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From the Hardcover edition.
Twin 15-year-old siblings Sophie and Josh Newman take summer jobs in San Francisco across the street from one another: she at a coffee shop, he at a bookstore owned by Nick and Perry Fleming. In the vey first chapter, armed goons garbed in black with "dead-looking skin and... marble eyes" (actually Golems) storm the bookshop, take Perry hostage and swipe a rare Book (but not before Josh snatches its two most important pages). The stolen volume is the Codex, an ancient text of magical wisdom. Nick Fleming is really Nicholas Flamel, the 14th-century alchemist who could turn base metal into gold, and make a potion that ensures immortality. Sophie and Josh learn that they are mentioned in the Codex's prophecies: "The two that are one will come either to save or to destroy the world." Mayhem ensues, as Irish author Scott draws on a wide knowledge of world mythology to stage a battle between the Dark Elders and their hired gun—Dr. John Dee—against the forces of good, led by Flamel and the twins (Sophie's powers are "awakened" by the goddess Hekate, who'd been living in an elaborate treehouse north of San Francisco). Not only do they need the Codex back to stop Dee and company, but the immortality potion must be brewed afresh every month. Time is running out, literally, for the Flamels. Proceeding at a breakneck pace, and populated by the likes of werewolves and vampires, the novel ends on a precipice, presumably to be picked up in volume two. Ages 12-up. (May)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Medieval alchemist Nicholas Flamel resides in modern day San Francisco as an antique bookseller, but his quiet life is turned upside down when the evil sorcerer, John Dee, arrives with his golem henchmen to abduct Flamel's wife and to steal a powerful tome, the Book of Abraham the M age. Teen twins Sophie and Josh, caught in the magical crossfire, accompany Flamel and are introduced to a mystical world of adventure neither can imagine. Michael Scott's novel (Delacorte, 2007) comes to life in this audio presentation. Narrator Denis O'Hare expertly shifts between exotic accents and conveys the urgency in the many action scenes. This title will have wide appeal to fans of fantasy literature and those interested in Medieval history, and it has enough action to hold the interest of reluctant readers. A few pop culture references will date it. Listeners will be enthralled.
—Ryan HenryCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
“Scott offers a classic fantasy . . . that will put readers on the edge of their seats as they rush to the final page. . . . [An] exhilarating fantasy.”—Booklist
“The juxtaposition of our reality with magic and myth is riveting.”
From the Hardcover edition.
Posted December 31, 2008
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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>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.
41 out of 77 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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.
35 out of 41 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 28, 2008
I never thought that any book could ever be as nail-biting as this one. The Alchemyst is a little bit boring in the beginning, but it drags you in deep. Once you pick up this book, you can't stop reading. I have always admired fantasies, like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, this book beats all of them put together. I hope all you read this love it as much as I did. And check out the sequel The Magician!
25 out of 26 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2008
Two twins can change the world, but little do they realize their whole lives are about to change when Dr. Dee walks into the bookstore where Josh works. Sophie, who works across the street, senses something suspicious after watching the strange man. <BR/><BR/>After a magical fight that involves both siblings, they discover Josh's boss isn't exactly who he's claiming to be. <BR/><BR/>He is in fact the famous Nicolas Flamel, whose tomb lies empty. He and his wife have been on the run to escape Dr. Dee's clutches and hide a magical book, which holds more secrets than anyone imagines. When Dr Dee captures Nicholas's wife and part of the book, Nicholas reacts quickly. Since the twins have already been exposed, he allows them to accompany him as he sets forth to recover both Perry and the book. <BR/><BR/>Michael Scott pens the first novel in a new series with action-packed adventure and fantasy. Harry Potter fans will, of course, recognize the name Nicholas Flamel, but that's where the similarities between the two stories end. THE ALCHEMYST delivers a fresh spin on magic that is sure to please.
14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 25, 2010
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I accidentally got this book, but decided to try it out anyway.
The first few pages of this book are absolutely horrendous. The storytelling is stiff and the action scene in the beginning is about as interesting as watching grass grow.
