The Alchemists of Loom

The Alchemists of Loom

Her vengeance. His vision.Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical tale...

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Title:The Alchemists of Loom
Author:Elise Kova
Rating:
ISBN:1619844419
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:380 pages

The Alchemists of Loom Reviews

  • Laura Thalassa
    Apr 13, 2016

    Dragons, chimera, and a world equally divided and joined between the magical and the mechanical ... you've never read a book like this.

    When I received the chance to read a copy of TAoL, I all but pounced on it. After reading Elise Kova's Air Awakens series, I knew I'd pretty much love anything Elise published.

    Crap, was I right.

    There's magic, vendettas that might rip worlds apart, a mechanism that could bring about the ruin of an entire race, and--my favorite--enemies who might feel more than jus

    Dragons, chimera, and a world equally divided and joined between the magical and the mechanical ... you've never read a book like this.

    When I received the chance to read a copy of TAoL, I all but pounced on it. After reading Elise Kova's Air Awakens series, I knew I'd pretty much love anything Elise published.

    Crap, was I right.

    There's magic, vendettas that might rip worlds apart, a mechanism that could bring about the ruin of an entire race, and--my favorite--enemies who might feel more than just hate for one another. With TAoL's sprawling storyline, visceral characters, and painfully beautiful prose, Elise has outdone herself.

    Vivid, beautiful, fantastical, Alchemists of Loom is a must read!

    *Screeching* I GOT AN ARC!!!! Guys, it doesn't matter that Elise is my friend, or that I'm an author. I will always first and foremost be a fangirl. Well, that and a sore winner, because

    But seriously, can this woman even write a bad book? That's a rhetorical question because the answer is NO. Starting this weekend. I'll try to post updates!

    ***

    Guys, I've gotten a sneak peek at this one and OMG, ADD IT NOW!

    P.S. The cover WILL make you drool.

  • Danielle Jensen
    Sep 14, 2016

    I was lucky to be given the opportunity to blurb this novel, which meant I got to read it before pretty much anyone else! This is what I had to say:

    "A heart-stopping adventure! Elise Kova reaches new heights with this fast-paced triumph of steampunk, fantasy, and a touch of romance. The Alchemists of Loom is a must-read!"

  • Lindsay Cummings
    Jun 14, 2016

    fantastic. cannot wait for yall to read this one!!!

  • Minni Mouse
    Oct 10, 2016

    2.5 stars because here's the thing - this book has no sympathy for lazy readers, but I

    one of those aforementioned lazy readers. Bad book chemistry right off the bat.

    There's no basic, introductory 30-second-elevator-speech for who our characters are, no helpful inner narrative giving us a cleverly-disguised run-down of what's going on, and there's certainly no info dumpi

    2.5 stars because here's the thing - this book has no sympathy for lazy readers, but I

    one of those aforementioned lazy readers. Bad book chemistry right off the bat.

    There's no basic, introductory 30-second-elevator-speech for who our characters are, no helpful inner narrative giving us a cleverly-disguised run-down of what's going on, and there's certainly no info dumping.

    We have species of creatures that are never explained, terms and titles that are casually tossed left and right, different brands of magic that aren't distinguished from one another, and species wars that treat themselves as part of history so basic that it's apparently beneath itself to recap. Instead, you have to figure this out on your own over the course of the book via inductive reasoning. Now, that may be intriguing to some readers who appreciate the experience, but to "lazy readers" like me who generally enjoy the experience through understanding the overall journey, this book was

    to get through.

    There was also a level of detachment with this book, not just between the book and me but also between the characters themselves. Leona and Cvareh, for instance, are enemies both on the political and personal front but I never got that sense of a bitter and volatile backhistory. Ariana and Florence have the closest chemistry, but most of it comes from repeated mentions of "tell not show" of how Ari broke Florence out of prison, thus creating a gratitude and sense of devotion that Florence has for her. Ari and Cvareh are disconnected from one another, the King and Leona's relationship with our protagonists are bland, and secondary characters we meet along the way are so interchangeable that they are almost indistinguishable from one another.

    As a result, there's no emotional/personal depth to the book. We have terrific world building and a wholly imaginative caste of species and powers....a twisted duo of Big Bads, and a heroine with a mysterious past. That's all external, though. Cvareh needing Ari to take him to the Alchemists is an external element. Where's the internal? Where's the internal struggle? Ari's deep-seeded emotional flaws? What's her biggest internal obstacle that she needs to overcome? Beyond reaching the Alchemists, what emotional void does Cvareh need to fulfill? These elements are what makes a well-rounded character and plot that not only entertains but also draws the reader in for personal investment. This book almost didn't have that at all.

