Customer Reviews for

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

35 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

Just the tip of the Iceberg

My girlfriend knew I was a HUGE Harry Potter fan and she saw these books online. She decided to buy the three books that were out for me. I began to read The Alchemyst and must admit, at first I was a little turned off and not sure I wanted to finish the book. It was...
My girlfriend knew I was a HUGE Harry Potter fan and she saw these books online. She decided to buy the three books that were out for me. I began to read The Alchemyst and must admit, at first I was a little turned off and not sure I wanted to finish the book. It was dwelling a lot on pop culture like the new batman movies and cell phone and lap tops. Knowing my girlfriend would be disappointed should I not read all the books, I pressed on. Once the story started unfolding I got more and more into it and realized the pop culture references began to symbolize the link to the real world and became pretty important. The book became fast paced and really interesting. Scott does a great job connecting all sorts of real mythology and legends from around the world and brings them in as this connected universe. I spent a ton of time looking up characters, monsters and locations online just to see if the things they mentioned were real (well... really myths and legends).

The Alchemyst is probably the least enjoyable in the series, but thats not bad, it just leads into some even more fast paced and epic stories that are the sequels. Scott's stories(just like JK Rowling did with the HP series) become more and more complex and well written, they just get better and better. I can't wait to read the remaining books as well as see the upcoming film adaptations.

posted by Double0Kevin on November 26, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

41 out of 79 people found this review helpful.

Decent but inconsistent

The book was good, but certain parts were very frustrating to read. I'm not exactly the target audience (28) but I kept focusing on inconsistencies that made this difficult to push through.

There was a lot of extraneous detail provided that just didn't really s...
The book was good, but certain parts were very frustrating to read. I'm not exactly the target audience (28) but I kept focusing on inconsistencies that made this difficult to push through.

There was a lot of extraneous detail provided that just didn't really seem pertinent to certain situations. It seems like the author talked about laptops/cell phones way too much, like he was trying too hard to connect with the younger generation. Pacing is thrown way off periodically, with long discussions or people doing stupid things when they should be frantically running for their lives etc. Josh says a LOT of really stupid, lame jokes at the wrong times. Somehow, when they are "grabbing their things" Josh is able to take the time to pull out his computer and do a bunch of internet searches. And Altavista? No one uses that anymore.

The brother/sister thing is creepy. They touch each other WAY too much. It's just gross. They're always holding hands and touching shoulders... it just seems a little too much. Maybe some kids are like that, but wow. Also, Josh is a football jock who is also a video gamer / computer expert? Seems like he's a little too specialized in too many areas to be realistic.

There are inconsistencies that I would think an editor who read the book ONCE would catch. Scathach tells the kids to not go outside, because dangerous things are out there. Stay in your room. Well, the kids go outside and then "realize that there were dangerous things out there", Umm, it just hurts my head sometimes.

I'm still trying to push through the book. It seems to get better as it goes on (I'm 3/5 through or so), like the editor skipped over the first half. I guess sometimes successful authors just need to push material out and the quality isn't checked enough.

Again, I'm not quite the right target audience, so some may not notice the same things I do. However, certain components of the story seem quite juvenile while other seems quite adult, so I'm not really sure where to place this.

posted by OlderGuy on December 31, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2012

    Ok

    I think the rest of the series is better

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Decent YA magical fantasy

    My eight-year-old saw this book in the bookstore, and desperately wanted to read it. Since it was marked "Teens" I told him I wasn't sure it would be appropriate for him. Then he wheedled, begged and pleaded until I said I would read it first to find out if it would be OK for him to read. What a sucker I am, I mean, what a good mother!

    So I read it. It's really not bad, but not the kind of book I would normally bother to read, at any age. For my kid, it might be too hard, but there's nothing really inappropriate in there. It seemed very cinema-ready-the visual descriptions were vivid and intricately consistent. The story is also intricately planned out, but I was never drawn into the characters. But eight-year-old boys don't really care that much about characters, do they?

    It's your basic good vs. evil story, with lots of magic, immortal good guys and bad guys, your race of Elders-pre-human beings with great powers, innocent teenage twins who have no idea they will soon hold the fate of the known world in their hands, that kind of thing. It's also based on some real-life characters, namely John Dee, and Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel; the author has clearly done a lot of research to get the historical details right. None of that makes it a book I would ever read of my own accord-but I'm a grown-up. If my kid wants to read it (and can follow the narrative jumps), it's fine with me.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    Why is josh the hero?

