A Conspiracy of Alchemists: Book One in The Chronicles of Light and Shadow

A Conspiracy of Alchemists - Liesel Schwarz I really, really wanted to read this book. I was ecstatic when I won a copy and after a couple days just admiring the beautiful cover I settled down to reading.

The heroine, Elle, started out as a plucky, young female pilot and I really liked my introduction to her but that first impression began to unravel almost immediately and by midpoint of the book I was ready to consign her to the evergrowing pile of heroines who are all the same.

Because not only did she devolve from plucky pilot to an emotional mess but she became The Chosen One. Really? Again? Can we just once have a heroine that isn't the One Someone's Been Waiting For?

Then there is Our hero, Marsh, tall, dark, brooding, sexy, with the requisite Tragic Past.

If the typical hero and heroine weren't enough to cause me to lose interest and patience the obvious holes in the plot were. One of my biggest pet peeves is author's writing their characters making really obvious mistakes or ignoring the rules of their own world to further their story. Unfortunately Schwarz did both early in the story to make sure Elle ended up having to depend on Marsh.

It was very clumsy writing and a definite weakness of the book.

I also could not get a clear vision of Schwarz's world, I could only see the small areas inhabited my the main characters. I couldn't envisage the world as a whole and so the book felt-claustrophobic.

Faulty plotting, weak world-building, too typical characters did not add up to a book I enjoyed. And then Schwarz ends the book with a lead into the next. Not my favorite kind of ending.

I wasn't going to read the next book but it came up on Vine and the cover is so pretty...