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The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal…

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (2007)

by Michael Scott

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (1)

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4,3522001,133 (3.79)164

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This review is for the whole Alchemyst series by Michael Scott. There are 6 books that follow twins Josh and Sophie, age 15. Although the twins are teenagers, the books do not have any adult/sexual content or gratuitous violence and are appropriate for school age children of higher reading level as well as teens. There are some character deaths across the arc of the series, but it is all pretty clean - no gore or blood everywhere (ex: one turns to mist, etc.).

In these books, Scott weaves historical and mythological characters from different areas of the world and totally different time periods into the adventures of Sophie and Josh seamlessly, subtly exposing the reader to many mythological traditions and historical events. Similar to the Riordan novels, this supporting cast of characters all have different skills and magical abilities - these are tied to their "auras" (wells of power) and each is unique in color and smell to specific characters when in use. 10,000 ago, the oldest of these figures, the Great Elders, all lived in an island city, Danu Talis, and lived in harmony until something happened, the island sank, many died, and the Great Elders were scattered across the earth. As a result of this unknown calamity, the Humani (humans) came to be somehow, and became a lightning rod among the Elders – some wished to support the Earth into a new age and work with the mainly magicless humans, and some wished to make the world the way it was before, with no humans (Dark Elders). These two factions battled each other through time and each added new players to the ranks as Great Elders from both sides bestowed immortality to Humani that helped their efforts and had their own mythological children, “The Next Generation.” The main premise of the novels is that this several thousands of years struggle is finally coming to a head and that Sophie and Josh are the "twins of legend" that Nicholas Flamel and his wife Perinelle have been seeking for over 600 years to tip the balance. Now found, they are pursued by servants of the Dark Elders, must unlock their magical abilities (become Awakened) and join the effort to stop the Dark Elders from taking control of the Earth, exterminating the Humani, and remaking the world. Or must they? What motivations may Nicholas and Perinelle have in pushing the twins to discover their abilities so quickly?

In each novel, there is a well-fleshed out arc with consistent motivations and actions taken by the characters. As the reader learns more about this hidden world of magical figures alongside Sophie and Josh, the story kind of onions, with lots of layers that are set up way back in book 1 and called back much much later for satisfying resolution. There is accidental time travel in the later books which does not feel forced or as a solution to a plot hole but provides for even more exposure to different mythological traditions. I really liked this series overall. The first book is really strong and would be a great suggestion for a kid that has LOVED Harry Potter or the Rick Riordan novels (Percy Jackson etc.). I would suggest reading them in order, as each answers a few more questions in the overall mystery of the plot. I gave the series 4 stars instead of 5 because the last book, Enchantress, felt rushed (like Scott had a deadline or got totally pooped and just whipped it together) in the final 1/3 of the book and could have used more time to fully develop one of the final reveals. Overall though, highly satisfying and a good 6-novel follow-up to Rowling or Riordan. -GW ( )
  WhitneyYPL | May 23, 2017 |
This is a fun, adventure following two twins (Sophie and Josh) and Nicholas Flamel (The Alchemyst). This story contains a lot of mythology and history and is a fun way to learn about both. I'd recommend the series if you're looking for something quick and easy! ( )
  MinDea | Apr 3, 2017 |
Surprisingly good. I was expecting a mediocre piece but got sucked right in. It almost killed me to find out that I'd discovered this book just after its release and that I had to wait over a year for the sequel. ( )
  yrthegood1staken | Feb 28, 2017 |
I expected a lot from this book (I do have the whole series already!). It was just okay, it was a bit Percy Jackson but a lot more dragging. It was not that exciting. The battle at Hekate's Shadowrealm was lacking. I love the plot but not just how it was executed. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Dec 29, 2016 |
It is about two siblings that discover magic exists. It starts when two villainous stone people come into the book shop. They were looking for the Alchemist Book. The book teaches and shows the key parts of alchemy, some can even destroy the world. As the people tried to get the book, they succeed. However, they missed the most dangerous pages, and now are trying to get these parts of the book. Then the siblings and villain get into a fight with Dr. John Dee. They then they fall into a magic mirror, in a mirrored world.
I think that you, and other people should read it because it seems like the type of book people would read. It is sort of like Harry Potter, the characters and the way magic is used. It is one of those types of books you just don't put down. If you are one of those people who just ratings, it was a very good reputation. All, in all, it is just a very good book, that suits my style, and a lot of other peoples' styles. It is popular and one of many good books in the series. Even people I know have read it and said it was great. It is a perfectly sized book, it is amazing for a read on a trip. ( )
  Alexander.WB4 | Oct 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
The immortal Michael Scott, John Dee and the dark elders have been fighting for a long time for the most magical book ever created. The book of Abraham the mage or the codex. If john Dee and the dark elders has the book in their hands it would be chaos. Josh and Sophie Newman are the twins from the prophecy so that means that they are the saviors of the earth. Josh's aura is pure gold and Sophie's aura is pure silver. while josh and Sophie had gone to hekates shadow realm to be awakened (to use power from your auras). Sophie and josh had to be awakened so Sophie had gone first and as the ending of Sophie's awakening john Dee had started war in hekates shadow realm. hekate had created her shadow realm so her shadow realm was destroyed so she was destroyed with it. hekate had gone too protect her realm without awakening josh and through out the book josh was mad at Nicholas flamel because Sophie's senses were hurting her. After hekates shadow realm got destroyed they went to scatty's, mother the witch of Ojai. john Dee almost gets josh to go on the side with the dark elders but Sophie had convinced him not too. they had teleported to Paris through a leygate to find someone to train Sophie and hopefully awaken josh.
added by Isaiahl.b4 | editisaiah times, isaiahlb.4 (May 1, 2014)

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Scottprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gulik, Henny vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Claudette, of course
iamque opus exegi
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I am legend.
I want you to remember that everything you know—or think you know—about myth and legend is not necessarily false, nor is it entirely true. At the heart of every legend there is a grain of truth. I suspect that much of your knowledge comes from movies and TV. Xena and Dracula have a lot to answer for. All minotaurs are not evil, the Gorgon Medusa did not turn every man to stone, not all vampires are blood drinkers, the Were clans are a proud and ancient race.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385736002, Paperback)

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:35 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

While working at pleasant but mundane summer jobs in San Francisco, fifteen-year-old twins, Sophie and Josh, suddenly find themselves caught up in the deadly, centuries-old struggle between rival alchemists, Nicholas Flamel and John Dee, over the possession of an ancient and powerful book holding the secret formulas for alchemy and everlasting life.… (more)

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