The Alchemy of Chaos PDF ✓ The Alchemy eBook



10 thoughts on “The Alchemy of Chaos

  1. Carly Carly says:

    Have you ever been vaguely discontented with a book until a sudden realization of where it fit in the genre scheme of things made it thoroughly enjoyable? No? Oh well For me this was one of those booksI first encountered Maresca through Murder of Mages which is set in the same world and the same city but features different protagonists I enjoyed Mages so much that I immediately picked up The Thorn of Dentonhill the preuel to this book The protagonist of both books is Veranix Calbert a student at the local magic university who spends his leisure hours as his infamous alter ego the Thorn hopping around rooftops in a magical mask and fighting drug dealers While I still got a kick out of the worldbuilding I had a far rockier relationship with Veranix and his crowd mostly because Veranix struck me as just too much Super powerful magic fantastically accurate archery skills incredible acrobatic talents uber rare and uber powerful magical tools my protagonist type leans towards the weak flawed tarnished knights of hardboiled mystery or vanilla human protagonists stuck in a magical world rather than the hyper talented Chosen Ones of epic fantasy and Veranix is a bit much even for an epic fantasy protagonist And then partway through this book I finally got it Veranix is a classic superhero Yep even with the whole secret identity and mask bit it took me a book and a half to catch onWith my limited superhero genre knowledge culled from Wikipedia Ars Technica articles and a few episodes of Marvel and DC shows yep I'm one of those irritating folks who have never read the bookscomics but feel that watching a few scattered episodes bestows the prerogative of making sweeping generalizations about the genre I've decided Veranix is Daredevil the secret identity as a mild mannered student the black mask shading his face the superhuman parkouracrobatic talents the vigilantism the tragic and notorious past the insane risk taking the belief that he is solely responsible for protecting his streets the habit of getting horrific but uickly forgotten injuries the tendency to take on ten goons at once and still win the arch nemesis who is attempting to take over the city for nefarious purposes and of course the incredible magical gifts that he utilizes pretty much solely to hit people from the four or five episodes I've seen it's all classic Daredevil As soon as I understood the genre the book was playing with I could finally enjoy it Dangerous secret identity? Check Hyper talented vigilante protagonist? Check Enablist sidekicks? Check Somewhat ridiculous revenge obsessed villains? Check Scantily clad outfit color coded assassins with insane weaponry involving knife edged hula hoops? Check Suddenly it all made sense So superheroes I love genre collisions and a larger than life story that fulfills all the superhero tropes but is set in a semi steampunk high fantasy world is actually surprisingly fun Just as with Daredevil I never really warmed to Veranix partially because of his problem solving style As his friend puts itGive him a test to study for and he freezes up But if he can solve a problem by punching it in the faceI also wasn't thrilled with Kaiana his love interest since for much of the story her most active role is to use her sexualityfeminine wiles to enable Veranix to actually take action However I liked the rest of his sidekicks particularly the studious Delmin Two nerds get added to Veranix's support suad in this book and both are uite fun This book also adds a Javert style constable and I love Javert characters Plus there are uite a few callouts to the Constabulary series including a cameo with Minox's siblings At times the hyperbolic superhero thing verged on too much for me; for example in this book the semi cockney dialect has suddenly starts referring to all women as birds all so that a group called the Assassin Birds the aforementioned scantily clad women each with a bird species moniker and a distinctive and potentially ridiculous fighting method that may or may not involve hula hoops can show up to try to take out Veranix The enjoyment is aided by the book's inability to take itself too seriously even when things get drasticDefine drasticPeople will get punched in the faceThat is my favourite definition of that word Or take the discussion of what Veranix would do at a crucial life and death momentYou have numerous faults Mister Calbert but that sort of callous disregard is not one of themI am uite capable of callous disregard sir Veranix said Just the other day The other day he used my towel and left it on the floor Delmin offeredSo if you're willing to not only suspend your disbelief but defenestrate it entirely and you're in the mood for rooftop chases flashy magical battles occasional flashes reminiscent of DARE to keep a kid off drugs suspenseful captures gang wars magical potions of mass destruction and a lot of parkour this series may be for you As it turns out superheroes and high fantasy can make for a pretty magical concoction I received an ebook through Netgalley from the publisher Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review uotes were taken from an advance reader copy and while they may not reflect the final phrasing I believe they speak to the spirit of the novel as a whole Cross posted on BookLikes


