 1800s. I bought flowers from her at the market in Five Points and, much to Cyrus’s dismay, struck up a friendship with her. I took her shopping for dresses she could never afford on her own, and she regaled me with stories about her seven brothers. When she did not show up at her stand one morning, I sought her out at her home and found her and her younger brother Jack in the throes of scarlet fever.

    I begged Cyrus to let me save her, and he finally said yes to shut me up. I don’t think he really considered the consequences—that I would finally have an ally, someone who knew my true self. I turned her into a killer so I could have a friend, and I will regret that for eternity.

    The hummingbird approaches the railing, then dips under it, taking off into the sky. I catch Amelia watching it from her perch two seats down. She was an aerialist when Cyrus turned her and used to “fly” for a living.

    Cyrus turns his attention to the group. “Amelia, you’re in charge of the guest list. Under my close supervision, of course.” She beams. “I want plenty of options for Seraphina.”

    Plenty of options for himself, he means. He would pick for me—he always did. He has a type: willowy build, long dark hair, Mediterranean skin. She would be a failed model who had turned to drugs or an aspiring poet with a streak of madness who would never live to see age thirty. I stopped caring long ago what my body looks like; I only care that my new host either doesn’t want to be alive or doesn’t deserve to be.

    I do have one request. “Amelia,” I say, “please don’t invite anyone too young.”

    She smirks at me, but it doesn’t feel cruel. Just matter of fact. “Don’t worry, you can go straight to confession afterward.”

    “Jared,” Cyrus continues, “you’re in charge of security. I don’t want the club staff on this—we need a crew who will be discreet.”

    “Of course, Cy.” Jared nods, pushing his black hair off his tattooed neck.

    The mention of security sends a jolt of nervous adrenaline through my veins. Jared won’t mess around. He knows this is more than a dance party. Someone is going to die.

    I’m trying to control my breathing, which is coming in quick, shallow gasps. I glance down, willing myself to stop fidgeting with the heavy ring on my left hand. Its antique garnet catches the sunlight like a glass of red wine—or blood.

    I asked Cyrus to buy it for me a couple of weeks ago, on a fog-swathed day in Hayes Valley. “It’s a Victorian antique,” the saleswoman had remarked. I silently thanked the other customer who drew her attention just then, keeping her from saying more. Because it was more than just a Victorian bauble. It was a poison ring, with a hidden compartment under the bloodred stone. Not much room, just enough for the tiniest pinch of powder or a single pill. It would be enough.

    Sébastien, who has been silent until now, shoots me a concerned glance. “You okay? You seem tired.” Next to me, I feel Cyrus stiffen.

    “She’s fine,” he says coldly. “Aren’t you?” I can feel the rage burning under his skin. He hates it when anyone else thinks they know how I feel, as though he’s the only one allowed that ability.

    I smile weakly. “I’m just . . . excited.”

    Cyrus sighs heavily and stands up, the sun shining around his platinum hair like a halo. “I think I’m done for the day. We’ll continue this later. Sébastien, I’ll need you to work on the DJ lineup.”

    Sébastien flashes one of his rare smiles, white teeth brilliant against his brown skin. Music is one of the only things he cares about. Music and Charlotte. When I’m gone, I hope he will comfort her—and protect her. Because if Cyrus suspects she had any involvement in my escape . . . well, he’s killed for much less.

