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The Alchemyst [Paperback]

Michael Scott
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 24 2008 The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (Book 1)

Read the first book in the New York Times bestselling The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, perfect for fans of The Maze Runner and Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

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.

Praise for The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series:

The Alchemyst

[STAR] “[A] A riveting fantasy…While there is plenty here to send readers rushing to their encyclopedias…those who read the book at face value will simply be caught up in the enthralling story. A fabulous read.”—School Library Journal, Starred
The Magician

[STAR] “Readers will be swept up by a plot that moves smartly along, leaving a wide trailer of destruction and well-timed revelations.”—Kirkus Reveiws, Starred
The Sorceress

“Master yarnspinner that he is, Scott expertly cranks up the suspense while keeping his now-large cast in quick motion….This page –turner promises plenty of action to come.”—Kirkus Reviews
The Necromancer

“Unrelenting forward momentum….This book will thrill fans.”—School Library Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 6-9–Scott uses a gigantic canvas for this riveting fantasy. The well-worn theme of saving the world from the forces of evil gets a fresh look here as he incorporates ancient myth and legend and sets it firmly, pitch-perfect, in present-day California. At the emotional center of the tale are contemporary 15-year-old twins, Josh and Sophie, who, it turns out, are potentially powerful magicians. They are spoken of in a prophecy appearing in the ancient Book of Abraham the Mage, all but two pages of which have been stolen by evil John Dee, alchemist and magician. The pursuit of the twins and Flamel by Dee and his allies to get the missing pages constitutes the book's central plot. Amid all this exhilarating action, Scott keeps his sights on the small details of character and dialogue and provides evocative descriptions of people, mythical beings, and places. He uses as his starting point the figures of the historical alchemist Nicholas Flamel and his wife, who have found the secret of immortality, along with mythical beings, including the terrifying Scottish crow-goddess, the Morrigan; the three-faced Greek Hekate; the powerful Egyptian cat-goddess, Bastet; and Scathach, a legendary Irish woman warrior and vegetarian vampire. While there is plenty here to send readers rushing to their encyclopedias of mythology and alchemy, those who read the book at face value will simply be caught up in the enthralling story. A fabulous read.–Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. John Dee will set you free May 2 2008
By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
The twins Josh and Sophie start out thee day as normal to find that people they know, they really did not know, and a sane mundane world is anything but. Soon they find themselves part of a ten thousand year old prophecy that may bring about the demise of the world as we know it.

Needles to say I was drawn in to this title by the name of Nicolas Flámel. Instead of a biography I found a story that incorporated many mythical creatures and historic events into a consistent chase of bad guys against good guys that covers many of the major world's well know landmarks mostly in California or off shore. My favorite character is the Witch of Endor only a grand daughter could love.

One warning is that this book is a true cliffhanger and of no use without the second book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting start to a new series! Feb. 3 2010
By J. Scully TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I think I've found a new book love! Seriously, I haven't been this excited by a book series in ages. The Alchemyst tells the story of the legendary Nicholas Flamel who - along with two teenage siblings that happen to stumble into his world - is forced to flee from the evil beings that have taken his love and the precious secrets of history that he guards.

One of the first things you'll notice when reading The Alchemyst is the incredible amount of research that went into creating this series. It's extremely impressive - every character in the book (with the exception of the teens) is an actual character from history/mythology. This lends an incredible aura of believability to the story because it's so easy to imagine that all these great characters exist as we've heard of them all before. Along with the vast amounts research, it's also clear that an incredible amount of planning went into this book and the series that follows. And there's almost nothing I love more than a well-planned and thought-out series! Especially when everything comes together so brilliantly. The imagery in The Alchemyst is beautifully written in such a manner that you can clearly picture the surroundings, but are never bored with long descriptive passages that don't add to the overall story.

Filled with wonderful characters, natural dialogue, and a gripping plot, this first book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series does a wonderful job of laying out a complex and intricate world, while drawing the reader into a fascinating adventure. While directed at the YA audience, The Alchemyst will appeal to adults as well, and I for one am absolutely loving it. I've already read the next 2 books in the series, and am eagerly awaiting #4.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been done a lot better... June 12 2011
By Kita
My first love has always been fantasy. ALWAYS. My shelf is a serious testament to that. So, when another avid reader suggests to me this book, and I read the back, I think I'm in for an excellent read. (Please note: I may spoil some things for you. Just a warning.)
It was terrible that I found myself highly disappointed.
This book is not for all generations but geared to those who are much younger. (In my defense, I believe that the Hunger Games and Harry Potter did a much better job of this). Josh and Sophie, who appear to be the main characters of the book, are, to put it frankly, childish. Perhaps its due to the fact that they are just introduced and then BAM! you are thrust into the action, but they are your typical teenager there is no doubt of that. And I find that twins being special. . . is quite overused. Yes, it has been well documented through history that twins share a special bond. But to suddenly make them into the "TWINS OF LEGEND, SPOKEN BY A GREAT MAGE" was just overdoing it. It just rang entirely false, and then just sets you up since as soon as you make them into something, one of the twins will always be "GOOD" and the other "EVIL" and I didn't need forshadowing to tell me that. I didn't even need Hekate to awaken Sophie and then "whoops! what about poor Josh?" even that part I was disappointed in. Although this is supposed to be about Nicholas, it just doesn't seem like that at all. Perhaps if Scott had named it the "Secrets of the Elder Race" I think that would have been more apt. You learn more about the elder race and its constituents than of Flamel itself, other that he appears to hold "secrets" and his aura smells like mint, and oh! that Dee has been chasing him for the secrets of the book that Flamel has in his possession. And, yes, he is immortal too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Feb. 6 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.

After a magical fight that involves both siblings, they discover Josh's boss isn't exactly who he's claiming to be.

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.

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.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read
In response to some of the negative reviews about this book, I would like to offer my opinion, as a university-educated avid reader. Read more
Published 12 months ago by mlshs
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reading
A very captivating book which draws you in nicely. You get caught up in the characters. The story eventually gets around to a story about two kids. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Maurice
1.0 out of 5 stars Really bad unless you're 13
I love alchemy so that's why I bought this book. Little did I know it was written for pre-pre-teens. HOWEVER if I was 12 years old maybe I would have LOVED this book.
Published on Aug. 22 2012 by Cicca
1.0 out of 5 stars I havent received this item yet.
I havent received this item and I purchased it on June 16th and today is July 19th. I wrote several emails with no response. Do not buy from this person!
Published on July 19 2011 by lisa82_m
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakfast Book Club
I meet each week with a group of Gr. 8 students early in the morning. We enjoy breakfast and chat about a book. We are currently reading The Alchemyst and love it. Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2011 by teach
1.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't able to finish it
I think I made it about halfway through before giving up. As such, I can't give an opinion of the book as a whole, however, there are a few problems I can discuss which led me to... Read more
Published on April 6 2010 by Liana
2.0 out of 5 stars The Alchemyst
I had great hopes for this book. The story of Nicholas Flamel is timeless in nature. Nicholas Flamel is a legend; he has been making an elixir to sustain his youth for centuries. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2009 by Pauline
4.0 out of 5 stars fantasy adventure
Two everyday kids who are caught up in one of the world’s darkest secrets. The secret of eternal life is being protected by a 700-year-old man, Nicholas Flamel. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2007 by mortal mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Based on known facts, this fiction is so good, we could almost believe it real. For mythology and folklore amateurs who also enjoy the fact that it is all based on reality.
Published on Nov. 1 2007 by lisou
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