The Alchemist's Illusion

Narrated by: Julia Motyka
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (516 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.
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 person found this helpful

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

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    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.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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enjoyable 4th book

Wonderful introduction to new characters thought gone, great to learn of Dorians heath, but needs better editing. When an author/editor choses to repeat information, I often wonder if it is because they discount the reader, or their writing isn't cohesive. Either way it is annoying. At this point we know how the alchemist survived, we know she has a heightened sense of smell, so why repeat it over and over in the series and again multiple times in this book. This probably should be 3 to 3.5 overall and for the story; but I like the series and appreciated how the story engaged the many characters I've come to enjoy so the ratings are a bit stretched.

2 people found this helpful

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

Another good one!

I've listened to all the books in the series so far, and hope there will be many more. The writing/narration is good, the premise is outlandish but entertaining, and I like the characters. Two new alchemists join the mix, and we meet Max's family. I'm looking forward to hearing how Zoe and Max resolve some issues in their relationship.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story, complex mystery, lots of suspense

This was such a good book with the continuation of the story of Zoe and Dorian, trying to make a normal life for themselves. Things are moving along with Max, Zoe's romantic interest. Her business is good and Dorian is keeping busy making pastries for the bakery. Zoe and Dorian may be getting a little too comfortable, getting too lax in keeping their secrets a secret. Then several of Zoe's "old" friends show up, one by traditional transportation, others by way of murder and a discovery. The end of the book is so suspenseful and fast paces, I exclaimed out loud while listening several times. I did want the story to continue.
The narrator was very good; able to do English, American and French accents back to back. Good voice inflection to make the story interesting.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Series

This series is so entertaining. Absolutely love it. The things a French speaking gargoyle and an alchemists can get up to is amazing.