  2. Shelley Shelley says:

    Source LibraryGenre FantasyRating 35 4ThoughtsThe Alchemy of Chaos by author Marshall Ryan Maresca is the second installment in the Maradine series Veranix Calbert is The Thorn—the street vigilante who became a legend to the people of Maradaine especially the gangs that run the neighborhood of Aventil The Thorn continues to harass Willem Fenmere the drug kingpin of the Dentonhill neighborhood Veranix is still determined to stop Fenmere and the effitte drug trade especially when he discovers that Fenmere is planning on using the Red Rabbits gang to bring the drug into AventilBut it’s also Exam Week at the University of Maradaine where Veranix is a magic student With his academic career—and future as a mage—riding on his performance Veranix needs to devote himself entirely to studying and participating in a fellow student’s thesis experiments There’s no time to go after Fenmere or the Red Rabbits Then a series of strange pranks begin to plague the campus using a form of magic that Veranix doesn’t recognize As the pranks grow increasingly deadly it becomes clear that there’s someone with a vendetta against the university and The Thorn may be the only one capable of stopping them Between the prankster the war brewing between the Aventil gangs and the flamboyant assassins Fenmere has hired to kill him Veranix may end up dead before the week is out Which just might be preferable to taking his examsOne of the things that really stands out in this story is Veranix's willingness to trust others Yes he has Kaiana Nell and Delmin all knowing what he does when he is not in class But now he has others like Professor Aliman involved in not only his schooling to ensure he actually passes his classes but 2 higher classmates who stumble into his webNow that I am officially caught up on this series I really am eager to read book # 4 to see where Maresca goes with the series Loved the relationships that sprout out from this story Liked finally learning how certain secondary characters like Phadne and Jiarna came to be part of Veranix support group Really appreciated the difficulties that Colin is having among his own people and not wanting to get revenge for previous acts against his family Not until he was ready Kaiana Nell is still my favorite character outside of Vee I adore her I do wish that the author would consider actually exploring a relationship between Kai and Vee Won't get any complaints from me


  3. Lisa Lisa says:

    Review from The Speculative Herald of Chaos is another great installment in the Maradaine world It continues to carry forward the excitement of magic gangs we met in The Thorn of Dentonhill and even introduces some deadly female assassins into the mixVeranix known as The Thorn on the street has become a notorious vigilante in Maradaine His presence and interference has caused disruption and concern not just amongst his target the effite trade and Fenmere’s operation in Dentonhill but the street gangs of Mardaine have also taken notice Some view him as a positive thing on their side But others see him as a potential threat that may be out to take terrority from them This definitely becomes of a worry after The Thorn discovers that the Red Rabbits have begun to work their way into the effite trade Dealing in effite makes them targets but other gangs just see The Thorn starting to take out a fellow gang raising fears about what his ultimate plans really areOne of the things I enjoy about this book is how Veranix is learning to rely and trust others to help him He may have started as a solo vigilante but taking out Fenmere’s entire effite trade is proving to be than just a single man operation Even powerful vigilantes need back up sometimes And as magical as this book is it is nice to see that Veranix has some limitations that prevent him from being completely unbeatable Without the help of his close friends and allies the story would have gone much differentlyBe aware this is a book that reuires full and total dismissal of disbelief I think this may be my only point that could be viewed negative but really I think it is just a result of the type of story it is telling There were moments in the book where I would uestion a decision feeling like resolution could have come uicker if only so and so and done x instead of y And then there is the point that everything always seems to conveniently come together Often times I think the author tries to make common sensesimple things sound like super genius moves But ofcourse as a reader that is an easy thing for me think And honestly I don’t feel like any of it really deterred me from reading the book Actually I devoured this book in a little over a day which is something I never do if I have serious complaints It takes a fun addictive book that I just outright enjoy for me to read it that fast and this is that type of bookThe bottom line is that this is a story about enjoying the ride than critiuing decisions and events Or at least that is how I see it Because despite any nitpicks I may find in it I can not deny that it was another fun read This is a book you read for the adventure the friendships and the magic of making the impossible happen In those things this book and series does very well


