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A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

A Conspiracy of Alchemists

by Liesel Schwarz

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2173053,683 (3.64)1



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I have actually never read a steampunk that takes place in the early 1900s, so that was different. Because new things were already on the move, but then this book also mixes magic and tech. The world is divided into Light and Shadow. Magic and new inventions. And things have gone wrong in the past when one side has grown too strong.

Elle our heroine was strong and a woman pilot. She went for what she wanted and got it. The hero, Marsh is mysterious and someone she comes into contact with when she is hired to bring a parcel to England. He is a warlock, she does not believe in that nonsense. He has secrets, she is annoyed by that. He wants to tell her something, she starts to fall. Yes you see my point, they are quite the pair.

These two will have quite the adventure as..things happens. Again I will leave it at that. There will be magic, bad guys, vampires, an absinthe fairy and flying.

I enjoyed the story. It was light and the story always moved forward with a good pace, and threw a few surprises too.

The end was good too as it was a solid ending that I could live with. It did not end with a horrid cliffhanger, but still left a big danger still to come ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
I received an advance copy of this book through a First Reads giveaway! THANK YOU Goodreads!

So, I think I would get along with this author. She likes a bunch of cool things: airships, pirates, airship pirates, absinthe, fairies, vampires, plucky heroines, noble heroes, evil villains, henchmen, secret occult societies, sacrifices on altars, the Orient Express, Paris, Constantinople, absent-minded professors, scientific inventions, magic, and of course, alchemy.

All these things are jammed into this book.
It's not about being original, it's about fitting all the cool things in. The result, is a light, cartoony, adventure-romance. it's good fun, even though I had a persistent feeling of 'seen it before,' and even though the romance aspect was a little annoying, mainly due to the male lead's patronizing attitude. No, I really don't find that kind of thing attractive.

I would highly recommend this book to all fans of M.K. Hobson - I found it very similar - and, to a lesser degree, to fans of Gail Carriger and Leanna Renee Hieber.

I know this is an advance copy, so I'm not going to make a big deal of the few errors in the text... with one exception. A "bill of fare" is the MENU at a restaurant, not the bill or check. Editors! ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I got this book today looks interesting not my normal mystery has a steampunk vibe to it which i today love so i though ok why not. Looks like a couple books in the series. Love series books hope this one is good.
update I finished this book in good time. While its not my normal genre I really enjoyed it and will be picking up the next two books for sure. I normally don't enjoy romance but this one only had a couple little pages on her falling in love with Marsh. she does seem rather uptight but i think she's just written that way for character. the mashing of the mystery and sci fii and fantasy was a good good mix. ( )
  nraichlin | Jan 26, 2016 |
3.5 Stars

A Conspiracy of Alchemists, the first book in a new steampunk series, is a fast-paced adventure set in the early 20th century of an alternate world that is divided between Light (scientific progress) and Shadow (the supernatural). When Elle Chance, a young airship captain, is asked by an associate to transport a precious piece of cargo from France to England without notifying the authorities, she readily agrees to the favour. But transporting the cargo proves to be more than Elle bargains for, and draws her into the dangerous world of the mysterious Hugh Marsh. When Elle's father, a renowned scientist, is kidnapped, Elle joins forces with Hugh and they immediately set out to free him. There is more to her father's kidnapping than first appears, however, and as Elle continues her search for him she becomes deeply drawn into a developing conflict between the Light and the Shadow, a conflict in which she seems fated to play a central part.

One of the things I liked best about this novel is that the heroine, Elle, is characterized as a smart, independent and capable woman, one who isn't afraid to flout societal expectations. I also enjoyed that much about Hugh remained a mystery in this novel, and liked that Schwarz slowly reveals the many sides to him as the story unfolds and as his relationship with Elle deepens. I also think Schwarz does a nice job developing the romantic subplot, even though it is obvious at the start of the novel who Elle's love interest is going to be. I find the idea of a world divided between Shadow and Light an interesting premise for a steampunk novel. However, I think the conflict between the two could have been fleshed out a little better and additional background on the key characters driving it would have been beneficial.

Overall, A Conspiracy of Alchemists is an enjoyable novel, one that should appeal to fans of steampunk, as well as to readers interested in giving the genre a try but are unsure of where to start. I look forward to reading the next installment in the series, A Clockwork Heart.

Note: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. ( )
  Melissa_J | Jan 15, 2016 |
Don't get me wrong, A Conspiracy of Alchemists is a book not without its merits. It's got great gadgets, features a cool female pilot, an honest to God helicopter powered by steam and a crazy bunch of megalomaniacs bent on changing the world.

I was prepared if not love but at least like this book, instead it simply failed to deliver.

That is the core problem of this read. It has no shortage of great ideas but doesn't follow them through, so you quickly lose interest. I really had to force myself to keep reading because my attention kept wondering.

The plot is loosely held together. I didn't see the point in alliances that were forming without obvious mutual targets. I didn't understand The Order's lack of willingness to do something in a face a of a great threat they were facing... The main villain is hardly in the picture, but instead we have an obvious sidekick of his, gloating over the main heroine in a cliche cackling speech. The end is as anticlimactic as it gets as well.

Eleanor is a nice enough girl, March is an interesting brooding Warlock, and the author has all these intriguing characters who seem to get wasted away for nothing. Aleix and The Countess, I am talking about you! There is no spark or some sort of connection between two main characters as well, and oh boy, Houston, we've got problems!

It really is a shame, but A Conspiracy of Alchemists despite its beautiful cover and synopsis is a mess lacking a strong plot and coherency despite its fantastic ideas. The potential is there, but it needs a lot of work. I do sincerely hope that the author will continue writing and improving and I wish her best of luck.

Despite plenty of positive reviews on Goodreads and from fellow bloggers, this book just wasn't for me, which makes me feel sad and jaded. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345545079, Hardcover)

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.
Discover the thrilling new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:53 -0400)

"A Conspiracy of Alchemists is the first book of the Chronicles of Light and Shadow series, starring the spunky dirigible pilot Elle Chance and the handsome warlock Marsh. Set during the Belle Epoque, Conspiracy is a thrilling and inventive historical fantasy, where the myths and legends of Old Europe live side by side with the wondrous creations of modern scientists and aviators. It's also set in a world haunted by vampires, fairies, and other supernatural creatures. And it mixes a thrill-a-minute page-turning plot with a genuinely moving love story. In Conspiracy, Elle and Marsh face off against a shadowy band of alchemists intent on sundering the veil between the world of the supernatural and our own--and learn that Elle has a mysterious part to play in this magical conspiracy"--… (more)

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