Book Reviews of The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1)

The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1)
The Alchemyst - Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1
Author: Michael Scott
ISBN-13: 9780385733571
ISBN-10: 0385733577
Publication Date: 5/22/2007
Pages: 400
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 55

4 stars, based on 55 ratings
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

16 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
A good if not simple book. Aimed at a slightly lower reading level than I expected. Good for fans of books like percy jackson and harry potter.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
I was pretty underwhelmed by "The Alchemyst" and I won't be reading the sequels. I will say - for younger people, it might be an enjoyable enough book (I guess), and may lead them into other, more interesting reading directions. It basically felt like a mish-mash of warmed over ideas from Harry Potter (The One!), Greek, Egyptian and Norse mythology (while leaving out most of the stuff that made them interesting), and the action/special effect sequences from "The Mummy" movies. The writing was pretty flat, and he really could have used a good editor, because boy does he like to repeat himself! The characters are two-dimensional puppets who behave the way the plot dictates.

I would also like to note that this is the second YA book that I've read in the past couple of months where there is no sort of resolution at the end. The story just stops. As I said in my review for the other book, I have no problem with series long arcs, but any series book worth it's postage has some sort of individual structure. This does not. It's just one d@mn thing after another until you run out of pages. Look, I know the publishing world is in a lot of trouble, but I really hate this trend. /rant.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

Two twins can change the world, but little do they realize their whole lives are about to change when Dr. Dee walks into the bookstore where Josh works. Sophie, who works across the street, senses something suspicious after watching the strange man.

After a magical fight that involves both siblings, they discover Josh's boss isn't exactly who he's claiming to be.

He is in fact the famous Nicolas Flamel, whose tomb lies empty. He and his wife have been on the run to escape Dr. Dee's clutches and hide a magical book, which holds more secrets than anyone imagines. When Dr Dee captures Nicholas's wife and part of the book, Nicholas reacts quickly. Since the twins have already been exposed, he allows them to accompany him as he sets forth to recover both Perry and the book.

Michael Scott pens the first novel in a new series with action-packed adventure and fantasy. Harry Potter fans will, of course, recognize the name Nicholas Flamel, but that's where the similarities between the two stories end. THE ALCHEMYST delivers a fresh spin on magic that is sure to please.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 147 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Those who recall Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone rather vividly will perk their ears at the name Nicholas Flamel, the creator of that treasured hunk of rock that Harry almost died protecting. Now, Irish author Michael Scott brings Flamel's interesting story to the surface in The Alchemyst.

Twin siblings Sophie and Josh Newman work at a coffee shop and book store, respectively. Nothing odd about their days so far...until the book store's owner Nick Fleming and his wife Perry go head-to-head with mud men and rivel Dr. John Dee. Activity out of the ordinary, to say the least. Oh, but it gets even stranger: the fifteen-year-old twins finds themselves to be an integral part of a several hundred thousand-year-old prophecy that could save the world or destroy it.

The coffee shop and book store just got a little more exciting.

Turns out that their friend Nick Fleming is in fact a very, very, very old famed alchemist who has spent most of his immortal life protecting the Book of Abraham the Mage, or the "Codex", containing the aforementioned prophecy. And the formula for the famed philosopher's stone (English Harry Potter fans will recognize that title). And the recipe for the youth serum he and his wife so readily consume. Which means...Jaws theme song, please...Nick and Perry will age rapidly and be dead in less than a month without the book in their possession. Oh, wonderful. Just what a pair of teenagers wants to deal with.

When Perry, or rather Perenelle, is kidnapped by Dee and his tribe of followers, Flamel sets out on a quest to find a nearby Elder and their Shadowrealm (powerful mythological god and their residence, respectively) to Awaken the twins' hidden magical powers. A sword of ice is borne, a beyond-gigantic tree is set aflame, one of the twins drives a Hummer (which is pretty cool, you have to admit) - safe to say, Scott puts his characters and their enemies through the ringer.

The first in a series, The Alchemyst slowly leads the characters in adventures that they barely slide out of and provides a cliffhanger leading perfectly into the great adventures the next book, The Magician, will hold. The book is beautifully worded, providing vivid imagery quite like what Sophie experiences post-Awakening. Emotions run high, but the impactful energy of Nicholas Flamel's possibly final adventures runs even higher.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 170 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This may be targeted to young adults (like Harry Potter), but it certainly was a wonderful romp for me--and educational too as I went from book to Google and back researching mythological creatures and historical characters. First in a series, it is another morality play set in modern times; one choice can ripple through the world with consequences--what choice to make? Who to believe? Good and evil are not always set in black and white...

A cliffhanger ending makes me anxiously await the sequel entitled The Magician...
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
My adult grandson really enjoyed this book. Says he will reread it. For a twenty one year old that is a statement in itself.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I liked this book a good mixture of using real people from history and magical fiction. Quick read enough action to make it hard to put it down. Ends in such a way you have to read the next book in the series.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 1076 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Twins Josh and Sophie Newman are the 15 year old hero and heroine of this book. Both have untapped magical abilities which come into play accidently when they help Nicholas and Perry Flamel defeat a magical enemy. They are involved in a battle of good verses evil that is centuries old between the Gods. This is book 1 and it is a terrific start to the series. I really liked all the characters - even the bd guys. And the worlds created by Scott are really cool and different.