  4. Joshua Palmatier Joshua Palmatier says:

    This is the second novel of Maradaine that features Veranix Calbert otherwise known of as the Thorn who's a student of magic at the local university by day and a crime fighting superhero at night I enjoyed both books and look forward to the nextPremise Veranix has ticked off the local crime lord selling the drug effitte and is now this lord's number one target enough that he's willing to pay a local assassins guild a good deal of money to see not only Veranix killed but taken down in a spectacular way At the same time the drug lord is using one of the local gangs to infiltrate the area Veranix has sworn to protect near the university Plus it's exam week Veranix is being pulled in too many directions at once which is only compounded when someone at the university begins a series of pranks that escalate uickly into something serious and deadly Can Veranix stop the drug lord dodge the flamboyant assassins sent to kill him find out who's causing the pranks on campus and pass his exams? Not without the help of some old friends and some newAgain I've enjoyed this series so far mostly because this is really just good old fashioned fun Veranix is basically a superhero in a fantasy setting and following his exploits is like reading a comic book Maradaine is a fully realized city and world unto itself with another set of books with different characters as the focus set in the same city with plenty of room left for exploration beyond even the three books currently released Veranix himself is fun to watch as he attempts to fight the drug trade using his own magic and a magical cloak and rope he's found but he wouldn't be able to pull it all off without the help of numerous friends both at the university and in the gangs that rule the streets in Dentonhill The fact that he isn't all powerful and is actually perhaps too impulsive makes him funny and interesting and also gets him into scrapes than he probably should be in Again this is all part of the comic book appeal of this seriesOverall this is simply a fun light entertaining read with some humorous characters that into unbelievable but hilarious situations that often have serious conseuences for the characters and the world If you're looking for some adventure with a standard fantasy setting and a twist of superhero thrown in then check out this series


  5. Joel Joel says:

    Another stellar work by Maresca The story is uick paced and lively The mystery is detailed and the clues are there if you look for them throughout the story but don't leap out and make everything obvious The world of Maradaine is expanded and we see details become apparent Can't wait for the next work by Maresca


  6. Alysa H. Alysa H. says:

    Although the first half of this book feels just a little slow at times there's some excellent payoff in the second half when all of the elements really come together It really is like a superhero crime fighting team story perhaps even so than the previous installment Though focus is on vigilantemagic student Veranix Calbert and I agree with those who say its like a cross between say Batman and Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicle books I'd also say this book is almost like Marvel's Agents of Shield set in a high fantasy world with its own set of magical rules and street gangs in that it's got a similar vibe in some ways and a similar balance of seriousness and comedyThere is also a significant improvement in the presentation of female characters which was frankly pretty terrible in Book 1 While this book is by no means a feminist friendly book and the majority of the POV and plot catalyzations do come from male characters it does have an admirably wide variety of female characters from leads to background figures and many of them have big parts to play in the plot Jiarna is a super smart science nerd along with male counterpart Phadre Kaiana has a lot to do than before when she was just a convenient helper and a lure for Veranix and women like Deena and Sotch are just like any other gang members out on the streets That being said I'd venture a guess that the Deadly Birds the female assassins with their often skimpy costumes are a play on the scantily clad heroine and villainesses of classic comic books but rehashing a trope does not usually do much to undermine that trope And all women are referred to as birds little b in Maradaine anyway which seemed slightly demeaning I would love to see atmospheric descriptive writing about the city and its environs as it is sometimes difficult to picture what various places and things look like and where they are in relationship to each other despite the handy city map provided at the start But apart from that this is a good exciting series and I can't wait to see where it goes next I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley


  7. Sally Schmidt Sally Schmidt says:

    I received a free copy of this title through NetGalley35 starsA solid seuel to the first Maradaine book All this has done is whet my appetite for the next installment in the Maradaine Constabulary series which sadly isn't due until November but really for a universe that just started publishing in 2015 4 books in 2 years is a fantastic paceAfter reading The Thorn of Dentonhill and The Alchemy of Chaos back to back I can confirm that I like the Constabulary series vibe a bit It took me a while to nail down why two series set in the same mostly contemporaneous universe would feel different but they definitely do I think it's down to the fact that you know going in that the Constabulary characters are going to be solving casesmysteries and it's a major part of the characters' motivation but not the only part and there are plenty of tidbits about their backstories woven throughout whereas Veranix's motivation is that he's out for revenge on Fenmere but Fenmere ends up just dancing around the edges of the plot I'm a huge mystery reader so really it's no surprise that I prefer the variation where it's clearly a mystery from the get go Veranix or less picks up right where he left off maybe with a bit stress having a harder time juggling everything Kaiana has a much bigger role to play this time and I love where her part of the storyline is going thus far We also get a much detailed view of the gang hierarchy and how they fit into Maradaine society The villain this time was a bit of an oddball but not so ridiculous that it hurt the plot my measuring guide for this is the old school James Bond films I mean have you ever met ridiculous non productive villains?I'm already looking forward to seeing what happens next in Maradaine


  8. Charty Charty says:

    It's always a pleasure to discover a new author especially when you read a second or third book and can really see them coming into their own in terms of writing uality and story development While I enjoyed the first book The Thorn of Dentonville it was not without its flaws I was pleased to see that the Alchemy of Chaos pretty much addressed my main concerns as this is in all ways a tight interesting and inclusive bookWhile the beginning was a bit slow and felt a little like a retread of the first hang in there the book soon takes off and keeps you reading to the very end and leaves you anxious for the next installmentMarasca has done a fine job this time around balancing Veranix's school and vigilante life giving eual weight to his two lives and managing to cleverly integrate both plots Vee's mighty powers are knocked down a peg or two giving the reader reason to identify and root for him Supporting characters like Delmin and Kai get page time and agency The lack of female characters is rectified with a number of small but welcome touches We learn there is a female body of scholars also attending the university and one girl becomes an important player Female professors exist a female captain runs a Red Rabbit gang while the villain Fenne hires deadly female assassins to take out The Thorn