  • Customer Reviews

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    The Alchemy of Forever: An Incarnation Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Really entertaining, full of adventure and a dash of romance, and extremely easy to follow. Highly reccomend.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This was the worst and the best book I have ever read. I loved it all the way through but I couldn't stand it when it ended! If you like a book that keeps you interested the whole time, you will LOVE this book. It has a perfect mixture of romance, edge and mystery. 
    ClaireFrith More than 1 year ago
    The Alchemy of Forever is a story about a girl named Sera, who became immortal after an attempted robbery went sour. Now, she roams the earth, stealing bodies every ten or so years when her current one begins to die. After living for 600 hundred years with Cyrus and the other "Incarnates", she has finally had enough. She is determined to kill herself and be free of the world - and Cyrus - once and for all. But when her plans goes slightly sideways, she ends up in a new body while trying to resuscitate her. So instead of killing herself in this young girl's body, she decides to hide in this new life instead, enveloping herself in Kailey Morgan's life. But how long can she hide before Cyrus finds her? This story had me hooked, I read the mere 240 pages in hours. The characters were lovable, except of course Cyrus, who was a creeper in my point of view. The story-line was fantastic, and had me wishing the second book was already released. There were only two things that irked me - Firstly, What happened to the alchemy book? Sera seemed to forget about it after awhile and that seemed kind of important to me. Secondly, Why didn't Sera just kill herself? She didn't want to live, stealing other bodies, but she put all these new people she loved in danger. Kailey was dead inside, so why not? I hope at least the first question will be answered in the next book!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is a great book. I was able to finish it in 45 min. to a hour...I can't wait for book two!
    lovepassionbooks More than 1 year ago
    Sometimes I think books are best when you don't read the back of it. You have no idea what it is about going into it, or what you are getting yourself into. This happened to me with this book. And I loved it! It was so worth it. You meet Seraphina, she is a 14 year old girl that is learning what it means that love never dies. Her boyfriend figures out how to live forever by swapping bodies with someone that dies instead of dying yourself. Now to me when I read this, I was thinking to myself that I may not like this. I thought that maybe it could be interesting, but I could not see myself reading. Well to make a long story short I finished it......and.....I LOVE IT. I could not get enough of it. Seraphina decides that she is going to not switch bodies. She wants to save lives instead of killing. So she helps a girl by talking her out of killing herself. She feels accomplished. She feels like she did something right. Then Seraphina witnesses a car crash and she tries to help the girl that was involved. Well while doing this she takes over the bodies of the dead girl. At this point in the book is where I was like, "really, really?" But I kept going. And I am glad I did. While in this body, she becomes Kailey. Kailey has all the friends, is the most popular girl in school, and loves to paint and listen to music. These are somethings that Seraphina does not like to do. Seraphina has a hard time adjusting to this life, because all the lives that she has swapped she has ran away and went back to her old life. But this can not happen this time around. Because she is in the body of a 16 year old girl. She has a mom, dad, brother, teachers, and a guy that would look for her if she would come on missing. So she has to live this life. But she realizes that it may not be bad. This book has everything that I think a book should have. It really keeps you going and into the story. I believe with books like these you need to have the readers attention for the whole book. With this book I think that it really didn't do that until you got to the part where she enters Kailey's body. After that the book was really good.
    nlsobon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    I was excited to read THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER, but I didn¿t expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I actually did. Sure, the plot sounded intriguing, but reincarnation novels can be a hit or miss. So I went in went in with low expectations, only to find myself completely engulfed in Seraphina¿s story.The story is about Seraphina Ames. Centuries earlier, when an attack almost killed her, Cyrus turned her into an Incarnate. She¿s spent the past six hundred years jumping from body to body, living under the control of Cyrus. As the time approaches for her to switch bodies, as her current body is nearing its end, Sera decides she can¿t do it anymore. She