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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Review: The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1) by Michael Scott

Title: The Alchemyst
Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1
Author: Michael Scott
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Publication Date: May 22, 2007
Pages: 390
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
Source: Amazon
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BD

Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on 28 September 1330. Nearly seven hundred 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 and Nicholas Flamel lives. 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. And 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.

The Alchemyst is a book that really surprised me. I went into this book not knowing quite what to expect. I actually chose this book to read to my son as a bedtime story. He and I both walked away with smiles on our faces.

The first thing that I have to mention about this book is that it is labeled as a young adult book, but it reads more like a middle grade novel. The main characters in the book are 15 years old, so they are a little young on the young adult spectrum. This story really doesn't feel like a young adult book to me. Not just with the ages of the main characters, but with the writing. Don't get me wrong. The writing is very solid and quite flawless, but the way the story is laid out just reads more like a middle grade book. This is the main reasoning behind my score of 4 stars, instead of 5.

I have to admit that I was blown away by the content and plot of this book! It really is quite genius. The way that the author connects all the dots is creative and interesting. The author uses historical figures, mythological characters and creatures, and legends in his story. He wraps them all up nice and neat and splices in some incredible explanations of how they all link together. I was really impressed with the plot.

I did not connect with the main characters. They were fifteen year old twins, and I honestly never felt a real bond with them. I did, however, really enjoy the other characters in the book very much. Scatty was my favorite in the book. She was spunky and talented and had a good heart. I loved that the villains in the story very much fit the bill. They were terrifying and ruthless. The descriptions of the characters, especially the mythological ones, were fantastic!

The world building was very well done. I felt myself in the story while I was reading. The descriptions were vivid and substantial to what was going on in the story. The instances of magic were illustrated very well. You could see the auras and magic in the air.

Overall, this book really impressed me! My son and I are definitely going to continue the series, and we cannot wait to find out what happens next in this story. I recommend this book for all ages!

Have you read any of the books in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series? If so, which ones? What are your thoughts on the series? If you are not familiar with the series, what book with magic would you recommend?


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