Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Thoughts on Alchemystic, A Novel By Anton Strout

Warning: If you have not read the book, there may be spoilers in this post.

 So I just finished reading Alchemystic –Book One of the Spellmason Chronicles- authored by the Uber-Diva Anton Strout, and I’ve got to say, it was a pretty darn good read!  It has a lot of my favorite elements, fantasy, magic, problem solving, creatures and nerds….well, a nerd....named Marshall.  But before I begin with the main theme of this post, please enjoy this slight run-down of Alchemystic....

Lexi is an early 20-something New Yorker with a passion and aptitude to create art.  She comes from a long line of real estate moguls starting with her great-great-grandfather, Alexander, who had a gift for building design and turning stone into artwork.  She's obsessed with her great-great-grandfather's history, creativity, and knowledge, but she doesn’t know the extent of that knowledge until she finds herself in a dire situation.  Only after she is attacked by members of a group who's only goal is to see her family bloodline end, does she cross paths with her families protector, Stanis.  Stanis is a 7 foot tall stone gargoyle with bat-like wings that stretch as wide as he is tall.  He has remained perpetually perched atop The Belarus building, home to Lexi and her family, built by Alexander.  No one else in the family knows about Stanis because he has two rules he must follow; 1. Don't talk about gargoyle club and 2. Don't talk about gargoyle club........just messing with ya! :D   No, but seriously...he can't talk about gargoyle club.  :[    The two rules he must always follow are 1) protect the family and 2) keep hidden from humanity.  After breaking the second rule by accidentally allowing Lexi to see him, he becomes more lax with rule numero two and the fierce-some foursome is formed once Lexi's bestie since early childhood Rory, and Rory’s RPG’er expert roommate Marshall join the team.  Adventures ensue! 

I love this book because it has that video game feel to it.  There are quests and puzzles, missions and battles, and a divert cast of characters.  One of the main goals of the story is to find the four soul stones that are missing from indents on Stanis' chest.  Once all four stones are found, it will make him complete and allow him to remember everything in his past and ultimately make him stronger in body and mind.  To find each stone, which have been scattered and hidden away by Alexander years ago, Lexi must solve clues and puzzles by scrutinizing Alexanders personal notebooks.....which there are a lot of!  With each stone they find and plant into it’s rightful place on Stanis’ chest, his memory heightens, he remembers new emotions and becomes more and more like the humans he is suppose to hide himself from.  Of course while all this is going on, evil is afoot.  Any good story has a hardened villain and this one is no different.  

Kejetan Ruthenia once a man who was seeking out the mystery to eternal life, is bound in an unfamiliar form.  He blames Alexander for his troubles and gripes that Alexander used his powers back in the day to do unholy things.......pfft, everyone thinks they're the good guy, right?  Well Kejetan has a group of minions called the Servants of Ruthenia, identified by a blotchy tattoo on their hand and always bearing a white handled dagger that they use to try to assassinate Lexi.  The Belarus clan and the Servants of Ruthenia go back generations and I don't want to say much more and ruin it for everyone, so that’s all the plot you’re getting outta me.  You have to purchase your own copy and read the exciting details and how they unfold……if they unfold…....dun dun duuuunnn…

Any who, on to MY thoughts!  I'm not sure how I came to these thoughts, probably cause I’m replaying the original Final Fantasy, which is my favorite video RPG series ever…..EVER!  And it’s probably cause while reading all I could think with each turn of the page was “damn, this would make a freakin' awesome video game!”   Coming from someone who was attached to the family Atari 5200 control pad/joy stick since about the time I started to waddle from the couch to the game consoles power switch, that is a top of the line compliment!  So my mind decided to classify the four main characters of this lovely story into RPG form.  I know, I know, there are a lot of RPG classes to choose from that I didn't even touch, but I decided to stay along the old school Final Fantasy classes.  I didn't assign any EXP <, that means experience points>  in each categorey, 'cause...that seemed too hard.....and i'm kinda lazy.  This is what I have come up with for Stanis, Lexi, Rory and Marshall.

Stanis: Warrior 
HP:Very High
MP: Moderate
Attack:Very High
Magical Attack: Low
Strength: Very High
                     Defense: Very High
                     Dexterity: High
                     Speed: High
Since he is a stone gargoyle or grotesque as he likes to be called, Stanis has incredible strength, speed, and defense.  He is a protector and the ultimate warrior, his defense against non-magic adversary's is almost undefeatable.  He does however have a minor weakness to some magical creatures that can chip away at the stone.  He is very strong and very protective when it comes to Lexi, but his protectiveness when it comes to Rory and Marshall can be questionable under certain situations, since they are not official Belarus'ses's. <What would be the plural for that?  Belari?>  Protecting Lexi and family is his first priority, second is his need to stay hidden from human eyes, which can make it difficult for him to participate in certain quests.

Alexandra Belarus-aka Lexi: Mage
HP: Moderate to High
MP: High
Attack: Low to Moderate
Magical Attack: High
Strength: Moderate
Defense: Moderate to High
Dexterity: Moderate
                                      Speed: Moderate
Lexi is just learning to play with magic which can be used as defense and offense.  Her magical skill is spellmasonary, so as long as she has rocks to throw around, she has a pretty good attack.  Her magical skills can also be used defensively.....if attacked by a pile of stone rubble.  Her physical attacks are not the greatest, but what she lacks, she make up in bravery and her budding magic skills which continue to grow.

Aurora Torres-aka Rory: Thief/Rogue
HP: High
MP: Low
Attack: High
Magical Attack: Low
Strength: High
                      Defense: Moderate
                      Dexterity: Very High
                      Speed: Very High
Thanks to her dance training, Rory is swift and nimble, giving her an edge in eluding the enemy.  She has muscles that she knows how to use and has a very imaginative fighting style.  She’s a climber and knows how to move her body to avoid or strengthen attacks, and she is not afraid of a fight.  Her feisty attitude makes her a great ally.  Plus she's found that she really digs fighting with a pole-arm, the only one in the group to carry an actual weapon.

Marshall Blackmoore- Rogue White Mage
HP: Low
MP: Low
Attack: Low to Moderate
Magical Attack: Low
Strength: Moderate
                      Defense: Moderate
                      Dexterity: Low
                      Speed: Moderate
                      Intelligence: High
Marshall was hard to class.  He's not the typical fighter, and he's technically not a Mage, but he has minor strengths in both categories, so I made up a class for him.  I filtered him into a White Mage category, though he doesn't do magic or heal, White Mages are normally the weaker of the group excelling in non-traditional skills.  His skills include preparedness, he's always got his backpack filled with PowerBars, in case they get hungry during a quest, which if you think about it, counts as healing.  He's healing their stomachs from rumbling, right?  He also creates light in dark places (flashlights) and always has rope on hand thanks to his intelligent thinking and homage to Samwise Gamgee.  He's not the most nimble of folk, but what he lacks in physical strength, he makes up with intelligence.

So that's how I would class the characters of Alchemystic.  And yes i do realize that my nerds points have probally doubled.  But ya know what?  I think i'm ok with that.   So now that we have the characters classed, we just need to find a computer genius to make this happen!.......please?.......anyone?