Good, the German cover is not really mine. But the original one isn´t really mine either. Though it was definitely the fact that I loved the author´s Night School series and the summary of this one made me soooo curious that I wanted to read it. C.J. Daugherty has a fresh and easy way to write and with her former books, I had so much fun during the reading that it was no question at all that I wanted this book at my shelves as well. Good, the tone is a bit different here, and there are some other differences, but that is exactly what makes this one so good.

The Secret Fire*
by C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld
The Alchemist Chronicles #1
Publisher Atom on September 10, 2015
Genre Young Adult
Pages 432
Format Paperback
Source Publisher

French teen Sacha Winters can´t die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in. Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She´s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha. There´s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart. They have eight weeks to find each other. Will they survive long enough to save the world? 
Taylors bid dream is to study at Oxford University where her grandfather works. Since her family went through some changes she sees her grandfather way to less. So when one-day weird things start to happen and she instinctively knows that it has something to do with her person, her entire life changes completely. She meets Sacha and with him a totally new world. And with that new world a lot of danger, threat and death start to happen.

Through the personal perspective of Taylor and Sacha, the reader gets involved in a varied novel, not unlike Daugherty´s Night School novels. Taylor has some special skills and the world of the Alchemists comes alive. Long kept secrets come to light and two people discover what power they have and what they can achieve with it if they work together. During the ongoing story, the reader is thrown into an emotional roller coaster when it comes to tension and action. Some parts of this book are filled with dangerous scenes others are playing in a more quiet area. The author has a simple but very effective way of writing. She shows things that should actually be impossible to do and gives the reader enough space to use his own imagination and fantasy.

Being a teenager is under normal circumstances not easy but for Sacha, it turns out to be a time that isn´t only very limited but also anything but ordinary. The curse makes it impossible for him to die. At least not before he turns eighteen, so why live a normal life, why bother with school when there is no life where he could use all the knowledge school wants him to learn?

Taylor is a normal girl. She learns very hard, is involved in some necessary projects she needs for her time at the university and her grades are the best possible. She knows exactly what she wants to do on every level of her life – no space for the unexpected. Yes, her life is planned through and through in the tiniest detail. But when life threatens her family, or that what is left of it, and she has to face a brutal murder, she is done with planning.

Boy, that was an interesting book! If you don´t know the author C.J. Daugherty at all, this is a good way to get to know her work. And for her fans, this is as entertaining as her other books have been. Good recommendation.

Happy reading

*The German edition was published by Oetinger.

C. J. Daugherty
C. J. Daugherty ©Oetinger

C.J. Daugherty is an international bestselling author and former newspaper reporter and crime writer. Her Night School series has been translated into 22 languages and has been the number 1 best selling young adult book in Germany, Poland, France, and Israel, topping charts in countries around the world. She lives in the south of England with her husband Jack Jewers and a menagerie of pets.


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