  9. Kevin Kevin says:

    I thought the story could have been a little tighter Maybe we could have learned a little bit about these Birds and why they were so bad ass and how they were finding him so easily Ahhh well still very enjoyable It seemed like this book was setting up many future comic book storylines with all of these sub characters who are now part of the Thorn's team Looking forward to his next book in this world


  10. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    Well well well Mr Maresca has provided his readers with another dashing adventure in Maradaine and it was GREAT He has yet to disappoint and I love how he’s writing two series at once both set in the same city but in totally different atmospheres I’m waiting for the characters to overlap even if it’s just a tiny insignificant interaction I’m going to shriek and wave the book about in a dangerous looking manner and find someone to fangirl about it to if that moment ever comesOnce again Veranix Calbert magic student and masked vigilante gets in way over his head in his fight to stop the trafficking of the drug known as effitte This time the trouble makes its way inside of the University’s walls and Veranix is fighting a war on several fronts the malicious “pranks” happening on campus the Deadly Bird assassins hired by Fenmere and encroaching effitte trade The whole situation is made even messier by the fact that Veranix is trying to pass his exams in the midst of this trouble The action in The Alchemy of Chaos was paced well considering there was such an abundance of it Not everything happened in the last 50 100 pages of the book which seems all too common in books of all genres This particular installment gave me these great West Side Story vibes because we readers get a little insight into the gangs of Maradaine The grandstanding and bravado displayed by the members of the Rose Street Princes is super fun to read about They get such pride out of the fact that the Thorn is on their side and the Princes are probably his biggest cheerleaders because the constables see the Thorn as a troublemaking vigilante that needs to be arrested Veranix’s cousin Colin who himself is a Captain in the Rose Street Princes is trying to help out without Veranix’s identity being discovered and keep himself under the radar of the gang leaders This really doesn’t work out so well Veranix’s side of the story is full of excitement and dangerous activities as usual though his friends Delmin and Kaiana don’t get uite the screen time that I had expected They’re present when it counts and there’s so much other stuff going on that you really don’t notice plus two minor characters are introduced that get a significant amount of focus though I doubt they’ll appear again I wasn’t uite as hooked on The Alchemy of Chaos as I was when I read The Thorn of Dentonhill which is why this installment has earned a 4050 from me HOWEVER this was still an admirable addition to Maresca’s literary repertoire and I am always so excited for his new releases Again I do wish these came in the larger paperbacks or hardcover editions because I do enjoy them so much and like to display my favorite books If you’re looking for a fun summer or anytime of the year read then I highly recommend this series ESPECIALLY if you are a fan of Scott Lynch or Patrick Rothfuss’s books Do yourself a favor and try this series out


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The Alchemy of Chaos [Reading] ➶ The Alchemy of Chaos Author Marshall Ryan Maresca – Thomashillier.co.uk The saga of the streets of Maradaine that began in The Thorn of Dentonhill continuesVeranix Calbert is The Thorn—the street vigilante who became a legend to the people of Maradaine especially the ga The saga of the streets of Maradaine that began in The Thorn of Dentonhill continuesVeranix Calbert is The Thorn—the street vigilante who became a legend to the people of Maradaine especially the gangs that run the neighborhood of Aventil The Thorn continues to harass Willem Fenmere the drug kingpin of the Dentonhill neighborhood Veranix is still determined to stop Fenmere and the effitte drug trade especially when he discovers that Fenmere is The Alchemy eBook ☆ planning on using the Red Rabbits gang to bring the drug into AventilBut it’s also Exam Week at the University of Maradaine where Veranix is a magic student With his academic career—and future as a mage—riding on his performance Veranix needs to devote himself entirely to studying and participating in a fellow student’s thesis experiments There’s no time to go after Fenmere or the Red RabbitsThen a series of strange pranks begin to plague the campus using a form of magic that Veranix doesn’t recognize As the pranks grow increasingly deadly it becomes clear that there’s someone with a vendetta against the university and The Thorn may be the only one capable of stopping them Between the prankster the war brewing between the Aventil gangs and the flamboyant assassins Fenmere has hired to kill him Veranix may end up dead before the week is out Which just might be preferable to taking his exams.