Wednesday, April 3

Review: Alchemystic by Anton Strout

This is the first book in The Spellmason Chronicles by Anton Strout.  I picked this book up because I liked the cover and the blurb sounded interesting.  I have always had a thing for gargoyles and this seemed a good fit.

The book opens from the point of view of the gargoyle, or as he prefers to be called a Grotesque, Stanis.  It seems he only really awakens when the urge to Protect calls him.  Otherwise, he is in some kind of half-wake state where he just absorbs and collects the changes going on around him without any real comprehension. 

The second chapter gives us Alexandra, or Lexi as her friends and family call her, the main protagonist of this book.  Her side of the story opens with an argument with her older brother defacing some of her art work.  As a sculptor, she believes that their family heritage has more to do with the art and architecture of the Belarus family.  Her brother Devon believes that is about managing their real estate holdings.  Shortly after the argument, she gets a call from the police that her brother has been killed in a building collapse.  He is identified by the family ring he was wearing holding the phone that he had just spoken to Lexi on.  

Fast forward a couple of months, and Lexi is now hip deep in the family real estate business.  She was forced to start learning as the last remaining Belarus heir.  To keep her sanity in the nightmare that is the corporate world, she continues to try to work on her art at night.  Unfortunately, she is constantly either late to or missing classes due to the family business commitments.  Commitments which she only half-heartedly works at because its not the life she wants.  Basically Lexi is a big ole hot mess.

Then, while walking home from class, Lexi is accosted and Stanis is awakened and comes to protect her.  After a conversation between Lexi's accoster and Stanis, we find out that someone knows who Stanis is and believes that all the Belarus must be punished for what they did to Stanis.  At first Lexi doesn't know how she escapes.  Then with the next attempt at her life, she finds out a bout Stanis and his urge to Protect the Belarus family.

This was a very interesting book.  I did like the way the story kept changing view points between Lexi and Stanis.  There are lots of secrets and puzzles to be revealed and solved.  Many go back generations.  There were several times in the book I did the "Say what?" or "Really? Truly?" because the characters took huge leaps in faith several times.  Things happened that I just could not wrap my head around as everyone just believing in and accepting as okay dokay.  But that may just be me.  I did enjoy the book and am interested to see where the author is going to go with the next book in the series, so I will be watching for it.  I am giving it 3 stars on Goodreads.  

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…

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