Regular price: $19.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

From USA Today best-selling author Gigi Pandian comes a modern tale of ancient intrigue.

Unpacking her belongings in her new hometown of Portland, Oregon, herbalist and reformed alchemist Zoe Faust can't help but notice she's picked up a stowaway. Dorian Robert-Houdin is a living, breathing three-and-half-foot gargoyle - not to mention a master of French cuisine - and he needs Zoe's expertise to decipher a centuries-old text. Zoe, who's trying to put her old life behind her, isn't so sure she wants to reopen her alchemical past... until the dead man on her porch leaves her no choice.

Includes recipes!

©2015 Gigi Pandian (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,768
  • 4 Stars
    1,400
  • 3 Stars
    563
  • 2 Stars
    145
  • 1 Stars
    68

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,120
  • 4 Stars
    1,112
  • 3 Stars
    321
  • 2 Stars
    60
  • 1 Stars
    39

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,563
  • 4 Stars
    1,206
  • 3 Stars
    615
  • 2 Stars
    164
  • 1 Stars
    84
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I get it....you're vegan.

What did you like best about The Accidental Alchemist? What did you like least?

It's got a great premise and is a pretty good mystery overall.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

It probably isn't necessary to share every meal and it's vegan ingredients in great detail. Or the snacks....or the beverages....We get it. You're vegan.

Was The Accidental Alchemist worth the listening time?

I think it's a nice light beach listen. Sort of if Hallmark Channel meets Harry Potter meets Eat Pray Love.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Wow

It's so self righteous and bad I had to stop and couldn't even finish it. That's literally the first time in my life that that's happened. Just wow.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Seriously?

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, the story started out decently but then kind of fizzled and was somewhat predictable. Then there was sudden skipping around. She finds the missing kids in a tunnel and then all of a sudden it is the next morning. No explanation.

What could Gigi Pandian have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Leave out all the food talk. It's fine if your character is vegan, you don't have to repeatedly explain why she is or talk about all the food she eats. It's irritating and irrelevant to the story.

Have you listened to any of Julia Motyka’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Do you think The Accidental Alchemist needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

NO

Any additional comments?

I did really like that it was set in Portland and near Hawthorne because I live in this area of the country and knew many of the places she mentioned. That was cool.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Powderly, KY, United States
  • 10-04-15

Seriously?

What was most disappointing about Gigi Pandian’s story?

The story line seemed like something a college freshman would come up with.

What character would you cut from The Accidental Alchemist?

No likable characters

Any additional comments?

A miniature French gargoyle who learned to cook from a blind chef?
An alchemist who can't read a book about alchemy?
Teenagers making the same moronic mistakes over and over? - Well, I'll give you that one.
Vegan food in every chapter that supposedly taste gourmet?
A simple mystery which drags so slowly, why you ask? See above.

The narration is good, Julia struggles with some of the male character, especially the shoddy French accent, but that's hardly her fault. I'm almost quit listening, but I kept thinking it would speed up, unfortunately, the story stayed slow and juvenile.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too much plotless plot

The characters' are very skimpy - even the protagonist is a cardboard figure pushed around by the plot. Which can be OK, but the plot doesn't hang together either - there is about five times too much incident.

The narrator does a perfectly good job, but can't treasure the book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Ugh.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this to a friend if I knew they liked characters with emotional stutters, the way I would recommend sub-par junk food to a friend who would eat anything as long as it was junk food. The main character stayed on step one of her emotional development through the entire thing, and any time the subject was brought up, she just repeated herself. There was a lot of repetition, from the tea to the "I'm a vegan and you're a vegan and everyone's a vegan!" to the same level of worry over the gargoyle no matter how bad he got. Nothing changed.

What three words best describe Julia Motyka’s voice?

I can't describe it in just three words so I'll describe it in three points.

It was strangely flirty at the wrong times - when meeting the older tea shop owner, for example. The scene was written normally, but the narrator made it sound like the two women were coming on to each other.

The reading also lacked proper emphasis - not enough here, too much over there, as though the narrator didn't know how to emotionally react to a variety of normal and extraordinary circumstances. Something was off about the voices of the teenagers, as well.

She read with a smile. Through the whole damned thing. You know when you're on the phone with someone and you can hear them smiling when they speak? Exactly like that, no matter what was happening in the story. Making a smoothie? Smiling. Teenager breaking in? Smiling. Murder mystery? Smiling. Can't find the book and worrying about a living gargoyle being bound, sentient, in stone forever? Of course, read with a smile.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

As it is, no. Not a chance. This book is the written equivalent of those cheesy Hallmark movies on daytime t.v.