Unfortunately, this book leaves you hanging and wanting desperately to start book 2 which is The Magician to uncover the fate of these unlikely heroes.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 380 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was at first a little daunted by the size of this book, so I put it aside for awhile until most of my students had finished the whole series and I was left behind. When I started to read (and listen) to this book, I was not immediately intrigued. It was very slow to catch my attention and I'm still not particularly sure that I care about the characters. Here is a brief summary of the story:

Nicholas Flamel and his wife are immortal because Nicholas unknowingly purchased The Codex from someone early in his life (over 500 years before the story begins). The Codex describes many secrets from the elder race, including prophecies and alchemical recipes. Anyways, the elders want this book so that they can take over the world. They have commissioned Dr. John Dee to get the book from Nicholas. So, on a summer afternoon, Dee goes after Flamel in Flamel's bookstore. Josh, a clerk from the bookstore, and his twin sister Sophie, attempt to help Nicholas and his wife from the seemingly mad man that is trying to steal and kill them. No good act goes unpunished, so Sophie and Josh get caught up in this mess. Dee ends up with most of the book and Flamel's wife. However, Sophie and Josh could be a set of twins that are prophesied about in the Codex. The battles begin as Flamel tries to train and protect the twins, while also trying to get the book back from Dee. Flamel enlists the help of some of the good(ish) elders and destruction flows through the rest of the book. Are the twins really magical? Is the prophecy correct? How many people can actually survive their exploits? Now, you have to read it and find out.

As I mentioned, I was not really into the book. The action was intriguing. There was a lot of movement and the book never really slowed down, but I never fell in love with the characters. I don't believe that Scott made them overly interesting. The elders are described in more depth than the twins, and the twins are really the focus of the book. It made it hard for me to buy into the book when I didn't care one way or the other if the main characters made it through. Also, there is a bit of conflict within Josh that I think could have been explored further. It may have made me want to read the next one more. I will say that the best part of this book is the mixing of mythology. The elders are all basically gods from ancient times. They are intriguing and the back stories that are slipped in here and there are fun to examine.

My student's have all enjoyed this book, so it is not a total loss for me. I believe that the constant adventure pulls a reader through regardless if they feel the same about the characters as I do. The magical fighting is creative and described very well. I think my favorite part comes towards the end after a major magical battle. Scott includes a quote from the local newspaper from that town and explains the attacks. It just made me laugh to see how the truth is changed in media even in fiction. This book is best suited for children ages 11 (if they are a strong reader) to 16.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One Terrific Read!

This is supposed to be written for YAs. However, I think it is fine for all of us! This is the first Michael Scott I've read and I will be reading more. I love the characters; the plot is tight and the action non-stop! It is the quintessential good versus bad plotline and the entire story is engaging.

It has been compared to Harry Potter, but I think because this is a book about a cast of characters versus a main character, the feel is different. I very much enjoyed it.

A note, though, that if you do not enjoy fantasy, this book is probably not for you.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fun read for all ages!!!
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

Two twins can change the world, but little do they realize their whole lives are about to change when Dr. Dee walks into the bookstore where Josh works. Sophie, who works across the street, senses something suspicious after watching the strange man.

After a magical fight that involves both siblings, they discover Josh's boss isn't exactly who he's claiming to be.

He is in fact the famous Nicolas Flamel, whose tomb lies empty. He and his wife have been on the run to escape Dr. Dee's clutches and hide a magical book, which holds more secrets than anyone imagines. When Dr Dee captures Nicholas's wife and part of the book, Nicholas reacts quickly. Since the twins have already been exposed, he allows them to accompany him as he sets forth to recover both Perry and the book.

Michael Scott pens the first novel in a new series with action-packed adventure and fantasy. Harry Potter fans will, of course, recognize the name Nicholas Flamel, but that's where the similarities between the two stories end. THE ALCHEMYST delivers a fresh spin on magic that is sure to please.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
To me, this book seemed like something along the lines of Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings meets the modern world, with other things thrown in that I can't compare to anything else. I read it quickly, and it did make for a somewhat exciting story, but it won't be one that stays with me for long. One thing that absolutely drove me crazy was that the author uses the same catchphrases and descriptive phrases over and over. It finally made me cringe to read the same phrase for what seemed like (or may have been!) the 14th time. Overall, I thought this book was just OK. Even though it's book one of a series, I may not continue on to the other books. For me, it just wasn't that much of an attention-grabber.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 69 more book reviews
This book was recommended by my niece. I really enjoyed how fast-paced and exciting it was. So much so that I went straight to the library for the second and third books. I didn't want to wait until they became available on PBS. Fun reads. I will definitely complete the series quickly!
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
I thought it was a very suspencful book.
reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on + 76 more book reviews
I forced myself to finish this one!!! I took the other books off my 'wishlist'. Very disappointed in this one.boo