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February 29, 2016

Liked It: Mercury Retrograde by Laura Bickle

Series: Dark Alchemy 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Dark Fantasy

Something venomous has come to Temperance …

It's been two months since Petra Dee and her coyote sidekick Sig faced off against Temperance's resident alchemist, but things are far from quiet. When an Internet video of a massive snake in the backcountry of Yellowstone goes viral, a chase for the mythical basilisk is on. Monster hunters swarm into the area, and never one to pass up the promise of discovery, Petra joins in the search.

Among the newcomers is a snake cult on wheels―the biker gang Sisters of Serpens. Unlike some, the Sisters don't want to kill the basilisk―they want to worship it. But things get complicated when the basilisk develops a taste for human flesh that rivals the Sisters' own murderous skills.

Meanwhile, the alchemical tree of life is dying, and the undead Hanged Men of Temperance who depend on it know the basilisk may be their last chance for survival.

With time running out for everyone around her, Petra will be forced to decide who survives and who she must leave behind in this action-packed sequel to Dark Alchemy.




I am a Laura Buckle fan, her fantasies are dark and her monster-infested worlds aren't some romanticized or sanitized version we would often find in the genre. It's terrifying and dangerous and the odds are usually stacked up high against the heroes.

Her adult dark fantasy series, Dark Alchemy, is another hit IMO. I love the Western rural setting of Temperance, Wyoming by the Yellowstone park. The myth is a fusion of wizardry and Native American literature, and the tone is always eerie and more horror/thriller than an adrenalin-filled adventure.

MERCURY RETROGRADE follows the formula and continues the saga regarding the Hanged Men, undead men whose lives are tied to the Tree of Life currently dying. Their leader Gabe is trying to reverse the damage by hunting a basilisk for its blood. A BASILISK! But Gabe's not the only one after it, a coven of biker witches got wind of its presence in Wyoming and are also after the creature. Then there are a few other continuing side stories that completed this installment. And if there's one thing LBickle is great at, it's peeling the layers of her mysteries in a slow yet captivating way.

MERCURY RETROGRADE closed a few arcs in a satisfying but heartbreaking way. I will miss the mysterious Hanged Men and their raven counterparts which made the series even darker andin terms of function, they provided some sort of a crutch for Petra and the local PD's in solving the mysteries. That said I look forward to the third book, Nine of Stars coming 12.26.16. There's a new Sheriff, and a brand new evil, in town and I am curious to know if the two are connected or if the Tree has something to do with it.

If you're a fan of dark fantasy with peculiar myths and minimal romance, Dark Alchemy is a great series for you to try.



Currently only $2.99

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27 comments:

  1. I really loved the author's YA series I really need to try one of her adult reads too I think.

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    1. I find her YA scarier than this, if you can believe that. This is more mystical/supernatural than apocalyptic.

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  2. I was a bit mixed by book one even if I enjoyed a lot the ideas but I wanted to wait to see the reviews before seeing if I could read it but now I'm not sure

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    1. If this doesn't appeal to you, maybe you can do book 3 as it starts a new arc?

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  3. Yay that you enjoyed it.
    So sad I did not like the first one

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    1. The series is so eerie and I think that's why I like it enough to follow it. Hopefully book three is better

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  4. I've never read this author, Braine, but it sounds quite good.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I love her books, her vampire Amish apocalypse YA series is the best!

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  5. New to me author but I love the premise, thanks for the great review!

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    1. Oooh you should explore her. She's more fantasy less romance

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  6. Okay, this isn't something I'd typically read but I remember being intrigued by your review of book 1, and now I'm doubly so. I think I'll see if my library carries this series. :)

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    1. Have you tried her YA? The Hollows is a good series too!

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  7. I like the sound of the setting since I'm familiar with Wyoming and lived there for awhile. I'm wondering if it might be darker than I usually prefer, but that might be okay. I'll definitely consider reading them in the future.

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  8. I am a bit disappointed that you didn't like this more. I have it and after reading the first one, I really wanted this one to be awesome. The first book was good but it was missing something. Sigh....

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  9. Some how I missed this series. It does sound intriguing. I'll have to snag book one at some point.

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  10. Looks like this book could have been better, but it looks like a satisfying fantasy reads, so there's that! :)

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  11. Hope you love book three when it comes out :)

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  12. I loved her Hallowed Ones duology and I have Dark Alchemy on my Kindle.

    http://www.fwiwreviews.net/2016/02/review-special-interests-easy-part-1-by.html

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  13. I think this one is on my list on Goodreads, so I may have to one-click. Great review!

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  14. Sounds like an intriguing mix of fantasy elements here. I bought The Hallowed Ones for my Kindle ages ago and really need to get to it, although I'm a little nervous about the fright factor because I'm a total wimp, lol!

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  15. Yep. Her books are exactly that. Though, I had a hard time getting into them. Boo.

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  16. I've read Dark Alchemy and really enojoyed it - I had no idea this was out. Thanks for the great review - I need to hunt this one
    down :)

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  17. There's going to be a 3rd book? I really liked the first one. I've had this for review but haven't read it yet.

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  18. I have been meaning to try this series I liked her other books, glad to see threads were wrapped up.

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  19. This is the first I've heard of this author. Might have to give her a try. Thanks for the review.

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  20. This is the first time I've heard of this author. You know how much I like dark stories. I'll be sure to look her up. Thanks :-)

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  21. Another I really need to try *hangs head* I even have one of hers somewhere on the bookshelves.

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