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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Hidden City of Alchemy is a work of fiction in the action, adventure, and steampunk sub-genres and was penned by author Melissa H. Coleman. Accessible to both young adult and adult audiences with its combination of alternative history, romance, science fiction concepts and plenty of thrills, this truly charming tale takes the unconventional Lizzie Peters for its heroine. Lizzie would rather be an inventor than follow the path towards housewives and family that is expected of her, so when her mother goes missing and it turns out she’s been kidnapped, Lizzie steps up as her would-be rescuer. So begins an incredible journey to France and a terrifying plot of chemical warfare that could destroy the whole world.
Author Melissa H. Coleman weaves an excellent tale amid the cogs and gears of the galvanized world of steampunk, and her atmosphere is spot-on for fans of the genre. Lizzie’s inventive ways give us ample opportunity to engage with a sharp and intelligent heroine who still has flaws and things to learn on her incredible journey. The emotional heart of the tale lies with the rescue of her mother and her own growth, although there is a delightful little romance element too, and it’s that inner strength and empowerment of Lizzie which makes the novel truly special for its genre and type. Overall, when you read Hidden City of Alchemy you can expect witty dialogue, well-described steampunk hi-jinks and gadgetry, and a thrilling plot that all adventure fans are sure to adore.