The Tower's Alchemist (The Gray Tower Trilogy, #1)

Rated 4.17/5 based on 6 reviews
Wizard Vs. Nazi Warlock Vampires.

It's a very different World War II.

The Nazis have unleashed occult forces throughout Europe and the Allies are forced to recruit and employ wizards to counter their attacks. Among them is the battle weary spy, Isabella George, who accepts one final job-extract a deadly warlock before his alchemical weapon devours the continent. More
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Price: Free! USD

Words: 85,170
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301282043
About Alesha Escobar

Alesha Escobar writes fantasy and urban fantasy to support her chocolate habit. She has earned a B.A. in English Writing and a Masters in Education, and enjoys storytelling. When she's not chasing around her four children, she likes to read, watch movies, and dabble in jewelry making.

Mrs. Escobar is currently working on the final book of The Gray Tower Trilogy (Circadian Circle).

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Reviews

Review by: Lynxie on April 04, 2014 :
You can see my review here:
http://lynxie.booklikes.com/post/629323/the-tower-s-alchemist-by-alesha-escobar
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: H.M. Jones on Feb. 09, 2014 :
Honestly, I was intrigued by Escobar's book because it seemed so unlikely a read. That is, I could not fathom an author combining wizardry, alchemy, Nazi Germany, espionage, time travel and vampires into something intelligible. Boy, I was WRONG. And I've never enjoyed being wrong more. This book is not only intelligible, it is smart, sometimes funny, heartbreaking, thrilling, relate-able, and expertly paced.
Escobar seems to effortless combine all of these interesting fantasy and sci-fi tropes without completely overwhelming her characters, the plot or her reader. In fact, I, like so many of her characters, felt that it was only natural that Miss George, the main character, used her alchemy to fend of vampires and Nazis alike.
Indeed, the only reason this book would not receive a perfect rating (I would give it a 4.8) is that I wanted more of an outsider's view on the fantastical side of Nazi fighting resistance. I was left wondering how all of these magical and paranormal intrigues were kept at bay from the normal masses, but I have not read the next two books, though I fully intend to do so just after writing this review, so my wondering may yet be answered.
This book is made more wonderful because of the main character. So many strong female characters are written as unfeminine, off-putting or violent, and, while Miss George is sometimes forced to act similarly, at times, it is clear that she also craves normalcy, love, and long term stability. She is feminine and a arguably, feminist, by simply allowing herself to be feminine and strong simultaneously. I loved her p.o.v. I loved her complexity, the friends she meets along the way and her ferocious and frightening enemies. And, like Miss George, I'm always in skeptic mode, wondering which friend or enemy will reveal him/herself to be other.
The well paced plot, the effortless dialogue, the expertly edited and refined text, and the vivid imagination of Escobar all create a story that is quickly consumed but that leaves you thinking about it long after you've finished. Add Escobar to your MUST READ list.
(review of free book)

Review by: Devorah Fox on May 16, 2013 :
Like most young women her age, Isabella would be happy to spend her time having fun with friends, reading brides’ magazines and planning a future with the man she loves. But the world is at war and the good guys need her for her unique and particular talents. She is an alchemist and can bend natural forces to her will. This makes her an ideal adversary to go up against Nazis who count wizards, vampires and terrifying Black Wolves among their numbers. Vowing to retire, the brave young woman takes on one last mission: to stop the Nazis from deploying a monstrously deadly bio-weapon. I cheered Isabella for her persistence and her commitment to the cause, and liked the way the details of the secret service she works for and biowarfare were inspired by actual WWII events. It made the story that much more believable.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Francene Stanley on March 19, 2013 :
This amazing novel focuses on an English spy working in France during WW2. However, the plot differs from other spy novels written about this period. The strong heroine uses alchemical symbols to aid her work. Spies on both sides of the war employ similar ploys. The heroine does her job as best she can despite the magical tricks others use against her, at the same time attempting to come to terms with co-workers who have died.

The writing style pulled me right into the mind of Isabella, or Emelie as she was sometimes known. The plot drew me along during skirmishes and revelations when she faced friend or foe, all the while trying to find her father and the link to her past. The end astonished me.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Lily Crane on March 04, 2013 :
REALLY enjoyed this one! I wasn't sure what to expect (WW2 and warlocks?) but this one was a fun read.

It starts with the main character, Isabella, who is tired of the spy life and wants to retire. However Europe is raging with war, as the Nazis have allied with warlocks to create deadly weapons and frightening creatures in order to win.

Isabella is an alchemist trained by the Gray Tower, and agrees to go on a mission (which she hopes to be her last) and has to extract another alchemist who created the deadly "Plague."

Of course it wouldn't be fun if the mission was easily accomplished, so she has to fight her way through dangerous enemies, and eventually she finds out that the people who trained her aren't the benevolent mentors she thought they were.

I'll stop there because I don't want to spoil anything, but there are definitely intriguing questions (some of which are answered, others that are promised to be answered).
(review of free book)

Review by: Danielle Forrest on March 02, 2013 :
I truly enjoyed this book. Alesha Escobar is a wonderful storyteller and weaves an alternate world where magic is commonplace and those than wield it hold the world in the balance.

The story takes place during an alternate World War II and starts with people trying to kill our heroine, who goes by many, many names. The story will take you from battle to battle, with few breathers in between. Filled with mysteries and betrayal, the main character must make her way through France, complete her mission, and not get killed in the process. Did I mention that she seems to grown enemies as quickly as she loses allies?

To add to that, I loved the way the book ended. It had a twist ending I would have never seen coming, and yet made total sense in hind sight.

The only thing I did not like about this novel was the editing. Though the book was edited well enough for me to read and review it, it did take longer than usual for me to read and the errors were plentiful, though they rarely detracted from the reading (unless you're an editor, in which case you can't help but notice). The errors I found were almost always systematic, meaning she made the same mistakes throughout the entire novel. With a proper editor, this book would have been well worth five stars.

Source: Gifted by Author
eReader: Stanza for iPad
File type: ePub
(reviewed long after purchase)

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