ARC Review: The Secret City (The Alchemist Chronicles #2) by C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld10:00
Series: The Alchemist Chronicles #2
Author: C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld
Published September 1st 2016 by Atom
'Remember: Demons lie'
Locked away inside the fortified walls of Oxford's St Wilfred's College, surrounded by alchemists sworn to protect them, Taylor and Sacha are safe from the Darkness. For now.
But time is short. In seven days Sacha will turn 18, and the ancient curse that once made him invincible will kill him, unleashing unimaginable demonic horror upon the world.
There is one way to stop it.
Taylor and Sacha must go to where the curse was first cast - the medieval French city of Carcassonne - and face the demons.
The journey will be dangerous. And monsters are waiting for them.
But as Darkness descends on Oxford, their choice is stark. They must face everything that scares them, or lose everything they love.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.
The Secret Fire was one of my favourite books last year, and I knew I wouldn't be able to wait long to wait its sequel. When The Secret City went live on NetGalley, I immediately requested and downloaded it, and started to read it.
Picking up after the events of The Secret Fire, Sacha and Taylor find themselves in Oxford, for their own safety. Now that Taylor knows she is an Alchemist, and it's up to her to destroy the curse on Sacha's family, she throws herself into her training, as Sacha's 18th birthday, and the day when the curse will be unleashed, is quickly coming up. However, her training is slow going, and she feels like she'll never be able to achieve the incredible feat.
Sacha, on the other hand, is feeling useless. While Taylor spends her time doing something useful, he's kept secreted in the stuffy university buildings, for his own 'safety'. Chafing under the lack of freedom, Sacha wants to escape more than anything, even though he knows there will be consequences if he does. When he and Taylor escape the security of campus for a little while, they unwittingly bring danger to Oxford, and discover who is behind the summoning of the demon.
I love Sacha and Taylor so much, both individually, and together. Since the first book, they've grown so much, and lost all of their childish sensibilities, in the face of true danger. They realise that they need each other to succeed, and both would do anything to keep each other safe. After the evil alchemist turns up at their safe haven, they discover they need to return to France, to the site where it all began, so many years ago, when Taylor's ancestor cursed Sacha's family. During the road trip, Taylor and Sacha become closer than ever, and with how this book ends, I really can't wait for book 3.
The plot was ridiculously good! From the get go, there was danger, and it grew and grew, until I was proper scared for both characters. At times, I was on the edge of my seat and probably looked silly to anyone looking at me, because of all the emotions. Really, this was even better than book 1, which I didn't think would be possible, and I'm dying to get my hands on the sequel. An amazing book, that I can't recommend enough.