Title: A Conspiracy of Alchemists
Author: Liesel Schwarz
Series: The Chronicles of Light and Shadow (Book #1)
Pages: 326 (ebook)
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Where to Buy: Barnes and Noble | Amazon
LEAVE IT TO CHANCE. Eleanor "Elle" Chance, that is-the intrepid heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.
In a Golden Age where spark reactors power the airways, and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly among us, a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun.
When an unusual cargo drags airship-pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr. Marsh, she must confront her destiny and do everything in her power to stop the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse.
What I thought:
I requested this novel from NetGalley because I love steampunks. It is one of my favorite genres. Sadly this book just did not capture me as much as I hoped. The cover pulled me in, then the blurb really piqued my interests, and I thought I would be in for a fun adventure.
Now I understand the copy I was reading was an unproofed ARC, so I hope all of the punctuation and grammar mistakes I saw will be cleaned up before it is officially put out. I would need to look through the finished product, but there were a lot of mistakes for something Del Rey was putting out for reviewers. But I'm new, I could just be mistaken and this is normal.
Elle was just okay as a character. She was stubborn, jumped to conclusions, and seems very young. Yes her stubbornness is what let her become a female pilot in a male dominated world, but she became stubborn with the dumbest things. The love interest lied about his name for his own protection when they first met and she held it against him for the rest of the book, no matter how much he helped her or tried to be kind to her, she was rude because she felt she couldn't trust him. I woke heartedly agreed with the LI when he asked "Don't you sometimes get s little tired of being so constantly outraged?"
We are never told how old Elle is (other than she already passed her coming out), but she seemed very young. If I didn't know any better I would have put her in her teens. By comparison her love interest seemed so much older. Maybe she is older than I felt and is just immature. Either way I just could not figure out why the LI would be interested in her at all.
It could be a family trait of annoyingness though. Once we finally get to meet Elle's father he is just as, if not more, annoying. Mr. Marsh, Patrice, and Adele the fairy are all interesting characters, though it was a bit disjointing to go back and forth between the perspectives of Marsh, Elle, and Adele. I was also able to see one of the main plot twists happening 200 pages before it was executed.
There are several things I had problems with in this book, but the fact of the matter is I stayed up until 3 in the morning trying to finish the book, because the plot and the world was that interesting. I would still consider reading the second book, hoping that the characters are as interesting as the world was. Since this is her debut novel, I am willing to give her a second chance.