Friday, March 20, 2015

Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Geologist Petra Dee arrives in Wyoming looking for clues to her father's disappearance years before. What she finds instead is Temperance, a dying Western town with a gold rush past and a meth-infested present. But under the town's dust and quiet, an old power is shifting. When bodies start turning up - desiccated and twisted skeletons that Petra can't scientifically explain - her investigations land her in the middle of a covert war between the town's most powerful interests. Petra's father wasn't the only one searching for the alchemical secrets of Temperance, and those still looking are now ready to kill. Armed with nothing but shaky alliances, a pair of antique guns, and a relic she doesn't understand, the only thing Petra knows for sure is that she and her coyote sidekick are going to have to move fast, or die next."

My Thoughts:

I am on such a great reading kick lately and this book just added to that streak!  From page one I knew that I was in for a treat with this book and that feeling continued on until the very last page.  The author has created such an original setting to this book where the wild west meets magic and this combines into one of the most unconventional books that I have ever read.  I loved the fact that I never quite knew what to expect with this book.  Petra is the main character in the book and she is a completely grounded individual who doesn't believe in anything out of the ordinary.  She comes to Temperance in search of her missing father and encounters the unbelievable at every turn.  A coyote that seems to understand her and want to protect her?  Check!  Calcified skeletons that have died for no apparent reason?  Yup!  A drunk that gives out hints of the future and makes predictions while under the influence?  Double yep!  This book had it all and it was all of these different elements that really combined to make this book a very dark read.  It was a nail biter for me as I needed to know what was going to happen next.  Plus, very early on I realized that Petra was basically a magnet for trouble so reading as fast as I could to see what kind of trouble she would find herself in was a must!

I haven't even touched on the uniqueness that was Gabe and the other hanged men.  It was both awful and intriguing to read about and learn their secrets.  I'm telling you that this book blew me away with the entire storyline.  It is just so completely different from other books out there.  I couldn't get enough!  The ending of this book was very intense and left me wondering if this will be a part of a series.  Tell me that it is going to be part of a series because I need more!  The twists and turns kept me reading this book late into the night until I finally finished.  This is literally how I spent my Friday evening.  It was a good ending but I want more!  Because there were definitely a few questions that I had left unanswered so my fingers are crossed that there will eventually be a second book to look forward to!  Until then I'm planning on reading this author's other books to keep me happy!  

Overall, I just cannot say enough good things about this book!  It was unique enough that it is very hard to categorize it other than maybe a mix of urban fantasy, a few steampunk elements, and a western thrown all together?  I don't even honestly know that I can really classify it as urban fantasy when I think about it.  That's the best I can do but it is definitely worth the read!  The author has created a dark mix where magic plays a very deadly role at times.  It was a book with a very strong main character along with great secondary ones.  It was just an overall great read!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A book where I never knew what to expect and I loved every minute of it!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a Bewitched Blog Tour.  Thoughts are my own!


  1. I'm so happy that you enjoyed my book, Samantha! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review my work! :-)

  2. Sam, you are one of the most enthusiastic and expressive readers who I've ever "met"! I always look forward to your reviews, and the clever "bottom line" at the end of them. This book sounds like a dark and riveting story that's hard to classify as a single genre.

  3. This sounds really good! I've been thinking I need to add in some western to my reading recently, and something with fantasy and steampunk elements would make it easy to do with this book. I will have to look for this one.

  4. Laura- Thank you so much for stopping by! I adored this one and have my fingers crossed that this is going to be part of a series. Is this going to be part of a series?? I sure hope so! Thanks for giving me the chance to read it!

    Suko- LOL! I do like to share my love of good books :) This was a really great read and I am excited for others to enjoy it!

    Wendy- This one is a genre bender and a very unique read! I hope you get the chance to enjoy this one!

  5. I hope you like it, Literary Feline and Suko! I wanted to keep the western elements a bit whimsical while still keeping some of the iconic images, like the stranger riding into to town and confrontations at high noon.

    Samantha, I'd love for this to become a series! Fingers crossed!


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