Temperance, Wyoming, is a town of illicit drug use, rapidly-healing ranch hands, and the last known location of Dr. Petra Dee’s father. Whilst asking questions, the geologist comes across calcified corpses and a mystery that leads underground, where the most beautiful and grotesque things live.
Laura Bickle brings a fresh approach to alchemy, explaining the stages to achieve transformation in an understandable and interesting way that makes learning chemistry fun. Petra Dee is a clever and relatable heroine who keeps her eye on the prize, accompanied by her trusty coyote friend. But it’s the gobsmacking, vivid imagery of the caves and the Lunaria that will really grab readers.
This fascinating novel provides a great look at a proto-science about which I’d love to learn more. Dark Alchemy is brilliant as a stand-alone, yet a return trip to Temperance wouldn’t be unwelcome. Come for the western, but stay for the weird science!