doesn¿t want to be controlled by Cyrus anymore, and she doesn¿t want to keep killing off other people to ensure she remains alive. But it isn¿t that simple. Sera manages to escape, but Cyrus isn¿t willing to let her go. He¿ll stop at nothing ¿ including going after those that Sera has come to love ¿ in order to lure her back.I really enjoyed THE ALCHEMY OF FOREVER. The Cyrus we meet in the very beginning of the story is a completely different man from the one we come to know throughout the rest of the story. He¿s controlling, abusive, and menacing; a far cry from the boy who wanted to save Sera.At times, after Sera overtook Kailey¿s body, I found myself frustrated with Sera. She was constantly making plans to escape, but something always brought her back. But even though it may be frustrating, I can understand why she kept going back. With Cyrus and his group of Incarnates, Sera never really had a family. She served as his puppet for the most part. But with Kailey¿s family, living Kailey¿s life, she feels as though she belongs. She¿s found the family she never knew that she wanted. Sera isn¿t willing to risk their lives for her own freedom. Returning is the only way she can, hopefully, stop Cyrus before it¿s too late.All in all, this is definitely one of the most exciting books I¿ve read this year. I would definitely recommend this one. It¿s a fast, thrilling read, and I can¿t wait to see what happens with Sera next
    Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    A very quick and exciting read, this book I enjoyed. It was very easy to get into that I sort of forgot where I was at cause I was so consumed with this amazing story.What I liked most about this book is the great plot. Lately the plots of the books I have been reading have be intriguing me so much. I loved a good plot that is not only paced right, but fulfilling with each page turn. Sera , the main character, takes the reader on an adventure of lives that she held. I love that Sera see everything black and white. There are no gray ares for her. She is truthful in what she wants. She doesn't want to harm others but just be herself. Sera is really unique when it comes to characters. Ms. Williams wrote this characters with great dimension. Right from the start, I knew where Sear stood.The love interest in this book took turns where I didn't think it would. Still, it was good. I love how well the love formed in the story. It wasn't fast but so enjoyable to read. To see how the character is different from what other people know her as is good. I love seeing things from every point of view. Ms. Williams did a fantastic job in capturing the essence of her characters and letting them flow freely in her writing. The Alchemy Of Forever weaves a beautiful tale of love and magic. Readers will enjoy the new take of alchemy and it's magical forms. If anything, The Alchemy Of Forever is a thrilling enchantment story that can reign anyone in.
    psteinke1122 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    This is a case of ¿Happily Ever After¿, not really being so happily ever after. Seraphine and Cyrus have finally found each other and a tragic accident is about to separate them forever. But Cyrus, the Alchemist¿s son, has found a formula that will allow Sera¿s spirit to leave her body and inhabit the body of another. Only 600 years later, Sera isn¿t so thrilled with how hers and Cyrus¿ relationship has progressed and she¿s looking for a way out.This story had so much promise and it just didn¿t deliver! Great start, learning about the incarnates and how they became incarnates. Really slow moving middle. Then just as everything starts to pick back up again, the story ends. I looked it up on GoodReads and it was only 250+ pages. Ok, this is where I have to say that I feel cheated. I will bet my weight in donuts (and that¿s a lot of donuts, friends) that this author offered up a longer more complete story and the publishing company said, ¿Hey let¿s turn this into a series. Let¿s stop the first book here¿and save the rest of it for the subsequent books¿. Sorry but this one just didn¿t whet my appetite enough to care about what happens in future books.Enough said!
    AmberFIB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    I really do not know what is going on in the YA universe lately, but the quality of writing from debut authors is dropping drastically. This book was just ridiculous. It was completely unbelievable in every way, and the underdeveloped characters were all idiots. I should have known not to read this book when it said for fans of the Immortals series, but noooooo I wanted to give a new author a chance. Yea. Big mistake. Let's start with the characters. Seraphina is supposed to be this unselfish, caring person, but she's not. She's been killing people for SIX HUNDRED YEARS so that she could stay alive, and she just now started feeling bad enough about it to, oh I don't know, STOP?! Yea, she's real caring. Sure, she waits the full ten years before she switches bodies, but seriously, that's over 60,000 murders she's committed. I just couldn't