Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hellhounds, Zombies, and Lich Kings (Oh My!)

Hellhounds, zombies, and lich kings - oh my!

Continuing with our October script, let me introduce you to another series I've enjoyed that possesses elements of the season - and that little scaredy-cat me can handle.

A few years ago, I came across Becca Andre's The Final Formula series and found myself immersed in a genre I never thought I'd enjoy - that containing zombies.

Yes, it's true.  My son is the one in the family who loves most things zombiefied.  In a world filled with the undead these days, I've never jumped on that icky and stinky bandwagon.  Too gross and creepy for me by far.  So I was surprised when reading the first in Andre's series, THE FINAL FORMULA, to discover necromancers controlling the leashes of the zombie world.  But here it is a little less creepy and a bit more funny.

The real aspect of this novel that intrigues me is the mystery surrounding our female protagonist, Addie, short for 'Addled Alchemist'.  It's a moniker given by James, the young man who saved her life after she survived the explosive destruction of the Alchemica Academy.

Every alchemist's dream is to discover the Final Formula - the key to eternal life - and a Master Alchemist will do anything to find it. Anything.  Thus far no one has succeeded, but the night of the Alchemica's destruction changes everything.  However, Addie remembers nothing from that night - not even her true name.  The only clues she has to her past are the hundreds of formulas still occupying her brain and the nine tattoo bands encircling her biceps, certifying her as a Master Alchemist.  She's only missing the final one.

But Addie no longer senses a pull toward discovering eternal life - if she ever did.  All she wants to do now is spend her days peacefully puttering away in a lab - without blowing stuff up, mind you - and using her alchemy skills to help humanity and restore the good name of alchemists around the world.

But Addie's hideout with the Huntsman brothers is soon discovered, and a professional extraction team descends on Portsmouth, Ohio to capture the only known survivor of the Alchemica Academy blast.  What Addie never anticipated was being rescued by the Flame Lord, one of New Magic's elemental leaders.  But the Fire Element has a secret too, and if that information gets out to the world, it could spell all out war between the forces of New Magic and Old.

And Old Magic's ways are controlled by the undead.

Necromancers have lived among the world for centuries and adapted to the modern world by controlling that most applicable field of business - funeral homes.  But if the modern world knew their deceased loved ones were being embalmed and buried - and sometimes 'borrowed' for more nefarious matters - the Deacon and his family might find themselves more than simply out of business.  Even so, there are those among Old Magic who will do anything to seize power, even killing off the Elements of New Magic if necessary.

Addie finds herself thrust into the midst of this battle - with alchemy holding the potential of being everyone's saving grace.

THE FINAL FORMULA is a mix of mystery, intrigue, humor, and even some romance for those who enjoy a little (or a lot at times) heat.  There's a joke in that word, but you'll have to read the novel to find out why.  There is one racy scene and a few instances of strong language, but the focus of this first book is on discovering who Addie really is and what she's really capable of in the world of alchemy.

And it's the mystery that kept me coming back for more.  Pick up your free copy today at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever eBooks are sold.

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