Book info

The Alchemist (2011)

The Alchemist (2011)
Rating
3.7 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
159606353X (ISBN13: 9781596063532)
languge
English
genre
publisher
Subterranean Press
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The Alchemist (2011)
The Alchemist (2011)

About book: It is fine for what it is (which is a short story stretched to a lite novella), but Bacigalupi missed an opportunity to better frame the setting and the Alchemist's dilemma. He could have used a brief chapter to show the Halizak Prison in action and then let the subsequent references to it have (visceral) resonance. Instead, there is an awkward bit of exposition explaining it (by the narrator/protagonist, the same character who keeps referring to the self-same dilemma). It does feel like a fantasy world, one built on the misperceptions instilled in many of us as youths (such as that the disparate parts of the world had little interaction with each other). The great empire has essentially been reduced to a city, but other than "raiders" little reason is given for why the empire simply did not spread its seed ahead of the creeping wave of bramble. Sure, there is the constraint of the size of the story, but it is something that must have been considered during the worldbuilding phase; it is just conspicuously absent from the page. I quite liked this, but I didn't find it quite believable that the mayor and the wizard would not want to immediately save the town. I understand putting their own interests first and how their plan worked, but it seems like they would have made themselves celebrated heroes by just doing the right thing and would never have had to worry about their position again. Their actual plan seems almost evil for the sake of being evil.
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Reviews
rashida
I checked-out this book accidentally but I am happy I did. A short, fantasy novel. Recommended.
Tiela
WHAT!!!! its already end. Damn.I really like the story but it just too short.
Brandy
3.5 to 4 Stars.A good story and fun to read.
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