I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova
Release date: January 10th, 2017
Publisher: Keymaster Press
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, steampunk
Her vengeance. His vision.
Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.
Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.
When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.
He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.
I jumped at the chance to review The Alchemists of Loom. I had high expectations going in. I haven’t read the Air Awakens series yet. I have been seriously planning to for ages but life just got in the way. However, all of the rave reviews had me ridiculously excited about this book.
The first few chapters had me seriously reconsidering my previous excitement. I couldn’t connect. The world, while unique, was super confusing. There was just a lot of new words and guilds and so much information being thrown at me that I just didn’t know what to think. Did I make a mistake? Should I keep reading? I put the book down for a week due to work commitments and then casually picked it up again. I was going to give it a second chance. If not, then I would have to give in and move on. THANK GOODNESS THAT I DIDN’T GIVE UP! That would have been a HUGE mistake on my part. Yes, the start is slow and a bit mind boggling but the struggle is worth it. THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING!!!
What I loved the most was that the story was told through alternating points of view. Each chapter was dedicated to a different character and you could really tell the difference between them. Their voices and personalities were strong and unique throughout. I particularly enjoyed Ari, the main character and badass criminal mastermind. She was strong, determined, very intelligent and mysterious. Her characterization very much reminded me of Celaena Sardothien in the first Throne of Glass novel, which I loved so no complaints here!
The world was very interesting and different from what I have read before. The book starts out kind of with assuming the reader knows what’s happening, but don’t be like me and start to freak out. It’s meant to be that way. Everything is slowly explained and now that I finished the story I’m very thankful for that because it avoids a massive dump of information. Basically, the story takes place in Loom, a world enslaved by a dragon race. The dragons have forced the people of Loom to work in specialized guilds for their benefit. Once in a guild there is no way out. It’s illegal to leave or to not be associated with the guild of your birth. Besides the dragons (who aren’t actually like the mythical dragons we know and love), Loom is made up of the Fenthri, human-like people, and the Chimera, humans with dragon parts that can wield magic.
This magical world intrigued me because I don’t usually read books that contain elements of steampunk. Timekeeper by Tara Sim definitely changed my mind about the genre and this book further demonstrated why I’ve been missing out! For example, the dragons (who aren’t really dragons) don’t fly with wings. They fly using metal contraptions that allow them to dominate and attack their enemies from above. Ari used magic enhanced weapons and gunpowder to thwart her enemies. The technology and factories blended seamlessly with the magical fantasy I’m used to and I may just have found a new must-read genre.
So, I highly recommend The Alchemists of Loom! I’m so addicted to this world and characters that I can’t wait for the sequel…which probably won’t be for another year and that breaks my heart. I’m so impatient but it will be worth the wait!
Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).
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