    But steampunk? Action? Smart writing? Hints of themes from

    and Celaena from

    ? Who knows - this book might speak book chemistry to you.

    For me? The writing, characters, and plot were too dry, detached, and technical. I wouldn't recommend, nor would I read the sequel.

    Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for the advanced copy!

  • Silvia
    Nov 06, 2016

    I’ve been following Elise Kova’s work since this summer, when I found the Air Awakens series, and I loved those books to pieces. When I found out she was coming out with a new high fantasy series I couldn’t wait to put my hands on it, and my curiosity has been fed throughout these past few months because of all the interactive stuff Kova does for

    I’ve been following Elise Kova’s work since this summer, when I found the Air Awakens series, and I loved those books to pieces. When I found out she was coming out with a new high fantasy series I couldn’t wait to put my hands on it, and my curiosity has been fed throughout these past few months because of all the interactive stuff Kova does for her followers. If you don’t know about it, she has a Tower Guard group on facebook (born to promote and interact with readers of Air Awakens) and she created the Guild Games to promote The Alchemists of Loom, the first book in the Loom Saga.

    The

    in this book is much more complex than in

    , and to me that’s a plus point. Despite its complexity, I was never confused about it, and the information was given gradually throughout the book (yay for no info-dump).

    The world is also very unique: it’s a mix of

    and

    , it’s as glorious as it sounds.

    There are two races in this world: the Fenthri and the Dragons.

    reside in Loom and are pretty much human-shaped, except they have grey skin and they age a little bit differently than us (they’re adults around 15 I believe).

    live in Nova are definitely not what you would think. They’re also mostly human-shaped, except they have claws and fangs and their skin is colorful (like, blue or red/orange) and they age much more slowly than Fenthri. And, well, they’re ruthless like the dragons we all think about when we hear the word. Also, they have magic. I won’t say much about the magic system because I think it’s better to find out more about it while reading this, just know that everything is really, really cool.

    The

    was never slow and it went hand in hand with the character development; in fact I would say that this first book is pretty much equally plot- and character-driven.

    Something else I loved is the

    (3rd person): Arianna, Cvareh, Florence and Leona have very different perspectives, backgrounds and motives. Their voices are so distinct that you can never forget whose PoV you’re reading, and their characterization is excellent.

    is a protagonist with a troubled past, like many other heroines of YA literature. And yet she feels completely new and original. She’s not a girl, she’s a woman who knows what she can do and who has a mission she is willing to see accomplished no matter what.

    is

    Arianna's pupil and friend and their relationship was one of the best things of this book. I love books that portray a healthy female friendship and I believe it was done very well here.

    I love books that portray a healthy female friendship and I believe it was done very well here.

    is a Dragon

    . I can say I loved him from page 1 (well, he wasn’t on page 1, but you get what I mean) he’s such an interesting character and I hate that I don’t want to give too much away in this review because I

    to talk about him. I’ll be generic and say that one of the best things about him (BUT THERE ARE SO MANY) is how he doesn’t perfectly fit the gender stereotypes that we are all fed since birth AND THAT’S SO GREAT AND REFRESHING.

    He also brings important messages like this:

    I love his relationship with both Ari and Flo. They are from different worlds so they’re bound to have some differences and their first moments together are not without issues, but you can’t expect it to be otherwise.

    There is

    in this book, definitely, although it’s not the driving element. But it is there and it’s

    . So hot.

    I am really excited for this book to come out and gain the success it deserves. It was one of my most anticipated releases and I'm so happy that I got to read it early (even though it means I need to wait much longer for the next installment lol).

    *

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  • Rachel E. Carter
    Sep 06, 2016

    +

    Fantasy fans, I give you: Arianna = older, clockwork version of Arya Stark from Game of Thrones PLUS a female, kickass version of Sherlock (BBC version) with Florence as her Watson.

    In AoL, Elise Kova gives fantasy, and steampunk fans, two whole new worlds to delight over as new characters strike out in an adventure sure to leave readers reeling fo

    +

    Fantasy fans, I give you: Arianna = older, clockwork version of Arya Stark from Game of Thrones PLUS a female, kickass version of Sherlock (BBC version) with Florence as her Watson.

