October always has me thinking of curling up with a book that transports, and what better way than a fantasy adventure? Up today is Madly by Amy Alward, the first in her Potions series, a YA / Teen fantasy read.
Such a fun premise, a love potion gone horribly wrong sets the search for the cure, and our story is off and running. We meet Samantha, descended from a line of alchemists who’ve had a string of bad luck that’s not done wonders for their reputation. She’s competent, intelligent and above all, she wants to make a difference. But the traditionally crafted potions that her family is known for have fallen out of favor: cheaper, mass-produced synthetic concoctions are all the rage, and this sets up a confrontation between waiting for tried and true, or the quick satisfaction of the now.
Samantha, despite all of her knowledge is still just a teen: she gets into scrapes and makes some decisions that aren’t always the best, but she is able to brush off, learn from it, and move on. And the variety of options available are wonderful: from familiar like planes and cars to teleporting through mirrors, the inclusions of familiar and mixing with the inventive creations are wonderful.
And Samantha does not exist in a void: secondary characters bring interest and depth to the story, from best friends and family who both believe and support her quest to find the cure, to her relationship with her Grandfather: a man with many secrets but never failing to help her where he could. Then there is Zane – there is an attraction there, but as he is working with a competitor, his flirtations are slightly suspect, even as there is something in their relationship that rings true.
Plenty of action, some danger and the omnipresent status updates on social media bring the fantastical into a familiar light, and keep the story moving forward. Alward carefully built this world with familiar and not so familiar elements. Gradually pieces and elements are presented in context, and these surprising inclusions leave the reader with clear visual imagery, picturing each element. With a gradual romance in tentative stages and characters that are intriguing and fun to know, this is a great start to a new series.
Author: Amy Alward
Genre: Teen Reads, Young Adult
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published on: 29 September, 2015
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Book Depository
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.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.