    Im kinda annoyed with the fact that it could be arguably seen through Josh's eyes, and the auother ( i know i can't spell aouther) seems to definetly be foucusing on Josh's character more. I get why he can be a computer guy, or a football jock, butnot the youngest ever to make the team, and do all of the things he does, and then turn around and say he's ordinary. I also wish they gave some of his taldnts to sophie, because all i know about her is she can read her brothers mind, smell s stuff in detail, and can aford a Blutooth, but not a car. Pluz the info that she and josh share.
    All im saying is it annoys me aliitle bit. I havent gotten to far into the book, butive noticed this.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    To anoymus on april 24

    Hes a historical figure jk rowling didn't create him

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    (Grade Level:6-9) I liked The Alchemyst. It had a good mixture o

    (Grade Level:6-9) I liked The Alchemyst. It had a good mixture of fantasy and an interesting relationship between twins. I think that the twins are just a tad too close. Sophie, the sister, always shoots Josh a warning glance when he is about to say something stupid. I think that Michael Scott(the Author) is hinting that they can read each others minds but I would like it better if he just outright said it. However, it isn’t the type of book that is about a mind-reader. If you are expecting mind-reading story, find a different book.(Although there are 5 books after it.) It is very interesting and will pull most people right in. Just looking at the cover made me want to read it. I can’t wait to read the next book! The main characters were kind of weak. The boy, Josh, was an all-around sports dude, a book-lover, and a computer geek/video gamer. That doesn’t happen very often in life. Michael Scott barely mentioned any of the girls strengths or weaknesses besides her uncanny ability to tell when her brother is about to say something stupid(see above)!! If you are expecting it to be about Nicholas Flamel it is, but, it is not completely about him. It is mostly about the twins. It is not the book the cover leads you to believe it is. It is not really the secrets of Nicholas. It is mostly the adventures of the twins. The Characters were not very good and it wasn’t what it appeared to be. I did, however, like how they have many secret foreshadowing moments hidden throughout the book. I mostly liked the book because it has an interesting storyline.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2010

    I dont really think this is what the doctor ordered

    i love to read. So i just happend to be excited by this book, i mean it sounded very good. But the thing is i HAVE to finish a book. And after the frist chapter i was gettig mad at myself and my rules. I didnt want to finish this book, but i did. And I think at some pionts i was like ok ill give anither try, but the rest of the time i was forceing myself to read it. Why? It starts to get cheesy.
    p.s. yes i no that i spell things wrong

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2014

    I liked all 6 books in this series. At the same time I didn't li

    I liked all 6 books in this series. At the same time I didn't like them. While the background lore was interesting, I found that the  plot holes were numerous. The first few books promise to tell about many things, but the last couple books are very rushed and do a bad job of summing up the story. I was very excited about this series but prepare to leave unsatisfied after a rather rushed conclusion with many glaring plot holes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    good book.

    I liked it. Might read the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    ?

    ?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    When I got this book I had really hight expectations......I got

    When I got this book I had really hight expectations......I got maybe 20
    pages into it before I just got kinda tired of it........I don't know
    maybe it just wasn't the right time to read it.......I do know though
    that I will try and read it again.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Only gonna buy the first book...

    Predictable. Every once in a while i found myself intrigued but was soon let down just when i thought the book would climax.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Enh

    It was an okay book, but I have read better.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

    Meh

    A light read; definately aimed at younger readers (10-13, I would guess). The historical legacies of the characters are intersting, and I wish they had been more fully fleshed-out. (I was actually more interested in the Author's Note at the end of the story than the story itself.) The story seems a little clumsy and exposition feels like it is reported, rather than revealed. Also, this is the first of a series of books, so don't expect a tidy climax and resolution...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    My 12 year old son loved this book

    He picked it as summer reading book. Finished it already. It kept his interest. He is now reading another action book called, Smitty's Cave Adventures, We recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    Interesting...but not my favorite.

    I don't usually read stuff in this "fantasy/Sci-Fi" category type of book. Picked up this book after reading the Harry Potter series and enjoying it very much. I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Potter so I don't plan on reading any of the follow up books in the series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Unique Blend of History and Imagination Through a New Style of Magic

    I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did, but I found myself eagerly awaiting the arrival of the second one. However, that's not to say I didn't have mixed feelings when I started. At first, I felt very uneasy trying to adjust to the type of 'magic' that Mr. Scott has brought to life. You are thrust into the story so quickly that there is no time for your imagination to process how this new world actually works. Not only that, but you are introduced to concepts and creatures that aren't explained right away, contrary to how most books work when told from 3rd person point of view. But, I got to a point where all of my questioning went away and from that point on it was a good ride. I found a lot of the characters very intriguing and I thoroughly enjoyed the historical references that are worked very subtly into the overall scheme of things. Some might find certain things to be a bit far-fetched, but when you pick up a book entitled 'The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel' you need to expect those sort of things. This book is definitely for someone who's got a wild imagination and isn't afraid to try something different. Don't expect to find a replacement for the Harry Potter series with this book, but you can expect to find a clever and entertaining novel that is sure to be the start of a great series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    Cool plot, but really disorganized

    I was hooked from the first page (great fight scene), but all the other pages were a confusing blur. I think the author introduced too many characters too quickly, and (even though it's a fantasy) had some kind of unrealistic scenarios and confusing subjects.I didn't finish it, so it might be pretty good. But you're at ur own risk.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2007

    Not to be associated or confused with the J K Rowling books

    I purchased this book on the eve of the final 'Harry Potter' release as it was tauted over the store PA as the same Nicolas Flamel in the first 'Harry Potter' installment. This is FAR from the case, but a good read none the less. I found the plot a bit predictable but no less exciting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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