ARC Review: The Secret Fire (The Alchemist Chronicles #1) by C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld


The Secret Fire
Series: The Alchemist Chronicles #1
Author: C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld
Published September 10th 2015 by Atom

Goodreads Synopsis
French teen Sacha Winters can't die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.
Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.
There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.
They have eight weeks to find each other.
Will they survive long enough to save the world?

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.

As you probably know, C.J. Daugherty has quickly become a favourite author of mine, and as soon as I found out that C.J. had a new series coming out, I knew I needed it! In this series, which she has co-written with French author, Carina Rozenfeld, we are treated to the dual point of view story of Sacha and Taylor, teenagers from France and England, respectively. Sacha is a 17 year old, living in Paris, who knows he can not die, no matter once. Due to some curse placed on his family, he will die on his 18th birthday, and not a second earlier. He is now closely approaching said birthday, when he is contacted by an English girl, in order to tutor him. This girl is Taylor, also 17, whose sole ambition is to do well in her exams and go to Oxford university to study with her grandfather. She soon finds herself thrown into a magical world when she manages to blow up sound systems, etc., using just her mind. Taylor is the only person who may be able to reverse the curse on Sacha, but dark magicians and creatures are doing everything they can to separate them.

Taylor and Sacha were wonderful protagonists. Both of their voices were distinctive, and I could imagine that I was actually living their lives with how descriptive their words were. I loved them both equally, and was invested in their lives as much as they were. When they actually met up in person, I was so giddy. The tension between each other was palpable. I think I actually swooned when Sacha called Taylor sweetheart. Sacha and Taylor are my newest OTP, and I need more romance-y feels from them in the sequels!

The plot was really intricate too. Though it is set in the modern world, in both the rural English countryside, and the bustling city of Paris, the history of the curse and the Alchemists really made it feel sort of outer-worldly. More people than you would expect are involved, in one way or another, and that also helped it to feel fully integrated in normal life. I really felt for Taylor, as she had no clue what was happening at first, was was simply shoved, head first, into this magical world, which was a tad scary. Imagine finding out that you are the 'saviour' of the known world, and if you don't succeed, the while world is going to go to pot? Yeah, that's what Taylor is facing. At least with Sacha, he had some forewarning, though it was still morbid knowing he can't die until a certain day, when he will definitely die. No wonder he was a bit of a basket case to begin with. Once Taylor and Sacha realised how involved they were with everything, and that they could work together to stop the end of the world, I felt like they matured a lot, and really came into their own, in terms of their abilities.

I'm seriously invested in this book, and series, and just wish I had book two in my hands. The acknowledgements from both authors at the end of the book were so sweet, and I love that the idea of co-authoring the book came over a cup of coffee. I can't wait to see more of Taylor and Sacha's story, and would say everyone should just drop everything, and get this book ASAP - you will not be disappointed!

Dates Read:
August 22-24, 2015

5 Stars  

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  1. Wow. Great review. I have been so excited for this book, so I am so pleased to see such a positive review for it. AHHH!!! Now I can't wait to get my hands on it.

    1. Thanks, Charnell! I hope you get a copy soon, and that you love it as much as I did :)