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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on February 3, 2010
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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TOP 50 REVIEWERon May 2, 2008
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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on June 12, 2011
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. Him and his lovely wife Pernelle that is. Scatty is a breath of fresh air in many of his pages and this helped me to tolerate how bad this book was. On top of that, the plot that they must save the world or destroy it? -sighs- Well, let's just say I thought it would have been more imaginable than learning all the elements and going on from there. YES, the elements are important to being a magical being, but at the same time, it just seemed to be a means to an end. The only place I can give him credit (despite all the bashing I just did) is that he knows his history. Hekate, Bastet, Morrigan, the Witch of Endor, are fully fleshed out in their own way. You can tell he has spend an apt amount of time discovering who they were. Its just unfortunate that the rest of the story does not share his exuberance.
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on July 3, 2013
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. If you liked the "Rho Ship" series you will like this one as well. It is nice how the author brings in history and explains the events due to some magical reason. Like the "Game of Thrones" the story moves between several characters: Sophie, Josh, Flamel, Perenelle, Dee and Machiavelli.
The book provides lots of intrigue and holds the suspense nicely so that you need to read just one more chapter before putting the book down....well maybe another after that since the author kept them small!!
Moved on to the second book.....
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Fifteen-year-old twins Sophie and Josh are working part-time summer jobs across the street from each other when something extraordinary happens. A man walks into the bookstore where Josh works and suddenly, green and yellow light is darting from the stranger and Josh’s boss, Nick. Things are exploding, the stranger is trying to steal an old book, and Nick is yelling at Josh to get in the basement. Spotting the commotion, Sophie rushes across the street to help. In an instant, the twin’s lives are changed forever. Nick Fleming is not the man they thought he was, but the immortal Nicholas Flamel. Until now, he’s been keeping the ancient Codex away from the hands of evil for centuries. Worse, his wife Perenelle has been kidnapped. In the struggle for the book, Josh inadvertently rips two crucial pages from the Codex which puts all three of them in grave danger.

The Alchemyst is a terrific read. Although written for children in grades 6 to 9, this is one of those books that will appeal to a broad range of ages and reading tastes. Description, backstory, and explanation are elegantly woven into the plot, providing a full, rich read where every page is an unpredictable adventure. The creatures created in the story and their connection to mythology and ancient beliefs is so well done that the explanations Flamel provides in the story actually seem plausible.

I love that the author’s thorough research and expertise not only incorporates mythology but actual people (Nicholas, Perenelle and John Dee) in the story. Some readers won’t be happy that major loose ends are not tied up. You’ll have to read the second installment to see if Nick’s wife is freed and if the other twin experiences the Awakening, but I’d gladly pick up the second book. And isn’t that the true mark of an excellent series?
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on December 4, 2007
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.

Josh and Sophie are in a race against time to save humanity from certain doom. Josh and Sophie stumble onto the codex, one of the world’s most powerful item’s in history, which has years of history, continuing before Christ, and has spells powerful enough to enslave the human race and change the world as we know it. Josh and Sophie have special powers that have be prophesized that will either help save, or destroy the earth. The story takes place in many places around the world, as they are being chased by a group of powerful immortal sorcerer’s that want the part of the codex back that Josh and Sophie stole from them.

I found this book very intriguing, and had a hard time putting the book down. I recommend this book to anyone that likes the Harry Potter series, because it has eternal life, magic, Nicholas Flamel, a character that was in the first Harry Potter novel. This book would be best for ages 12 and up.

Mike Fowler
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on October 15, 2013
In response to some of the negative reviews about this book, I would like to offer my opinion, as a university-educated avid reader. I loved the first book and am now working my way through the series. It is fun and filled with both fantastical details and historical tidbits. That is not to say the series will suit everyone's tastes, but to suggest that it can only be enjoyed by children is closed-minded and unnecessarily negative. If you like the Harry Potter series, give it a read, but do not expect the same thing. This series is unique. It's not War and Peace, but then, was that what you were expecting?
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on August 9, 2007
This book was exhilerating from the very first page. It allows you to explore the myth/legend of Nicholas Flamel in a way that inspires the imagination. Through the variety of characters in the novel; Scott allows himself the ability to add fact or fiction whenever he pleases, and the facts alone make this book a must read. I only wish that his next book of this series was already published so I could continue reading this wonderful story.
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on January 11, 2011
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. It has something for everyone and the girls have no problem juggling time to read this book into their already busy workload. We would recommend it to boys or girls who enjoy a well-written story with lots of twists and turns. It's great to know there are sequels, too.
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on February 14, 2016
If you like young adult fiction (like Harry Potter) you'll love this whole series. Scott does something really magical with his stories and manages to keep you grounded in this time while bringing legends and myths into play as part of today. Fascinating. Try at least one to find out what I'm talking about and you'll get the whole series.
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