Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

Genre: Young Adult

Hardcover: 400 Pages

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

ISBN-13: 978-0-385-733571-1

My Rating: 5/5

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 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.

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 exactly what it says, a book about an immortal alchemyst. But not only that. It is also an intense story of real people, most notable are Dr. John Dee, Nicholas Flamel and Perenelle Flamel. I love how Michael Scott intertwined a "fantasy' world with mythological characters and tied it to real life in very detailed and believable ways. I'm very excited that I get to go out tonight and pick up 'The Magician' which is book #2 in 'The Immortal Life of Nicholas Flamel' series.

The story is told through everyone, literally. You get to see what's going on from almost every single point of view. But, let's touch base on some of the main characters of this enthralling book. The first people I'd like to bring up are Sophie and Jack Newman. They are 15 year old twins who are stuck in San Francisco for the summer. Their parents are archeologists off on a dig for the University there. Sophie works at a coffee shop across the street from the book shop that Jack works at. Sophie has developed a keen sense of smell from smelling all the different herbal teas and coffees all day that the coffee shop has to offer. Jack is a computer lover, not only that, he's a football player. I guess he does a little of everything. As you can see, totally relatable characters. The only thing, is that there were no character definitions for Jack and Sophie in the beginning of the book. So it leaves a lot up to your own personal imagination. I felt like I had the opportunity that way, to read about Jack and Sophie's personality and character, and build up what they looked like in my mind based on that and a few details. You get a great idea of who Jack and Sophie Newman are based on their listed likes and dislikes in one of the chapters.

Jack talks about himself for a little while and says he likes to play football, play computer games, first person shooters, and other things. I laughed at the fact that, amidst all the chaos, Jack stops to "check his email"

"Just checking my mail," Josh muttered, powering off the machine and closing it.
"At a time like this?" Sophie asked incredulously.
"Life goes on. E-mail stops for no man." He attempted a smile, and failed.
I totally matches his gaming, computer loving personality-even if that wasn't exactly what he was up to.

With most books, you get a constant onslaught of background information that can seem unrelenting and it gets very boring at times. But in 'The Alchemyst' all the long explanatory parts are broken up by all the action going on in the story. Michael Scott also does an incredible job of relating the fantasy world of 'The Alchemyst' and tying it into real life. One example:
Left untrained and unchecked, magical energy radiated off the children in waves, moving furniture around, knocking people to the ground, gouging marks in the walls and ceilings. This was often reported as poltergeist activity.
I guess that's not the best example to have used because, whether or not you believe in that, it's all about your personal belief system. But, it's an explanation for events that people experience in real life, nonetheless.

'The Alchemyst' has (literally) a little bit of everything in it. It has got: vampires, werewolves (or more accurately were boars), immortals, necromancy, sorcery, magic, and witches. And I'm sure that's not even all of it! It's got a little something for everyone. Another thing that I particularly liked about Michael Scott's writing style for 'The Alchemyst' is that he lets you in on everything that's going on. Usually, when a book follows only a certain few characters, you're always left wondering what's going on with two people having a conversation that you don't get to read about. What happens during a battle. Or what two events are going on at the same time. But with 'The Alchemyst' you're in everyone's world; the bad, the good, and the people in between. You get to see everything (read everything) from every different aspect. When there is a battle going on, but a major plot development somewhere else with a man character as well, you get to read about the battle from Nicholas Flamel and read about the awakening from Sophie or Jack.

This book went far above my expectations. I haven't seen many reviews for any books in this series, not that that's how I justify my purchases or what I'm reading. I just wasn't sure about it. It was incredible! You're crazy to pass up on this series! I read through it really quickly because I just couldn't stop reading it. And now I'm sad it's over. Luckily, I get to go out tonight and pick up the second book in the series-YAY! Definitely, definitely go and get this book. Buy it, borrow it from the library, whatever. Just get it! And when you do, let me know what you think!

I always appreciate any comments or links to your reviews of books that I review. Thanks guys, and happy reading! : )


  1. Nice review! I'm really looking forward to this series. It sounds like a lot of fun. I do want to wait until all of the books in the series have been published though.

  2. Thanks! I was kind of iffy about this series but I'm glad that I read it. It was really good. I like to do that too, wait till all the books come out in a series. But only because I hate waiting! It kills me! haha. Sometimes, I just can't hold out though and I read anyways.
    This book was really good though so I'm anxious to read the rest! : )

  3. I love this book. unputdownable one :D
    I just got the fourth book.I am about to read it

    Perenele is my favorite character. She looks so cool.And Josh, he's just a pain in the as*

  4. I love this book. I have a pretty big pile of books to get through before I can read more in the series...and I also have like 10 other series on the go! I can't wait to start reading the rest though...