    In AoL, Elise Kova gives fantasy, and steampunk fans, two whole new worlds to delight over as new characters strike out in an adventure sure to leave readers reeling for more. The cast of characters takes readers into a darker realm where no one is pure, everyone has an agenda, and, sometimes, the best friends one can have can be formed between enemies.

    World building? SO CRAZY GOOD. Honestly you will need to read the appendix or glossary for terms, that's how awesomely detailed Elise made Nova. SO CREATIVE. And Arianna? So freaking kicka$$. And she's not perfect, either. Unapologetic. Intelligent.... my fangirling over Ari is strong.

    Well, he's certainly swoony, but to say he is the equivalent of Aldrik from

    would be like tearing out my own dragon heart and feeding it to someone else. I still love Aldrik best because he's such a jaded, dark prince. Cvareh is more of an alpha leader-fighter who believes in what's right. I just have a thing for hot dark-haired jerks;P

    You will know why this was my favorite quote when you get to the end of the book:D

    *** I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my author blurb, because Elise Kova is one badass, amazeball author that trusted me to read her precious and tell y'all about it. ***

  • Melanie
    Oct 14, 2016

    This book really surprised me!

    ended up being a wonderful steam punk set story, filled with mystery and twists, and had a beautiful message: You can be anything you want to be, you do not have to be the expectations that other people have for yo

    This book really surprised me!

    ended up being a wonderful steam punk set story, filled with mystery and twists, and had a beautiful message: You can be anything you want to be, you do not have to be the expectations that other people have for you.

    The world felt like something right out of

    . The characters were heartfelt and compassionate. The message was really important and meaningful.

    But this world is very unique, and the new lingo could be a little confusing. The rundown is basically this:

    The main setting of this book, that is home to Fenthri and Chimeras and their five guilds.

    The Dragon homeland that is inhabited by three Dragon Houses.

    Grey, black, white, the weakest of the three races, and have tattoos on their face depicting what guild they belong to.

    A vast array of colors, very primal, can regrow most things from their bodies, have magical abilities, enslaved Loom and sees Fenthri as servants.

    Fenthri with Dragon blood and/or organs. They are made by Alchemists, and are very strong, but not as strong as Dragons.

    (None of the characters in this world are Human, but they are for sure Humanoids)

    Strongest house, and the Dragon King's House.

    Second strongest house, and very aligned with House Rok.

    Weakest house.

    Developed Chimeras, and the only guild to not be under the Dragon King's thumb.

    Specializes in refining processes in steel mines and applications for gold.

    Explores all the uses for guns and explosions!

    Supplies all the bare materials to all the other guilds.

    Moves people and goods all around Loom.

    The five guilds are all linked together as a system to help one another, but that's been very hard ever since that Dragons of Nova traveled down from the clouds, into Loom, and made the Fenthri population do their bidding.

    The people from these guilds have a face tattoo for easy recognition. People of Loom are not able to choose or pick which house they are in. They are basically pre-placed, and forced to take two tests. If they are unable to pass these tests, they could be sentenced to death.

    Not having a mark is also illegal, and Ari, our main protagonist, does not have a mark. The world knows her as the most notorious criminal of Loom, the White Wraith, and her story starts out with her completing a heist. Her past is a big mystery, but as the book goes on we are able to learn more and more.

    During that heist, she meets a Dragon named Cvareh. Ari hates, and refuses to trust, any Dragon, but when he offers her a boon to take him to the Alchemist Guild she finds herself unable to refuse. Cvareh is from House Xin and in desperate need to protect his family.

    Ari also has an adorable assistant named Florence, who completely won me over. I was unsure of her age until towards the end of the book (16), so for a while I thought her and Ari were a thing and would end up together (this made me extremely happy, by the way), but I was kind of let down when I realized Flor's age and that the relationship was more of a big sister/little sister relationship.

    But Ari does identify as bisexual, and even though we don't actually see her with another woman I was still happy with the representation. Also, I cannot wait to find out all about Ari's past and the demons that still are chasing her.

    The other thing that I loved, besides the story and the world, was the writing. Elise Kova really strung together some breathtakingly beautiful sentences that left me wanting so much more. Her talent really shined with this book, and it left me very interested in reading more of her work.

    Like I said, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it. My only main criticism was the feeling of queer-baiting through the first half. Maybe if they author told the ages of the girls, or explained Ari and Flor's relationship a little better, I wouldn't have felt like that.

    Also, this is my own personal opinion. You might not even pick up the vibe I was getting from the girls. Maybe I'm so desperate for more F/F books that I'm trying to see it every time I read.

