Atom, out now
A teenage English alchemist learns that she is the only person who can save Parisian Sacha Winters from dying on his 18th birthday…
This collaboration between Daugherty and Rozenfeld kicks off with seventeen year old Sacha somehow managing to survive something that would kill anybody else, and the two authors keep up the tension all the way through this first novel in The Alchemist Chronicles. Both the lead characters have secrets, and they come to realise how much they’re linked to each other as the story progresses – hitting some familiar situations along the way, but which are given unusual perspectives because of the curse hanging over Sacha throughout.
The interaction between the two is well-portrayed: Taylor Montclair, the English girl who is hired to tutor Sacha over Skype, starts off very prim but a friendship starts to develop between the two, particularly as she begins to realise that a scholarship to Oxford might not be the most important thing in life! Sacha also starts to learn to look towards a future that he firmly believed he wouldn’t have and it never felt as if the romance between them was being pushed too fast.
There are a number of other intriguing characters in the book, and hopefully the other books in the series will let us learn more about them, particularly Louisa and Taylor’s grandfather.
Verdict: A good start that doesn’t always take the predictable path. 8/10