buy into her being a kind character. The rest of the characters are so under-developed, it's laughable. I didn't feel like I knew the characters any better at the end of the book than I did at the beginning. I kept reading, hoping for some big explosion of character development, but none came. Now, let's talk about the plot. My consensus of this is W.T.F?!?! It made no sense, unless Sera is a big freaking liar, which she probably is. The prologue indicates that one must suck the life force out of another human before inhabiting the body. Okay, cool, I'll go with it right? Well, she just kisses the first woman to inhabit her body. Unless I've been doing it wrong all these years, you don't suck on someone's face like they're a straw when you're kissing them. Just sayin'. THEN, Sera "accidentally" kills Kailey in an effort to save her. Riiiiight. She was giving her mouth to mouth, and then she just accidentally SUCKED the life force out of Kailey instead of BLOWING AIR into her lungs? Sure, that's believable. But still, I kept reading... I hoped it'd start to be more logical, but it got even worse. Then Sera makes about 2349872398 stupid mistakes, constantly blaming Cyrus because he made it to where she had to always depend on him. Well, maybe he realized that she was too stupid to live and kept her on a tight leash. And, of course, no one bothers to question why Kailey's entire personality has changed. Sure, they ask if she's okay, but past that, even her parents don't mention it. They know she had a concussion, yet they ignore the fact that she's acting weird. That's totally believable. AND her parents kept telling her things like, "We always allowed you to do what you want..." um hello?! Who would do that? If that is your child, she was there for her entire life, so she KNOWS what you did and didn't do. The telling her stuff like that was just too convenient. And another thing, why on earth did no one question why Kailey's blood was all over the pavement after the accident, but she had no injuries minus a concussion when she got to the hospital? She totaled a car and would have probably been dead. Looking at the car, one would assume there would be more injuries than just a concussion. Which leads me to yet ANOTHER plot hole... how did she keep the accident a secret from everyone in school? Her brother told one person, yet no one else ever found out. I mean did Williams even GO to high school? People would have known, and people would have talked about it. A lot. The ending was a terrible cliffhanger that was about as illogical as the rest of the book. Needless to say, I won't be continuing this series. The writing itself wasn't horrible, but the overly convenient events in the ill-conceived plot with the under-developed characters made me want to gouge my eyes out. Do yourself a favor and avoid this one.
    talksupe.blogspot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    This was an easy read at 250 pages and was a good reading palate cleanser. I'm a little wary about this series because although it started real good, it's so easy for AWilliams to go in the other direction and make this predictable. The premise is intriguing enough but I'm hoping that after living 600 years with the same person, Seraphina has gained some useful wisdom and use it to her advantage. So far her way of thinking fits the body she's currently inhabiting, that of a 16yo kid. And though this book aims to reach the 14yo age bracket and up, I hope AWilliams will take into consideration the real age of her heroine and not just let her become this bumbling teenager who knows nothing of the world.Cyrus is a good villain, he's a sociopath so I'd like to know what else he's got under his sleeves to keep Seraphina by his side. I also like that the setting is in San Francisco, CA and the East Bay. I used to live in the area and I actually have a perfect visual in my head when AWilliams was talking about Jack London Square in Oakland, the Golden Gate Bridge and all the other awesome places in NorCal. I enjoyed the book but probably it's one of those reads that is a little too young for me so I'll take this review with a grain of salt if I were you. But if you're in the mid-teen age range, I'm pretty sure you'll find this enjoyable.
    DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales Quick & Dirty: With an extraordinarily intricate plot and a strong, complicated heroine, readers won¿t be able to tear themselves away from this captivating read. Opening Sentence: I feel as though I¿ve been waiting for the masquerade ball for my entire life. The Review: Sera has spent the last 600 years living with Cyrus, the apothecary¿s son turned alchemist. As they jump from body to body Sera¿s love has died a little bit at a time, and Cyrus has become more controlling and abusive. Her next incarnation needs to happen soon, because her body¿s dying. While Cyrus plans a party to choose her next victim, Sera plans her suicide. Before she left, Sera stole from Cyrus, intending to destroy his two dearest possessions in one blow. But Sera doesn¿t die. Everything