Book Review of The Alchemyst - The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel by 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. 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.
The Alchemyst is the first book of six in the Michael Scott series - The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.
Sophie and Josh Newman find out they are the 'Twins of Silver and Gold' as prophecised in the Book of Abraham the Mage. They possess the power of magic, but they need to be awakened and taught how to use it. This story is the beginning of their journey to fulfill this prophecy. They must do this whilst fighting the powers of dark and old magic, and those who possess it.
Once upon a time, which is how most of us started to read, there were kids books and those not for kids books. When we progressed onto newer and 'older' material, those of us who ended up reading from the Fantasy genre probably started reading from all the Fairy Tales, Legends and Myths from the local library. So, while expanding our depth of knowledge, of books and of other cultures through their stories, we also began to learn a great deal of world history at the same time.
Now, instead of just two demographics of readers - there are just as many categories of readers as there are categories of books. This book and the others in the series fall into the categories of 'Young Reader/ Teen Reader/ Young Adult' of which it does and it doesn't.
Author, Michael Scott, has aimed his series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, at a younger audience but has included characters that adult readers will mostly recognise and enjoy how they're part of this well constructed series. It's these characters that drew me into this series and have kept me reading. With the exception for the two younger members, the 'Twins of Silver and Gold' Sophie and Josh Newman, every character is taken from the History of our world, both fictional and not.
Taken from actual history, ancient mythology and proper legends, the characters form an integral and surprising part to this series. As you make your way through this first book, you begin to realise that as each character is introduced you actually may already know them.
From the lead characters of Nicholas Flamel (the French Alchemist) and his wife Perenelle, to their first encounter with the legendary Dr John Dee (the English Occultist and consultant to Elizabeth 1), to Scathach (legendary Scottish warrior and martial arts teacher to Cu Culhainn), to the Witch of Endor ( historical medium to king Saul), to the Irish Crow Goddess - The Morrigan & many, many more.
The author has drawn upon our own history, legend and myth and created a multi-layered and multi-textured story that takes its direction from the heights of legendary Atlantis all the way to our own current time. He brings together modern and ancient stories and makes a thoroughly enjoyable tale of new and old friends, of ancient feuds and bitter enemies, of legendary heroes and mythological foes.
I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to any fan of fantasy, mythology and legend.
Quotes from The Alchemyst
“OK," Josh said evenly, "I've seen men made of mud, I guess I can accept spying rats. Do they talk?" he wondered aloud.
Don't be ridiculous," Flamel snapped, "They're rats."
Josh really didn't think it was a ridiculous suggestion.”
“Love is the water of life, drink deeply.”
“To remain unknown in this modern world: that, indeed, is real power.”
“You must learn to heed your senses. Humans use but a tiny percentage of theirs. They barely look, they rarely listen, they never smell, and they think that they can only experience feelings through their skin. But they talk, oh, do they talk.”
“Once you have been touched by magic, you are forever changed. You leave a trail.”