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Thursday, December 29, 2016

ARC Review: The Alchemists Of Loom by Elise Kova

Please Note:  I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.

Synopsis (From GoodReads):
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 am a great fan of Elise Kova, having devoured several of her books from the Air Awakens series (I'm still working on finishing them).  So when I had the opportunity to review this new series I jumped at the opportunity.  I'm so glad I did because I found this book to be an entertaining novel with great world building, characters, and a story that made me want to stay up late reading.

What I Liked:
World Building:
I found the universe of this book to be intriguing, if a bit confusing at first.  There is Loom where most of the action takes place.  In this world, technology is King.  People belong to various guilds where their roles are determined for them.  If you can't (or won't) fit in, you are killed.  

Then there is another entire world in the sky (known as Nova), filled with dragons.  But, while these dragons are not like the ones we are accustomed to (they don't have long tails, fly, or breath fire), they do possess magical abilities.  They are ruled by the Dragon King.  When the two worlds become known to each other, both see an opportunity.  What begins as a partnership between the magical and the technological, evolves into the people of Loom becoming powerless and destitute.  The Dragon race now rules both worlds.

I enjoyed discovering all the magical abilities of the dragons, as well as the abilities of the Loom characters who became chimera (a hybrid of humans and dragons).  

I loved the characters in this book. Ari and Florence make a wonderful pair.  From the beginning, it is clear that Flo is strongly attached to Ari, perhaps even in love with her?  But Ari is haunted by the death of the great love of her life.  She doesn't want to feel so vulnerable again.  Ari is full of secrets and regrets.  She is also strong, and fiercely loyal to her friends.

Cvareh is also strongly attracted to Ari.  As he gets to know her, he gains a new appreciation for humans who he once thought of as sub-creatures.  He also has some hidden pain, but is determined to  support his sister in overthrowing the corrupt King.

There were lots of power plays within each world. The dragons had a hierarchy similar to the middle ages with ruling families loyal to the King.  But there were also powerful families that were disgruntled and plotting to overthrow the king.  I enjoyed all the intrigue.

There were similar intrigues happening within Loom, as there were revolutionaries working for independence from the Dragons, and others who wanted to keep things as they were.

What I Was Mixed About:
Because this was a whole new universe, I didn't understand some of what was happening at first glance.  While there was a glossary of terms in the back of the book, I think there needed to be a lot more exposition so the reader could understand what was happening more clearly.  

I do understand that the author wanted to keep this a fast-paced adventure story, and reading exposition can be boring.  But a little more explanations of what various beings were, and how they came to be would have lessened my confusion considerably.

This is the first book in a series and I found this to be a great beginning.  This book had lots of action, suspense, secrets, and unrequited love.


Release Date:  January 10th, 2017

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Source:  NetGalley

Format:  ARC E-Book

Recommendation:  A great beginning for this new saga.  With Dragons, magic, and lots of action, this is a fun story.

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  1. I'm so glad you loved this book! I haven't read Elise Kova yet, but Air Awakens is near the top of my TBR list! Happy reading and happy 2017!

  2. Hmmm, this sounds kind of awesome, and I love the cover too. Thanks for the review!


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