The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1)
The Alchemyst - Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1 Author:Michael Scott He holds the secret that can end the world. The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty. The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives.... more » But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time. From the Hardcover edition.« less
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caviglia reviewed The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 5
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.