Friday, September 30, 2011

The Alchemist: the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

This book gets brownie points right off the bat for having a very cool cover. The author was also very clever, because it has two main characters, twin brother and sister, Josh and Sophie. That way the book can appeal to either boys or girls. In this story the world is populated by humani, or regular humans, immortals, or humans who have somehow become immortal, and the ancient ones, creatures and characters from myth and legend who really exist, but keep themselves a secret from the humani. Josh and Sophie are regular teens who live in San Francisco. Josh is working for a man who calls himself, Nick Flemming, but who is really the legendary alchemist, Nicolas Flamel. Flamel has kept himself and his wife alive for centuries by brewing the elixir of life found in a magical book. When evil immortals steal the book, Sophie and Josh are sucked into a world of magic and danger they never knew existed. One fun thing about the story is that the "immortals" are all famous people from history, and all the "ancient ones" are versions of ancient gods and goddesses from a variety of cultural mythologies. This is the first in a series, and is full of fantasy cliche. Still, it is fast paced and fun with an interesting and novel magic system. Benjamin has read the whole series and assures me that they get even better as they go along, so I have already started book 2. (375 p)

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