Release Day Review: Alchemystic by Anton Strout

, by Kt Clapsadl

Alchemystic by Anton Strout 
The Spellman Chronicles #1

AN OLD FRIEND OF THE FAMILY… Alexandra Belarus is a struggling artist living in New York City, even though her family is rich in real estate, including a towering Gothic Gramercy Park building built by her great-great-grandfather. But the truth of her bloodline is revealed when she is attacked on the street and saved by an inhumanly powerful winged figure. A figure who knows the Belarus name…

Lexi’s great-great-grandfather was a Spellmason—an artisan who could work magic on stone. But in his day, dark forces conspired against him and his, so he left a spell of protection on his family. Now that Lexi is in danger, the spell has awoken her ancestor’s most trusted and fearsome creation: a gargoyle named Stanis.
< Lexi and Stanis are equally surprised to find themselves bound to each other. But as they learn to work together, they realize that only united can they save the city they both love… 

Unlike the rest of her real estate mogul family, Lexi Belarus is much more whimsical, preferring to surround herself in art like her great-great grandfather rather than focus on money. But everything changes when she is attacked and saved by a creature beyond imagination. Turns up dear old Grandad was involved in a lot more than just sculpture and real estate as he used alchemy and his Spellmason powers to create a gargoyle named Stanis out of stone to protect his family and legacy over the ages. Lexi quickly realizes that she has a bit of that same Spellmason power herself, albeit very rough and untrained, it still makes her an even bigger target for those who would seek to bring her family down. With time quickly running out on the protections placed upon her family home, she'll have to learn to master her abilities fast before even Stanis's protection isn't enough.

Lexi's voice in Alchemystic felt very fresh and unique. Although her talking about being a non-violent person at the beginning of the book was rather amusing to me as early on, it became very apparent that she has a rather nasty temper. Aside from that she's a fun and quirky girl who has a penchant for getting herself into trouble more often than not, but luckily she has fiercely loyal friends and her gargoyle protector to get her out of her messes relatively unscathed. In fact, the whole dynamic between the team really sucked me right into the book. Rory is like the sidekick friend everyone needs to have as she is spunky and fun, but also isn't afraid to speak her mind, especailly when she thinks Lexi is headed in the wrong direction. Also she can majorly kick butt, which honestly makes her rather awesome in my book. I even loved how Marshall's uber geekness in his role playing games wound up saving them more often than not. I mean the guy lives and breathes the stuff, but he also finds a way to apply that fantasy world into real life application when it matters most.

Now onto the gargoyle. Honestly, this was the number one factor that drew me to wanting to read this book. I'm still crazy in love with the Urban Fantasy genre, with the vamps, witches, fey, and weres galore, but I have to admit it is always refreshing to read about other types of creatures for a change of pace. I loved Stanis as he was very calm and steady throughout, being much like the stone he is made out of. Of course that does start to change as Lexi seeks to restore him to his full power, and bit by bit he gains a little more humanity. Don't get me wrong, he still is very strong and steady, there is just more emotion behind him rather than simple practicality. I cannot wait to see more of him in future books!

The magic behind Alchemystic was incredibly intriguing. It did take a while for any real answers to happen, but I never felt frustrated with the pace, as just enough was revealed to keep me moving along happily. That being said, I have a feeling the surface has only been scratched, and there will be so much more involved as Lexi learns more about her heritage and abilities. The only thing I could possibly complain about in Alchemystic was the complete lack of romance, which isn't really a complaint, but more of a stylistic preference. I will say that the intrigue of the story and the action kept me more than entertained, so I didn't miss the lack all that much in the end. All in all, Alchemystic was a very solid start to a new series, that will definitely be on my radar for future releases.

(Recevied a copy from the publisher)


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