Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

5th August 2010
Review copy

Children's Fantasy

Content: Fantasy violence, Tension

Summary from Random House

Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on 28 September 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 and Nicholas Flamel lives. 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. And 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 Mole's thoughts

When I first saw the sub title of this book "The screts of the immortal Nicholas Flamel" I assumed there was a Harry Potter link. Not so. Flamel is a real historic person that has intrigue surrounding him. He was in fact an alchemist - amongst other things. Despite this fact the book is a work of fiction with a few characters modelled on historic persons, although in a totally fictional way.

Sophie and Josh Newman, twins, have taken summer jobs to try to raise sufficient cash to buy a car. One warm summers day, with their parents abroad on an archaelogical dig, some visitors come to Nicholas Flamel's shop when Josh is working and all hell breaks loose. The twins lives will never be the same again.

I quickly became involved in the book and the nearly 400 pages disappeared rapidly, as if by magic.  Were the characters fully rounded and plausible? Do I understand the characters nuances? No idea! The reason is simple really, the plot and the action carries you along at breakneck speed in such a way that you can't take time to assess such details.

As we approached the last few chapters I could see exactly what was going to happen and was TOTALLY disappointed. In the last five or six pages however, Michael Scott pulls a very naughty twist just to prove me wrong and make me look forward to book two in the series.

Final Conclusion.

Not so much a read as an experience - and not one to be missed! Highly enjoyed and highly recommended,
particularly to YA fantasy fans everywhere.

Another to check out: Wintercraft


Blueicegal ♥ said...

sounds like you enjoyed it have to dig into my copy asap!!

Nayuleska said...

Do - it's a fab book!

Thanks for the review :) You'll probably beat me to the next one.