Book Review: The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

I’m always looking for new books to read. So a couple of months ago I was asking my friend Cam for recommendations and he suggested The Alchemyst. I bought it that night (I think that internet shopping is just feeding my book buying addiction) and then after it arrived in the mail it just sat on my desk for a long time before I got around to reading it. But I’ve finished it (finally!).

Title: The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1)
Author: Michael Scott
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Mythology, Magic
Publisher: Delacourte Press
Publication Date: May 2007 
Pages: 375
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
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

My Review:

Sophie and Josh Newman, fifteen-year-old twins, had planned on working during the summer to save up enough money to buy a car. But when the book store Josh was employed at gets broken into by a couple of golems, Josh learns that his boss – the laid back Nick Flemming – is none other than the immortal alchemyst Nicholas Flamel. Dee manages to fling around his dark magic, kidnap Flamel’s wife and steal the one book that Flamel has spent most of his unnaturally long life trying to protect.

And that’s just the first chapter!

This book is full of action and all sorts of magical and mythical creatures. There’s Greek, Irish, Egyptian and so many other types of mythology touched upon and I was surprised to read in the author’s note that all the characters (with the exception of the twins) were based on real historical people or mythological beings.

The twins are interesting characters. The entire novel takes place over a matter of days and despite the short time frame they have both changed so much since the start of the book. I can’t wait to see what happens the in other books with regards to the prophecy and who Josh and Sophie decide to align themselves with.

Nicholas Flamel – the Alchemyst himself – was probably my least favourite character. I think I was expecting too much from him and in this first novel he and his motives remain a bit of a mystery.

I loved the idea of Hekate’s shadowrealm and her World Tree – that’s the kind of tree house I’d love to have in the backyard. Scathach (Scatty) was more fun than I expected a 2500 year old character to be and I can’t wait to see just how Perry fares. The Morrigan is rather scary and not just because she hangs around with a murder of crows. She’s turning out to be a brilliant villain – I just can’t wait to see what sinister plans she has next.

This was an entertaining book and a pleasant change from all the YA romances I’ve been reading of late.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


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