Author: Amy Alward
Series: Potion series
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: September 29th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Magic, Adventure, Young Adult, Romance
When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in love with her own reflection. Oops. A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors travelling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn.
Enter Samantha Kemi – an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Sam’s family were once the most respected alchemists in the kingdom, but they’ve fallen on hard times, and winning the hunt would save their reputation. But can Sam really compete with the dazzling powers of the ZoroAster megapharma company? Just how close is Sam willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing former classmate and enemy, in the meantime?
And just to add to the pressure, this quest is ALL OVER social media. And the world news.
No big deal, then.
One big problem I have consistently had with the Young Adult genre is the distinct lack of adventure. Now all you dystopian-loving people hold up with your protests of “You call getting initiated into Dauntless a lack of adventure??” and hear me out. I mean epic quests, fighting monsters and the arch nemesis of the story, running through jungles and mountains and seas and valleys, etc. Unfortunately, since most books in YA are based around teens, it puts some restrictions on this sense of adventure.
I believe that is one reason I truly enjoyed this book so much. I thought the alchemy was a very interesting subject and it’s certainly one I haven’t encountered in the magic realm yet.
The world-building was very well done, and I could vividly see parts of Nova at times. One big thank you I must shout out is that I wasn’t confused about the magical elements of this world. A big book turn-off for me is the constant introduction or referring of new, magical ideas that do not get fully explained, which leave me with questions and frustration.
I really enjoyed some of the characters. Sam was a good lead and she did a grow a bit, so she wasn’t a completely stagnant character. Zain was fairly real seeming too, but I often felt that any romance between them was too fairy-tale like, and a bit forced. The two characters didn’t have much time to build an actual relationship, minus a certain excursion in a cave, and so the resulting romance still felt like the honeymoon stage.
I think the most interesting component of this book was the way Sam interacted with her family. They clearly had a big role in her life and influenced how she went about doing the things she did.
All in all this was a fun read, and definitely added a flair of adventure to my day. The style it’s written in would appeal to maybe younger readers of YA, but don’t let that stop you from giving it a try. It’s definitely a book to look into for anyone who just wants a break from the basic, everyday YA novel.
|Plot & Premise||4/5 Cauldrons|
|Writing Style||3/5 Cauldrons|
Overall Rating: 4/5 Cauldrons
I’m in love with reading, and have been since I was able to hold a book. But when I’m not reading, I’m working hard towards my other passion: Music. I play in all ensembles my school offers, and some outside of that. I’m a junior in high school, and I aspire to be a performing musician one day.
I usually stay with YA, but I’ve been known to venture into some odd areas as well. I also sometimes read younger than my level because of my middle school sibling.