works perfectly until Sera tries to save a girl and ends up jumping into her body. She hasn¿t been a teenager for centuries and has to dupe this girl¿s family and friends until she can find another way to die. Cyrus will stop at nothing to find her, avoiding him by being Kailey is all Sera can think to do. But the longer she hides in this body, the more she comes to love Kailey¿s friends and family. The longer she hides, the closer Cyrus comes to finding her. It takes Sera some effort to absorb the modern teen culture. I was very impressed that Sera, despite being a murderer, she was such a sympathetic and strong character. There was so much remorse over what she had done and her belief that it¿s finally her time to die, which is so strong that as a reader it was hard not to wish her dead as well. Sera has a hard time fitting into Kailey¿s life at first, taking subtle hints from everyone else as to how she should behave. Kailey, you quickly learn, was an inattentive student, a popular girl, and an artist. She wasn¿t the greatest friend either, apparently, deeming some friends as too embarrassing to be seen with in public. Instead of trying to turn into Kailey, Sera finds reasons to make Kailey more like herself¿friendly, compassionate, and smart¿while her friends notice, they don¿t think much of it. Things get tricky though, when Noah¿one of the boys Kailey refused to be seen in public with¿and Sera form a stronger relationship, one that easily becomes more than friendly. But there are things about Kailey that Sera doesn¿t know. What was she doing down in Jack London when she was supposed to be at an art gallery in Berkeley? There¿s something Kailey never told anyone about, something Sera is going to have to figure out. Kailey¿s friends are referencing events and people she doesn¿t know. How long can she keep this up when she can¿t even draw¿much less finish the fantastical painting in Kailey¿s bedroom. This book is filled with tension, mostly because it feels like everyone in the novel knows more about what Kailey should be doing than Sera does. Williams makes her readers worry about how Kailey would¿ve behaved versus what Sera is doing. Williams also does a great job of establishing Sera as an authority. Part of that comes with her being so old and experienced, but part of it has to do with Williams writing Sera as such a relatable heroine¿and who ever thought they could relate to anyone who was 600 years old? Sera knows Cyrus is coming after her and is convinced someone might catch on to Kailey¿s less-than-usual demeanor, which fills the reader with a sense of impending doom. Notable Scene: I¿m staring out the window, lost in thought, when a boy approaches our table. He¿s older, probably late twenties, and has jet-black hair and a nose ring. ¿Hey, Kailey,¿ he says. I narrow my eyes. He¿s clearly too old to be in high school and smells like leather, cigarettes, and bear. I wonder how she knows him. ¿Hey,¿ I say hesitantly. ¿Haven¿t seen you around much lately. Thought you were coming out on Saturday.¿ He¿s looking at me intently, and not in an entirely friendly way. There¿s something about him that I don¿t like. ¿I¿ve been real
    Richhayes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    Seraphina is 600 years old, she is a incarnate, a person who stays alive by switching bodies. She has been telling herself that it is okay because she only selects people who for whatever reason will not live much longer but she has decided that this body she in in will be the last one. She plans to die but she must get away from Cyrus, the leader of the group and the person who changed her. As she attends her party where she is expected to select a new body, she drugs Cyrus and takes off. As she gets to Oakland she knows her body is giving out and decides it is a good place to die. Follow her as while trying to save a teen named Kailey she ends up taking the body, tries to fit in as a teenager and avoid Cryus. This story grabs you but I have 2 gripes, one it seems short and the cliffhanger ending. However since this is the first of a series, I want to see how the follow-ups and handled and what happens.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    So when I first got a hold of this series I had unknowingly gotten the second book "the impossiblity of tomorrow" and only when I was thoruoghly confused with the first ten pages did I finally took a look at the back inside cover of the book and there it said "discover where it all began". That peeved me a little because even the description gave no hints that it was the second book and neither did the first few pages of the book but anywhooo once I found this book I immediately began reading and couldnt stop!!! Loved it and would recommend it to anyone who love a good fantasy teen fiction book :)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I absolutely could not put this book down! I fell in love with the boy next door right along side Sera and every breathtaking moment kept me breathlessly wanting more.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is an amazing book. Everyone should read it. 
