• The Alchemist's Illusion

  • By: Gigi Pandian
  • Narrated by: Julia Motyka
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,506 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Surprising plot twists, several cliffhangers, and vivid magical imagery will keep fans of paranormal cozies turning the pages." (Publishers Weekly

The latest alchemical adventure from Gigi Pandian, USA Today best-selling author and winner of the Agatha Award  

Centuries-old alchemist Zoe Faust is tired of running from her past. She's finally got her life on track in Portland, Oregon, gardening and cooking in her fixer-upper house with her mischievous best friend, Dorian the gargoyle chef. It seems like the perfect life for Zoe, until she discovers that her old mentor Nicolas Flamel, who she thought had abandoned her, has been imprisoned.  

A local artist holds the secret that could lead Zoe to her mentor, but the artist is murdered and the painting containing the hidden clue is stolen. To rescue Nicolas, Zoe and Dorian must explore art forgery, a transformative process that has much in common with alchemy and cooking - but one that proves far more dangerous.  

"Sparkles most when it stays true to the wonder of its magical subject." (Foreword Reviews)

©2019 Gigi Pandian (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Alchemist's Illusion

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great 4th book, sorry the series is over.

This was a great series. Very entertaining and I would like more. Some series start out strong then gradually decline. This one just keeps getting better. The characters are unique and delightfully rich. Julia Motyka is outstanding with her variety of character voices. I enjoy the characters even more with her portrayal of the various accents. I hope there are more books to come in this series as the relationships grow and the adventures continue.

11 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable instalment in the series

I enjoyed this book in the Accidental Alchemist series. In particular, it was good to have a change of focus from trying to fix Dorian's problem, and instead working on a new challenge. The book certainly left me wondering about what will happen next in the lives of Zoe and Max. It does leave the window open for another book in the series. I liked the addition of Max's sister in this book.

The narrator does a great job and I enjoy listening to her.

This book had less repetition than some of the others, which I liked, and also wasn't quite so heavy-handed with the vegan thing, which I also liked.

7 people found this helpful

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An interesting but excessively repetitive

This would have been an exceptional 2-3 books but is instead an unbelievably repetitive 4 books. I listened to them all and although the repetition was obnoxious (especially the vegan recipe repetition) I really enjoyed the voice actress and the personalities she breathed into the characters. It's what made me come back for more the story was interesting but the books should be called "Hi, I'm vegan. Did you know I was vegan? just want to make sure you haven't forgotten I'm vegan. Plus meet my friend the gargoyle."

I read other reviews and thought they might have been written by people who were not into being vegan or with low amounts of patience. When in fact, it is almost comical how repetitive it is. Also the first 4 chapters of book 4 are just a long drawn out recap of the first 3 books. The voice acting, accents and character development make this series. I will read additional books but REALLY hope the writer hears us and limits the repetition.

6 people found this helpful

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Narration is fantastic!

The book is a great addition to the series! Can't say enough good things about the narration by Julia Motyka. Her accents are many and really help paint the story. Not all narrators can pull off accents or even try, but Julia does French to Texan with ease. Story line is good and it was nice to revisit all the characters. Dorian the sassy French gargoyle is a favorite.

4 people found this helpful

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Better than the last

This final book is the redemption for the previous book. I won’t bother to read the other series by this author. Sick and tired of listening to the same passages in every book.

3 people found this helpful

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Great stories, but frustrating main characters

I really like this series and all of the characters present in each book. The thing that drove me crazy is how someone who supposedly has stayed alive for hundreds of years can be so dense with no ability to make rational decisions or foresee the negative consequences of her actions. Every time she would do something that seemed to ignore absolutely everything that was happening it pulled me out of the story wondering how one person could be so stupid.

That said, the stories were fun and the character building was really good.

2 people found this helpful

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I Wanted More

This book felt rushed and shallow to me, as though the author wanted to be done with this concept and so it was just thrown together to complete a project that had to be done. The problem with that is that there is so much more that could be done with
the ideas in the series and it was left undone.

2 people found this helpful

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Series went one book too long

Ever read a book that folds in on itself? This one does and you lose interest in the plot, then the characters and then you reach for the TV remote. Too bad.

3 people found this helpful

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Another home run

This series just keeps getting better! It was a great mystery that kept me guessing. I'm glad that Zoe now has more alchemist friends and family around her. Can't wait for the next one!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Better and better....

Some series start out strong then gradually decline. This one just keeps getting better. The characters are unique and delightfully rich. The story is a page turner with a satisfying ending that both concludes the current plot and leaves one looking forward to more. I’m so glad this author is young: she will make readers happy for many years to come.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jojo loebig
  • 10-21-21

brilliant fun

Dorian is so funny! loved the twists in the plot. looking forward to book 5 coming out soon!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Vess
  • 10-09-21

Outstanding book and performance!

Tried Gigi’s first book from the free suggested books by Audible. It was exactly what I needed. An easy, magically alchemical and very entertaining reads. Went through all 4 books in a whiff! I absolutely loved Julia’s performance as well. Loved every single character and the dynamic between them all. After all who wouldn’t love to be friends with a Michelin star chef who happens to be a gargoyle and a girl who is hundreds years old!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Granny Gardener
  • 09-28-21

Getting better with each book in the series

I really enjoyed this book, which drew so many loose ends together. The ideas are really original. This book has fewer lists & fewer reminders about preceding books, both of which had annoyed some readers of earlier books. I hope they have stayed with the series long enough to enjoy this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ariel Words
  • 05-13-22

Love the book, but missing the recipe download!

What I really love about this book series is the total escapism whilst living on the edge of reality. Sometimes it's exactly what's required in a world of doom and gloom.
I have to say, with the first two books the quality of meals here shot up - I was using new ideas and the recipe downloads which came with the first couple books of the series.
This time the story is still great, but oh boy do I want to know how to make those alchemical cookies!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jo March
  • 05-08-22

Engaging characters and intriguing tales.

I am thoroughly enjoying the Accidental Alchemist series and the intriguing twists on the basic idea of alchemy. There is also a delightful irony in the ‘wholesomeness’ of the central characters, given the toxic reputation of alchemists in history. This particular story and it’s riff on alchemical art particularly appeals and Audible means I can listen while I creat my own art. I have spent some wonderful hours with Zoe, Dorian, Max and Brixton.

1 person found this helpful

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  • claresuttle
  • 04-06-22

Another excellent tale

I am absolutely enchanted by these books! I have been so totally drawn into the tales of Zoe and Dorien!! (I totally adore Dorien). Simple stories, lovingly told with touches of drama and humour. Loved it, just as I have loved the previous books

1 person found this helpful

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  • Henna
  • 03-10-22

A heartfelt mystery

These books have grown on me so that I keep wanting to listen to the next one. Delightful escapism.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cynders
  • 02-10-22

Loving this series more & More!

Who'dda thunk murder over and over again following Zoe would be "entertaining" but here we are! Made even better by Dorian. I love this little character with a huge personality. Honestly, the only thing I wish is that Zoe either comes out and tells Max the truth or she kicks him to the curb. I can't stand him.He doesn't trust her and every other word out of his mouth is he can help her find a shrink. His sister, Mina has only met her twice and trusts what Zoe has told her. I hope Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel continue into the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marcus Payne
  • 08-03-22

Enchanting

So well written and performed highly recommend this series of books. Off to listen to the next in the series

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • mel white
  • 04-11-22

Why are the baddies always British?

Another enjoyable romp and an engaging series but as soon as I heard the English accent it was a direct giveaway. Why are Baddies always British? That was my only gripe though.