Read the full review here.The narrator of the story, Sydney, has been trained from a young age to become an Alchemist and missed out on a ‘normal’ childhood. She is socially awkward and frequently misses or misinterprets social cues, providing a good source of humour in the book. However, Sydney parrots the Alchemists’ beliefs about vampires even though she has seen that they are not all evil. She is also shallow, ego-centric and annoying at the start, but grows into a mature character throughout the book. I found the Alchemists as a group to be some of the most repugnant people I have had the misfortune to read about. They are extremely narrow-minded and and make many comments which in any other context would be considered racist. Sydney even checks to see if a bottle of water is still sealed when a vampire hands it to her. If they were portrayed as evil, it would have been easier to handle, but it was difficult for me to read that vampires are unnatural and evil after reading six books narrated predominately by vampires. This aspect of the book really upset me and is really the only negative aspect I came across. The best thing about a spin off series is that it allows for a deeper exploration of characters who only had a minor role in the original. Adrian is, as usual, a highly controversial character. You either love him or hate him - I found his self pity and depression pathetic, but when the depth of his feelings for Rose were revealed I found myself feeling very sorry for him. Although I am firmly on Team Dimitri, I hope there is a happy ending in the works for Adrian. Having loved Eddie from very early on in the VA series, I enjoyed seeing him grow as a character in this book. He certainly has a lot of potential.