It gets better though. Much better. Rather quickly, the rigid storytelling smooths out and the pages begin to flow. Sprinkled throughout the book are plenty of gods and goddesses (mainly goddesses) that I've never heard of before. And by the end of the book I was very glad that I read it. The only cons are a dull and rather stiff beginning, a gaping plot hole (that will probably be addressed), an irritating main character (*cough* Josh *cough*), and the fact that the book, during the first hundred pages or so, tries too hard to pander to teenagers. Other than that I would really recommend it. If you are looking to start a new series, then try this book out. Believe me; it gets better!
11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I read the review here. Then I started reading the first few chapters at the store before I bought it because I am quite a picky reader. It is very well written. Best of all, it drew me in right away. I got the book and finished reading in 3 days. <BR/><BR/>The author managed to tie historical events, both historical and mythical figures, and real places in a creative way around the fictional teenage characters, Sophia and Josh. In addition to the rich characters, the places mentioned in the book allow my imagination to go wild with a sense of realism. The author writes well without too wordy but yet managed to include all the necessary details and vivid descriptions - which is difficult to achieve in any good fictional writing.<BR/><BR/>In terms of the richness of the characters and the fictional settings, I'd placed this book (this series) between Harry Potter and LOTR. <BR/><BR/>I finished the 2nd book in the series, "The Magician" in 2 weeks (part time reading). I can't wait for the next book and the subsequent ones to be released.<BR/><BR/>- A 30-Yr-Old-Grown-Up who Likes Good Fictions + All-Time Michael Crichton's + Some Amy Tan's
8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I love this book. but I have to admit that the first few chapters were boring but later on in the story, I got hooked to it and got so addicted. Trust me, once you start reading on to the book, you will get so hooked, that you wont be able to put the book down.So if you haven't read this book yet, go out there and buy it. also, when you finish the book, I assure you that you will be begging for the next book in the series. If you are wondering the next book in the series is The Magician. I haven't read The Magician yet, but I cant wait to buy it, read it, then see if it is as good as the first book. The Alchemist is the best book I have ever read in my entire life (so far).
7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 24, 2011
When I started to read these books I bought it at the airport thinking that it would keep me till I landed and it did!! I do have to say it just doesn't ease it's way in to the climax like most other books that I have read. THIS BOOK just threw me into the mix. It took mythology and other things I already knew about and put it into a great story, I was stuck on the series and kept reading up till two in the morning seeing what would happen next. The book brings a lot of mythology and other things into the story and that is what makes it very exciting.
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This book enticed me to read the series and I am on edge just like with the Harry Potter series I strongly suggest you read this book!
6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 14, 2012
Look ive read a lot and i mean A TON ive read the whole percy jackson series in a week. I read this book in a day its so good. Its an AMAZING book
5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 19, 2009
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Summary <BR/><BR/>The Alchemist: the secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott, was about two siblings, Josh and Sophie Newman who embark on the adventure of their life with a 665 year old Alchemist and a warrior Vampire named Scatty. The two twins Josh and Sophie spend their summers in San Francisco with there Aunt while their parents do their job as archaeologists in some remote desert. While trying to save up for a car Josh gets a job at the local book store and becomes close friends with his boss Nick Fleming and his Wife Perry; while his sister gets a job next door at the local coffee shop. <BR/> One day, Nick Fleming gets a surprise visit from Dr. John Dee; who uses magic to destroy the bookstore; in search of a book, he¿s been looking for almost his whole life. After a terrifying battle between Nick and Dr. Dee flees, but not before kidnapping Nick¿s wife, Perry and stealing the book, he was after. Nick tells the truth to Josh and Sophie, (who came to Josh¿s aid after hearing the screams from across the street) his real name is Nicholas Flamel and Dr. Dee didn¿t just steal any old book, he stole the Codex, a book older then life itself, and I holds the recipe to the Elixir of life. The only problem is in the struggle Josh stole the last page of the book, now the book is incomplete. They must get the book back before Dee realizes the pages are missing and returns to retrieve them, or before he discovers the twins are the key to his demise. <BR/><BR/><BR/>Literary devices: Michael Scott used the literary devices ranging from Simile, metaphor to Imagery in this story. I believe that there can¿t be a good story without some of those listed Literary Devices. Imagery helps the read see what your writing, and simile and metaphors definitely make the story more interested and keep the reading involved in the story. An example of Scotts¿ similes would be- ¿bubbly rotten black plaster drifted down like bitter snowflakes.