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The Alchymist's Cat by Robin Jarvis
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The Alchymist's Cat

by Robin Jarvis

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170369,943 (3.76)5
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  1. 10
    Redwall by Brian Jacques (catherinepx2014)
    catherinepx2014: Fantasy lovers who enjoyed The Alchymist's Cat should check out Redwall as well. Animals in both these books are sentient (and the rats are witty), and plenty of fantasy elements are present in them.
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the idea is good, but it is far too gruesome in my oppinion and the only likeable characters are Will and Molly.
The cats are all terrible creatures, either weak, selfish or evil. ( )
  Releanna | Apr 10, 2013 |
I really like prequils that tie in neatly and give us clever insight into why things happened. And this one does quite a good job of that. It's very over the top fantesy London, with Plague and Fire and Alchemists.

The message of 'everyone picks on the runty one and then he becomes Bitter and Destroys the World' is an unusual one for a kid's book. I like my books with more saccharine redeption in them.

It is all very implausable though. I think the interweiving of the human world and animal world makes suspension of disbelief harder. And it does leave us with a 'turtles all the way down' explanation of 'oh, Jupiter was sired by a Mysterious Dark Cat', which I'd have liked to see more clearly explained. ( )
  atreic | Sep 5, 2011 |
The Alchymist's Cat was a complete disappointment. There were many things about this book I would have liked if the story had just been told a little differently. We had talking animals, a cat who learns how to do magic, intrigue, the protagonist rescues a family of cats from certain death (and anybody who knows me knows that'll win me over every time)... but, the protagonist is a wimp, he is enslaved by the alchymist, but rather than making a bid for freedom when the opportunity arises, he keeps putting up with it, and that just makes it hard to care about what happens to him.

I also have problems with the content, as this is a children's book - cruelty to animals, murder for hire, sibling rivalry to the point where one sibling stands by and does nothing as another is killed for "scientific" experimentation - now, in this case, the siblings are cats, but still, they are given human-like attributes, and therefore I expect better of them.

If you see this book in a store, save your money and leave it there, or at least spend it more wisely by buying another book.
  mariacle | Jan 16, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0811854507, Paperback)

The year is 1664 when young Will Godwin comes to London. In order to survive, he becomes an assistant to a wicked alchemist, Elias Theophratus Spittle. On an errand one freezing night, Will finds a mother cat and her three kittens, and brings the family back to his master's lab. Among the bubbling bottles and evil smelling jars of his master's apothecary shop unfolds an extraordinary tale of villainy, sorcery, and murder. The Deptford Mice trilogy witnessed the harrowing battles between the mice of Deptford and Jupiter, lord of darkness and treacherous disguises. Now in this gripping prequel, Jupiter's secret history is revealed.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:08 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The year is 1664 when young Will Godwin arrives in London. In order to escape punishment for a crime he didn't commit, Will becomes an assistant to a wicked alchemist, Elias Theophratus Spittle. Will longs to flee his servitude, but the alchemist's powers are too strong, and Will knows there is no way out. On an errand in a graveyard one cold winter's eve, Will comes across a mother cat and her three kittens. Taking pity on the freezing family, Will brings them back to his master's apothecary shop. And there, among the bubbling bottles and evil smelling jars unfolds an extraordinary tale of villainy, sorcery, and murder. The Deptford Mice trilogy witnessed the harrowing battles between the mice of Deptford and Jupiter, lord of darkness and teacherous disguises. Now in this gripping prequel, the secret about how Jupiter came to be so powerful and full of evil is revealed.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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