    My other minor criticism is that the romance in this book does feel a

    too insta-love-y for my personal tastes. Like, it went from cold to hot

    quickly. Like, in the blink of an eye. It didn't bother me, or pull me out of the story, but it didn't feel 100% natural.

    I know my break down above could seem a little overwhelming, because of all the new terms, but creating a completely new world out of nothing is never easy and there will always be a learning curve. This book is really rewarding and really worth the time. I honestly loved this, and I cannot wait for

    in April 2017.

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  • Ben Alderson
    Jan 02, 2017

    NOT TO SELF, ALREADY ONE OF MY FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2017!

    This book is incredible, like seriously incredible. A unique fantasy world with steam punk elements. Different people, magic, weapons and AMAZINGINESSSSSS. I am in love with these characters so so much!

    CHECK THIS BOOK OUT ITS OUT SO SOOOON

  • Elise Kova
    Jan 10, 2017

    Stealing this idea from other authors to give a bit of info about THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM! Firstly, so excited this is out with the world today (as of writing this). This book was so much fun to write and I hope it is half as much fun to read.

    If you want to know more about the World of Loom, check out this page on my website:

    There are character images, maps, concept art, guild histories and more there.

    Additionally, there's an appendix in both the back of th

    Stealing this idea from other authors to give a bit of info about THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM! Firstly, so excited this is out with the world today (as of writing this). This book was so much fun to write and I hope it is half as much fun to read.

    If you want to know more about the World of Loom, check out this page on my website:

    There are character images, maps, concept art, guild histories and more there.

    Additionally, there's an appendix in both the back of the eBooks and hardcovers titled "The World of Loom" with symbols, pronunciation guides, and so on... I put it in the back, rather than the front, so that readers who wanted to experience the book without any insights wouldn't risk spoilers.

    Happy reading, and I hope you enjoy the story of THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM!

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    Jan 15, 2017

    I got some really cool swag with this book! I covered my address with the signed bookplate. I didn't show the back of the envelope because I didn't feel like putting the front and back on one picture. Let me tell you, that envelope it so freaking cool. You can see the front but the back is really awesome too! ♥ I love bookish stuff!

    I fell in love with this book right out of the gate! Ari is just bad to the bone. It's starts out with a lot of action. Ari is different as are some people in the wo

    I got some really cool swag with this book! I covered my address with the signed bookplate. I didn't show the back of the envelope because I didn't feel like putting the front and back on one picture. Let me tell you, that envelope it so freaking cool. You can see the front but the back is really awesome too! ♥ I love bookish stuff!

    I fell in love with this book right out of the gate! Ari is just bad to the bone. It's starts out with a lot of action. Ari is different as are some people in the world of Loom. Ari is the White Wraith and she's a force to be reckoned with! She has certain abilities because of certain reasons. <--Don't you love vagueness =) Well, I'm tired of putting up the spoiler banners so that's all you get!

    She has a student/best friend named Flor that you can't help fall in love with. She's sweet and she loves Ari and looks up to her. Ari will do anything to protect her.

    One day when Ari is out on a mission to take down a whole group of peeps/things she runs into a Dragon that has been hurt. She planned on killing him and harvesting his organs to get more money. I won't tell you what they do with said organs but it's all a part of THINGS.

    But Cvareh pleads with her to help him. He is on a mission to get to the Alchemist's Guild and try to build an alliance with them to take down the Dragon King who is a twat. He asks Ari to get him there in exchange for a Boon <--read the book. (There ends up being a little something going on between them, you can feel the tension and I hope it does lead to something. Even though Ari threatens him with death at every turn!)

    On the way to the Guild they run into Dragon Riders that try to take them out. Umm, that's not so easy against the White Wraith and now a Dragon of her own to fight by her side. And Flor helps out too although she has to be protected for the most part as she has no magical abilities. But Ari has trained her in things so she holds her own.

    FYI: The dragon's in this book are not the typical dragons you are thinking. They are men but have dragon powers and are descendants of the real dragons. They don't have wings or breathe fire but they have strong magic. They ride gliders to make up for the wings they don't have.

    Now I wish the next book was out because there is going to be some stuff going down and I really hope the good guys, er, things win.

    Here's a little map of Loom. Nova is the place the dragons are from and they are up there on floating cities and such.

    I think I need to delve into Elise Kova's other books while I wait for the sequel to this book.

    Overall, I loved it and I tend to try to read books I think I will like/love. No dud here! Woot! ♥ Of course now I want the physical copy too!!!! =)

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