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Source: Pulse It
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Release Date: January 3, 2012
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 take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending 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 while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the 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 about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?
Avery Williams entices and ensnares in this dazzling debut.
Seraphina, or Sera as she likes to be called, is a heroine that possesses a more subtle kind of bravery. Emerging after centuries of guilt and desperation, it propels Sera to take some pretty drastic measures to get away from her boyfriend, Cyrus, and the ruthless measures he's been taking to stay alive. I liked Sera a lot. She's honest with herself and you can see the weariness her life has brought her. She has a conscience.
I read somewhere that someone was rather taken by Cyrus and I just... NO. Maybe this is an unpopular viewpoint (I really don't know) but I found him creepy and manipulative and possessive. In other words, not exactly ideal boyfriend material. Noah, on the other hand, was amazing. I couldn't help but feel really, really sorry for him -- and pretty much everyone else that knew "Kailey."
The novel is rather slow-paced but I never found it boring personally. Sera does a lot of reflection and she's very introspective so a good chunk of the book is focused on that rather than the action. There is also a great amount of focus on the science of alchemy which I found fascinating. There's really that debate of whether it's science (Cyrus) or magic (Sera), and not just with alchemy. My interest was definitely sparked.
Then we have... the end. HORRIBLE. EVIL. CLIFF-HANGER. Also, one that in no way did I see coming. Since I was reading it on the Pulse It website, I wasn't paying attention to the fact that the book was nearing its end and thought it would all wrap up with a pretty bow. So not the case. Evil, but awesome, awesome set-up for Book 2.
Interested in incarnation? Try The Alchemy of Forever.
Cover Comments: I like the multiple copies of Sera... nice visual representation of her many lives. The colours look well together as well and apparently the book is rather spiffy in person.