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I LOVE this book! Such an interesting plot, not like any I have read before. I wish someone would make a movie out of it!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great read. Super fast paced yet engaging
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    StalkinTheBooks More than 1 year ago
    This book really surprised me since I didn't really know that much about the premise before I started reading it. The novel deals with incarnates, immortals who can live forever by taking the body and life of someone else. I liked the main character of Sera and found the whole idea of incarnates fascinating. It reminded me a bit of Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel, so if you liked that one you'll probably enjoy this one too. Its the kind of book that has tons of potential and its a quick read. I thought it was a stand alone but its actually the first book in a series. Though I wasn't crazy about the rather abrupt ending, I'm still excited about the next book.
    Beautiful574 More than 1 year ago
    Highly Recommend this Incarnation Novel!!! The heroine is amazing and very unique. The story line was very entertaining and a good read! If you are looking for a new book to read this is the one. You won't be disappointed! It is about school and family and then again, the main charter has lived for thousands of years! And NO. She is not a vampire!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Some_Reading_Required More than 1 year ago
    If you could live forever with just one stipulation, would you? What if that stipulation was the death of a person, would you feel that it was worth it? As an incarnate, one who has the ability to detach a soul from a body and then jump into said body, Seraphina has had to struggle with this decision for over 600 years. In the year 1349, after a brute attack by two drunks, 14 year old Sera is left bleeding to death in the arms of her crush and admirer, Cyrus, the apothecary’s son. By the miraculous powers of a alchemist potion brewed by Cyrus himself, Sera awakes in the body of one of her would-be attackers. In that moment Sera makes the decision to pledge herself to Cyrus by running away and living out their immortal life together and in love. Fast-forward to the 21st century and you’ve got quite a different story. After 600+ years of taking human lives, (turns out about every 10 years at the latest an incarnate needs to hop into a new body) Sera is fed up. After taking many lives and succumbing to the sadistic, cruel and obsessive loving tendencies of Cyrus, Sera devises a plan to break away. Although she originally decides to truly die, in a bizarre twist of fate, Sera accidentally ends up in the dying body of a teenage girl. Breaking away from Cyrus and the “coven” (group of other incarnates) was the hardest thing Sera has had to do, that is, until now. In her new body, surrounded by a loving family, friends and a potential new romance, Sera struggles with ending her existence. After centuries of wishing she was dead, Sera’s now realizing that there’s so much to live for. The Alchemy of Forever completely blew me away. The synopsis sold me instantly. Who hasn’t wished they could live forever? Or even, who hasn’t wished they could be someone else? I loved Sera SO much. Out of all the incarnates she is truly the most caring and thoughtful one of the bunch. The others could care less when it comes to body switching, a past time they do quite frequently although it means taking the life of another. After witnessing the cruelness both the world and Cyrus has to offer, Sera has remained remarkably staunch. Although she at first appears fragile, deep down her will is incredibly strong. I found Cyrus to be downright tragic. I don’t doubt that he once sweetly and purely loved Sera, but through the years he has become twisted and power-hungry. He’s the leader of the incarnates, controlling who does what and when. He especially controls everything that goes on in Sera’s life right down to the new body she’s forced to take every 10 years. I was so incredibly happy for Sera when Noah enters her life, well, Kailey’s life. As a kind-of friend and lifetime next door neighbor, Kailey Morgan never really gave Noah a second glance. However this all changes once Sera becomes Kailey. She recognizes the goodness in Noah and is completely enraptured by his sweet-natured ways. The romance between these two is innocent and warm and completely unlike anything Sera has experienced before. The Alchemy of Forever is one of those incredible books that still sticks in your mind days after you read it. I’m literally still reeling from the shocking cliffhanger. Williams is a fabulous writer, able to weave a story full of originality and fill it with vivacious and vivid characters. I cannot wait for book two!! After the sneak peak shown in the soft cover edition of book one, I firmly believe that the sequel will be just as good, if not better!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago