Wednesday, April 1, 2015

*Blog Review & Giveaway* Laura Bickle's Dark Alchemy

Welcome to the Dark Alchemy Tour!
Today, I am offering you a review and giveaway!

Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Released: March 24, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Format: E-book, 316 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9780062389862

Stephen King’s The Gunslinger meets Breaking Bad in Laura Bickle’s novel Dark Alchemy.

Some secrets are better left buried…
Geologist Petra Dee arrives in Wyoming looking for clues to her father’s disappearance years before. What she finds instead is Temperance, a dying Western town with a gold rush past and a meth-infested present.

But under the town’s dust and quiet, an old power is shifting. When bodies start turning up - desiccated and twisted skeletons that Petra can’t scientifically explain - her investigations land her in the middle of a covert war between the town’s most powerful interests. Petra’s father wasn’t the only one searching for the alchemical secrets of Temperance, and those still looking are now ready to kill.

Armed with nothing but shaky alliances, a pair of antique guns, and a relic she doesn’t understand, the only thing Petra knows for sure is that she and her coyote sidekick are going to have to move fast, or die next.

My Review

Geologist Petra Dee has come to Temperance for a change of scenery after a devastating loss on an oil rig she was working on for several years. She has also come to Temperance searching for clues as to what happened to her father 20 years ago. What Petra finds is a town that blends a bit of the former gold rush, a meth-infested population, a rancher who holds sway over the entire town, mysterious ravens, the presence of not only a Alchemist looking for immortality, but a group of supernatural men called The Hanged Men who self heal.

The most interesting characters you need to know about are Petra's side kick known as Sig, the Coyote/familiar/friend/savior; Mike, the park ranger who is pretty much over his head; Gabriel, one of the lead Hanged Men who works for rancher Sal Rutherford; and Maria Yellowrose whose uncle Frankie is a clairvoyant and sees things while heavily into alcohol. I loved Sig most of all. He's one of those characters that you wish you could take home with you after the story ends.

Bickle uses a heavy dosage of alchemy to tell her story. Probably the most you will see in an Urban Fantasy novel in a very long time. The town of Temperance was founded by an alchemist named Lascaris. There is another alchemist, Stroud, cooking elixirs to keep his hoards happy while searching for the missing element needed for immortality. And, Petra's father apparently was into alchemy as well and uses creepy means in contacting her.

Except for the setting of Temperance, Wyoming for the story, it has absolutely nothing to do with westerns. Most likely, other readers have been drawn in by the luring cover with Petra in her cowgirl outfit and ravens flying around in the background. I will say that Bickle, who wrote The Hallowed Ones, loves creepy stories. Dark Alchemy is no exception.

Dark Alchemy is not your typical Urban Fantasy novel. I would dare compare the story to a cross between Breaking Bad and SupernaturalDark Alchemy is apparently a standalone novel, but I would not be shocked or surprised if author Laura Bickle revisited these characters again in the future.

Available at  

Amazon    BN   

About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to
her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.

Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. THE HALLOWED ONES and THE OUTSIDE are her latest young adult novels.

1 copy of  Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle


  1. Thanks for taking the time to review my book! I appreciate it! :-)