Listening to The Accidental Alchemist

GameStop, Inc.

The Accidental Alchemist Audio CoverThere is something special about listening to a good book. The Accidental Alchemist by Gigi Pandian is good when read, but listening to it read by Julia Motyka enhanced the experience. The suspense was drawn out finer, and the Dorian, the gargoyle chef, was even more loveable. The book is an urban fantasy mystery set in contemporary Portland.

After accidentally discovering the Philosophers Stone and gaining immortality, Zoe Faust left her days of alchemical study behind her in favor of travelling through the United States. Now, she is ready to settle down for a while in her new, fixer-upper home. In shipping her material from France, however, she has picked up a stowaway, the French gargoyle Dorian Robert-Houdin. Brought to life centuries ago by a strange alchemy book, he is now returning to stone, and he needs Zoe’s help to decipher the book and restore him. Matters are further complicated when the handyman she has hired to repair her house is found murdered on her porch and several items, including Dorian’s book, are stolen.

Pandian does an expert job at blending the genres. She gives a strong picture of Portland and its small neighborhoods, a place where an herbalist-alchemist might well feel at home. The mystery is strong, and the addition of some alchemical elements and a living gargoyle do not keep Pandian from playing fair: The clues are there, at least in retrospect, if the reader cares to look.

The characters in the Accidental Alchemist are engaging and well-drawn. Zoe is convincing as someone who has lived a few centuries: She is still finding new things and recovering from old pains, but she has the memory and the cares of an older person. Dorian is a proud, opinionated chef who takes over Zoe’s kitchen and prepares delicious gourmet meals for her and for her new friends. The secondary characters are also intriguing: Detective Max Liu, who might become more than a friend; Brixton, the teenage boy who learns Dorian’s secret and becomes an unexpected, if sometimes sulky ally; and Bird, the tea shop owner who works hard to build a community are strongly drawn characters.

Julia Motyka does not do much by way of varying the voices, but she distinguishes them enough for the listener, and she gives Dorian a great French accent. She also has a good voice rhythm, making the book pleasant to listen to. Listening also forces a reader to slow down a little, to relish the story as it unfolds. With a familiar book, this allows for discovering new angles. And, of course, an audiobook is great for driving, exercising, weeding the garden, or any other task that keeps the hands but not the mind fully occupied.

The Accidental Alchemist is out in Audio form now, and in print and ebook publication. Look for it on Amazon; on Powell’s or on Barnes & Noble
icon

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
John Lewis: Good Trouble Review
‘John Lewis: Good Trouble’ Review — A Great American Gets a No-So-Great Documentary

John Lewis is a great American. Between his work on the...

Nicole Kang Talks About Batwoman and her new movie The Social Ones

We were first introduced to Nicole Kang as Mary Hamilton on...

Hamilton Review
‘Hamilton’ Review — The Hit Musical Shines on Disney+

The historical musical Hamilton has been a pop culture phenomenon since...

Event News Event Reviews
SDCC Amazon Prime Activation
[Con-Pression] SDCC Amazon Prime Activation

We relive moments of Con past to deal with our Con-Pression,...

Casey Biggs and Jeffery Combs Discuss their Virtual Meet and Greek Along with Star Trek Las Vegas

On the heels of Creation Entertainment announcing the Official Star Trek...

Connor Trinneer & Dominic Keating Discuss The Star Trek Virtual Fan Experience

Connor Trinneer (“Charles “Trip” Tucker III”) and Dominic Keating (“Malcolm Reed”)...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
SnowRunner
SnowRunner Launches Today

SnowRunner looks to be the ultimate off-roading virtual experience and launches today...

John Wick Hex
John Wick Hex Releases May 5th on PC and Playstation 4

John Wick Hex releases on May 5th on PC and Playstation...

Marvel United Funded
Marvel United Funded – Only Hours Left to Back Marvel United

Marvel United funded in the first 31 minutes! Now you only...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular Variant Covers Announced

Press Release from DC Entertainment:   “In brightest day, in blackest...

Comic Historian and Writer, Scott Beatty Discusses the Future of the Industry

Scott Beatty is an incredible guy. He’s a writer, professor, father...

AEW Star, Hangman Page Reads Aloud to Children on Instagram on Friday, April 17

Press Release – CHICAGO, IL (April 14, 2020) – With schools...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Celebrate Bob Ross and the Joy of Painting with Loot Crate

Press Release – Los Angeles, CA (April 16, 2020) – For almost...

McCafé Frappé
McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is a Great Way to Start the Day

McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is the best way to start...

Consumable Gift List 2019
FBN Consumable Gift List 2019

Our Consumable Holiday Gift List 2019 – The best gift to...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
We get ‘Fit with Mandy’ Rose

Former WBFF Bikini World Champion and current WWE Superstar, Mandy Rose...

WrestleMania 36 Night Two Recap!

After a handful of amazing matches at WrestleMania 36 Night One,...

WrestleMania 36 Night One Recap!

People have questioned the motives of Vince McMahon and his desire...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the wizarding rumble: A new horizon chapter: 4

Ron falls further and further under the spell of the island....

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Wizarding Rumble, mini-arc: New Horizons chapter 3

Ron is easily seduced by the trappings of Animal Crossing..

Comics on the can: Babylon Working

COMICS ON THE CAN Babylon Working issue #1 Created by Marcel...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Comedy Duo Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed Take Us, ‘Back To The 80s’

Two of the funniest men in show business, Ben Giroux (Hart...

James Maslow ‘Rush’es the Stage to Perform at Super Girl Surf Pro on Sunday

James Maslow is an American singer, actor and songwriter best known as the star of...

Jason Lazarus Talks about Composing the Music for ‘Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans’

Jason Lazarus is a Los Angeles based composer for film, television, and...