¿ He used this when he was talking about Dee attacking the bookstore with magic. That sounded a lot better then, black plaster fell off the walls, and it was gross. An example of a metaphor is, ¿a ball of crystal energy¿ in the story, the energy was not really, crystal is just looked like crystal. And that helps you picture it in your head. And the finial literary device is Imagery, this helps the reader find the sentence more interesting while reading, and example of this is, ¿But instead of flying flat against her back, her hair flowed about her, as if it were blown in a gentle breeze¿ he said this when Perry was using magic. The effect was very helpful to add to the eeriness of the story. <BR/><BR/>Best part of the book: I think the best part of the book would have to be at the very end. Nicholas Flamel is a 665-year-old Alchemist who found the secret to immortal life, using the book called the codex. Dr. John Dee was his apprentice when he was a young boy, but when he grew up he wanted the codex for himself. Flamel meets two twins named Sophie and Josh who both have gold and silver auras when means they have outrageous untapped powers, and according to the prophecy in the codex they are the twins who will help save the world. My favorite part is the very end. It takes place in a town called Ojai where they need to find a witch to help Sophie control her now Awaken powers. It turns out the witch is Scatty's grandmother. Scatty is a 3,000-year-old vampire warrior who is the very source for martial arts itself. Her grandmothe
5 out of 28 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 23, 2012
Posted January 30, 2010
This book uses mythology, but in a 21st century setting using ipods, cell phones, etc.
The main characters are Sophie and Josh Newman.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes action and adventure.
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This book is much more sophisticated than Harry Potter. The story is great and delves into mythology, horror and science fiction. The author does an excellent job of describing the shadow relms and mythical creatures and relating them to the present. Read or listen to this book (the audio version is amazing) and you will want to read the next 2 books to see how it all works out for Sophie and Josh.
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 25, 2012
Posted September 28, 2012
I love the concept of Alchemy, and was immediately drawn to this book. I expected a lot - and they were smashed. Very well done book, and I love how richly the author incorporated mythology, history and present day culture.
Literally the only gripe I would have about this is the science behind it - because often the author would describe something scientific, but a bit inaccurately. I think this is justified, because the author did not want to make things overly scientific.
Despite that minor gripe, I was able to suspend my disbelief simply from the superb writing from Scott. I would highly recommend this book.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 14, 2012
Posted September 7, 2010
"The Alchemyst" is a very well-written book. The only problem is the whole thing. Part of me hated it, part of me loved it. Most of me still isn't sure if I was even paying attention. There was too much detail for my liking. On top of that, there were several spots in the book where I felt like Scott had no idea what to write, so he made up some verbage without even thinking it through.
Basically, it was cheesy (It was the cheesiest book I've ever laid my hands on, and the gooey, melted cheese is now stuck to my hands). Scott kept mentioning how the auras of certain people were different colors (which is an amazing idea!), and then how the auras had a smell that corresponded with that color (there's the cheese). Josh Newman's aura is gold and it smells like oranges. Josh's sister, Sophie, has an aura that is silver and smells like vanilla ice cream. Now that is just lack of creativity.
Another problem is, for a Harry Potter fan like myself, the use of magic wasn't magical enough. It felt like Scott was trying too hard not to brush up against the Harry Potter series. This resulted in a half developed idea on how to throw smelly 'goo' at someone's face. Also, too much time was spent on the villain, Dr. Dee. This particular character was so boring, I had to fight the urge to skip over every chapter that was from his point of view.
Now, I'm pretty sure that most people can't describe a week in more than 100 pages. Even if they could, you'd be bored to tears. One of my biggest problems with "The Alchemyst" is that Scott easily writes 375 pages of nonsense that takes place over four days. It might have been three days, but after a while, it all became a blur.
You'll be happy to know, however, that I did enjoy the amount of action in the book! It was almost nonstop and definitely the one thing that was well thought through. I feel like Scott focused too hard on keeping the reader entertained and figured the amount of action would make up for his lack of thought in other areas.
This being said, I must say that "The Alchemyst" was not what I bargained for at all. I give it two stars because, although it was cheesy, it started to get interesting at the very end. This book is best suited for an intermediate reader who craves adventure. Once the reader accepts Scott's ideas, he or she can enjoy what he has created and hopefully not be as skeptical as myself.
3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2012
Posted December 5, 2012