Any additional comments?

I was almost tempted to buy the last book in the series to see if Dorian is saved because I love the little scamp. He's the only good thing dwelling between these pages. But reviews are not the greatest for either of the next two books, so I'm abandoning this series. I feel that if I read a spoiler somewhere that says he is or isn't saved, that will be enough for me.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Tea? Enough with the frickin' tea!

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed Julia Motyka's reading. She's quite good and if I was on the fence about a book, she's edge me towards getting it. It's too bad the execution of the story did live up to the narration.

First up nothing about Zoe made me want to root for her and I kept wishing she would stop being so wishy-washy and either decide to go all the way back into alchemy or not. Make a decision. You're ancient. You've spent hundreds of years wallowing and it's time to make a decision. Dorian, on the other hand was a lot more fun. Again, being so old you think he would have a little more patience, but he's an awesome character!

Then comes the content of the story. It's not about a murder. It's about tea. Practically every conversation is about tea. While this conversation never actually happens, it sure sums up the way the book goes.

"Do you drink tea?"

"Yes, I do. I hear there's been a murder. I wonder if they served bad tea?"

"It can't be! A murderer can't drink tea."

Sigh.

Add to it the constant restating of things already discussed and it's a fairly tedious listen. If I had to read the book, I probably would have put it down.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I finished it, but just barely.

Some parts were very predictable. Without giving anything away, one part, having to do with the police, was just ridiculous. Too much talk throughout the story about how good/nourishing the vegan food was for the body. This point was made early on and that was enough. I get that plants were essential to the story but I wanted the story to move on already. I'm surprised it got such good reviews because although it had potential, who doesn't love a talking gargoyle, it fell way short.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Supernatural Rom-com, laced with vapid romance

What would have made The Accidental Alchemist better?

Humor
Less reliance on stereotypes and romance
Getting rid of first person premonitions like: "For some reason I couldn't help but look at the gargoyle" and then the gargoyle did something. Don't say: "For some reason" or give another vacuously ambiguous reason why you're character did a thing, like the forced hand of fate or implied psychic ability were obvious. Just say something like: "I kept staring at the gargoyle to the point where I started losing my train of thought, when all of a sudden." Or... just don't explain that the character is doing something but the author can't explain why.

Also... Get rid of the romantic tensions when a man and woman of the same age first meet. It's boring because it seems to involve two attractive people who are well matched... because that rarely happens. Just make one, or both, of them awkward or off somehow, and if the author REALLY wants romance, then find a substantive reason that they bridge the gap - instead of something as banal as: "And he had no idea what effect his voice was having on me." Boo. That means nothing and certainly doesn't mean they're 'a good match; it just means he makes her hot and bothered, which is fine but let's just call it lust right?

Has The Accidental Alchemist turned you off from other books in this genre?

I'm not even sure what the genre is... but yes, without doubt.

Did Julia Motyka do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes... I knew who was who, though I wasn't fond of her male voice, it was still unique from other voices

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It had a gargoyle.

Any additional comments?

The story is some malformed hybrid of: sex-in-the-city, witch craft, single good girl alone and misunderstood in the world and on the run, but needing that romantic flirtation

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ijw
  • Cochise, AZ, United States
  • 08-29-16

Formulaic

Ignore the fan club reviews. The story has a deserving premise but the execution is mediocre. I lost interest in the mystery before book got to the reveal. The plight of the gargoyle was more compeling but hardly enough to enliven the book. Overall tedious. Only positive point is romance was not rushed into. More interesting would be a cookbook for all the vegan dishes mentioned (more a commercial for the vegan lifestyle). Most annoying was elitism of tailor-made wardrobe. Handknitted gloves!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jackie Burns
  • 04-27-16

Entertaining Urban Fantasy

Promised much, didn't quite deliver....but it was an entertaining performance. The narration by Julia Motyka was excellent. The story premise was excellent and, indeed, started off well, but everything started to slide down hill from two-thirds through the story. The reveal at the end was weak, to say the least. I was disappointed. I hope that the writing in the follow-up book in this series improves because, as I've said before, the premise is excellent, but I won't be purchasing it to find out. Once was enough.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 06-11-15

excellent

What a pleasure when you find a really great book. The story has characters that you can relate to and follow with relish as it unfolds. I recommend wholeheartedly .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • sarahmoose2000
  • 05-12-15

Quirky

Zoe has been accused of being a witch in the past, so it doesn't help her plea of normalcy when she arrives in town with a talking gargoyle and a dead body in the porch.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful