Review: The Alchemaster's Apprentice

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There's a difference between a cat and a crat, such a difference it will leave you wondering which one your feline friend is.

Echo is a crat down on his luck - forced to live on the streets in an unkind neighborhood after his adoring mistress passes away. He's at the end, starved and beaten with no hope of survival... that is until he makes a deal with the town's Alchemaster: thirty days of living in gastronomical luxury in exchange for his life. It's a deal he is desperately willing to make until he realizes maybe he wants to live after all.

Walter Moers has to be the only author I pre-order books from. As a bargain shopper, I very rarely buy a book at the $16-20 full price. With Moers, however, I make an exception and don't ever look back on the cost. I stumbled upon Moers in just such a way while rooting through the shelves of Half Priced Books (my favorite big-box book store) in Arizona in 2007. His book, Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures, was listed at $2.00 so I eagerly snatched it up and, after two days in reader's paradise, I returned and purchased any other book under his banner that I could find. But then, sadly, I ran out of novels to read. Though he has written many in German not so many were translated into English.

By complete happenstance, I saw on Amazon that a new arrival was soon coming - The Alchemaster's Apprentice. I pre-ordered it so fast I'm not sure my wallet knew what was happening.... and then I waited. It felt like forever, but the hardcover finally graced my door step and the reading commenced. This was all the way back in 2009 and I can honestly say I've read this book probably three or four more times since then.

That's the beauty of Moers' work. Their readability. The stories never get old. Even when you already know what is coming the beauty of his rule breaking with fonts, layout, and design (not to mention his artwork) is worthy of appreciation each time you flip the page. As a writer, I'm inspired... and envious.

Though these books fall under fantasy, it is directed toward an adult audience. For those of you who love young adult fiction for the imaginative characters and storylines, but whom are looking for something a little more grown up, I highly recommend any of Moers' books, The Alchemaster's Apprentice is no exception.