September 30, 2013

Review: Alchemystic

Alchemystic (The Spellmason Chronicles , book 1) by Anton Strout


Genre: Urban Fantasy
Edition Reviewed: eBook
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Alchemystic

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…


Gargoyles, gosh how I love them! So I was only too eager to toss my money out and buy this book! No, really their was begging. Even though Anton Strout's writing hasn't been my flavor in the past. I figured he was just underdeveloped at the time and now he'd be A-mazing!

Boom, always trust your gut instinct. Chapter 2, and I was living in a world of disappointment. Lexis (AKA Alexandra) was annoying. Weak willed, a push over (though I believe this was supposed to be taken as kindness, but no she had her bitchy moments), not independent, and lazy. Now she's a hard worker when it came to learning about her Spellmason/Alchemy skills. However, when she has to step in to help out the family business, she does nothing but complain. There's a lot of avoiding and—oh, yeah—complaining. She's had her whole life to do whatever and now when she needs to help out the family it's woe is her. Stanis, the gargoyle, was the only thing that kept me reading, I just knew why his memories had been stolen! And I had to confirm it.

Now the character connections, nothing felt real. Which is something I always find myself experiencing in Strout's work. It was like a fog was covering they're interactions. Most of the time it felt like Lexi, Rory—the best thing to happen to this book—and the nerdy Marshall where at each others throats! They're all supposed to be friends. Rory has been Lexi's bestie since forever! Lexi is bringing her friends into this whole new world and simply expects her friends not to have minds of their own.

Rory steps up and saves their asses from danger!
Lexi: what have you done! Monster!

The gargoyle suddenly attacks poor Marshall. Rory and Marshall get worried and question Stanis.
Lexi: He doesn't deserve that, he's our hero!

Really!? It felt like they were hating each other constantly. Marshall is bullied non-stop, even when he comes in handy. Nerds are funny, they make wonderful comic reliefs. However, I don’t like to read about bullying. Even if it’s trying to pass as affectionate friendship. Phew, I'll stop.

Stanis and Lexi had to have romance. That's what us Gargoyle fans want! Forbidden love of the ultimate beauty and beast variety! Lexi thinks of Stanis as a servant or toy at the beginning. Which I found strange considering that despite his lack of emotions and his missing memories, it's clear that Stanis is more then a lump of rock. Plus, if Lexi is as sweet and kind hearted as readers are being led to believe, why would she just assume he was a lump of stone? Why am I still complaining? Lexi starts to fall in love with Stanis! That love had there was no development. Boom! We've jumped to a budding romance, with no stalk to support it. (Yes, flower comparisons.)

There were plot holes. Huge ones! An enemy recognizes Stanis, but then later on in the book no one knows him. How did this random—expandable minion—guy know what really happened? Also, Lexi runs into other stone critters who have once been human. Wouldn’t a logical jump be to think that something as complicated as Stanis and these strange living rock men be related? Sure one is cruder looking then the other, but let's make logical jumps here! Plus a few other issues that I don't want to spoil the book with.

Though I have to hand it to Strout. Despite this book being really predictable, he pulled one over me. Here I am all this will happen next and this—BOOM! Total-awesome plot twist. Loved it! Then I realized that maybe about 72-ish percent in, Alchemystic finally grabbed my attention. (About where the “BOOM!” happens.) It was a fun rush and suddenly boring hunts for gem stones turned into Indiana Johns adventures! Er, with a few really stupid mistakes to make it grind my nerves. However, the last 20 percent was awesome. The emotions started to connect just a little bit better!

When a brick and wire made character becomes the highlight of your reading experience with the lead’s page time, something is wrong. When you like the best-friend more, another bad sign. Though Rory is an amazing character and it's hard to top her—a dancer with fighting instincts—she should have been the main character. Lexi felt like a character created for Lanis to protect. That's his job, but there should have been more depth all around. As said the last 30 percent made this book so . . . cool. Yet, I still feel torn, and I almost gave up. Which I hardly ever do. That last 30 percent can not be what I judge this book by. In the end I will say I have to get the next book, but I might try to find a copy to borrow before I commit to this series. No begging shall occur.

Sexual Content: Pretty clean by book peeps. Heck, I vaguely remember some sexual humor!

2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out

Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
Alchemystic (1)
Stonecast (2) 

Alchemystic (1)
Stonecast (2)
Alchemystic (1)
Stonecast (2)

No comments: