Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Frank L. Cole
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Gordy Stitser and his mother, Wanda, are Elixirists, or potion-makers. While Wanda is out of town, Gordy gets a package with a potion labeled 'Eternity Elixir'. An eccentric woman named Esmerelda attacks the house so she can take the potion. Two Elixirists arrive to fight Esmeralda and her gang. They tell Gordy that the Eternity Elixir can be substituted for any potion ingredient or drastically improve or overpower a potion. In the wrong hands it can become a weapon. Esmeralda takes one of Gordy’s best friends hostage to get the potion from Gordy. Thankfully, Wanda returns and with Gordy’s friends defeat Esmeralda and her gang.
Cole has created a fascinating fantasy series that approaches the richness and depth found in the works of J. K. Rowling, Brandon Mull, and Rick Riordan. Cole introduces readers to Gordy Stitser and the Elixirist community: a secret society that uses potions to help the world run a little smoother and safer. Gordy is not a newbie to the society, nor does he have to hide it from his friends. These are two themes not commonly found at the start of a fantasy series. But these additional elements allow readers to delve more deeply into Cole’s world to face such personal dilemmas like the history behind Gordy’s evil grandfather. Excellent character development, intense action, and great humor all create an intensely tactical world any reader will enjoy.