Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blogmas Day 11: The Alchemyst Book Review

Title: The Alchemyst
(The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series) 
Author: Michael Scott
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 22 May, 2007
Source: Easons

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.

Hey guys!

This one is a personal favourite. Why? I can't actually give one reason! Haha. The book as a whole was so entertaining, so exciting, it was difficult, physically, to let go of it! It's definitely a must read!

I actually received 'The Alchemyst' as a Christmas gift, so I was a bit iffy on reading it, but I'm so glad I did. It starts off with Sophie and Josh, both working Summer jobs, in two different shops right across the street from each other. Sophie selling tea and coffee, and Josh, books. It almost seems as if the book will be an ordinary non-supernatural read, but by the end of the first few chapters, the bookshop Josh works in is turned upside down, and a distinct smell of rotten egg, or sulfur as you'll find out later, has completely stunk up the place.

So it turns out that the owners of both the cafe and bookshop are married, and possess magical abilities. I loved that there are all sorts of magic in the book, be it Necromancy, Alchemy, Sorcery, the Elemental magics or the one traditionally known as Magic, and that each is almost a whole new concept in itself. I'm having a hard time describing it and this is only a review! Haha. Just another reason why the author deserves to be commended!

This next part is where the book really starts to get interesting, because it's nothing you've ever read before!
After the magical brawl with the all-evil Dr Dee in the bookshop, Nicholas Flamel and his wife Perenelle take Josh and Sophie away to get their powers unlocked, essentially. They'd known of the twins' potential since they asked for the job, and because the legend tells the tale of a pair of twins, they knew what had to be done.

I could go on forever telling this story, because it's so well structured and intelligently packed with detail that doesn't overwhelm you, but instead further interests you, but obviously I can't, so I'll try to control myself! Haha

Alright, the Flamels noticed the silver and gold auras around the Sophie and Josh, respectively, the moment they came for job applications, and because silver and gold auras are the most powerful, they knew that they were the twins mentioned in the legend. I have to say, the two protagonists being twins did really heighten my enjoyment of the book because, again, you don't see that often. It's refreshing, and exciting, and a good marketing tactic, because now readers have two characters they can't help but see through to the end! Haha

The relationship between Sophie and Josh is no joke. They really only had each other growing up, because of all the constant travelling with their parents. You can clearly see the love they have for each other, and especially how much Josh admires his big sister. There's is a connection so strong that, even without romance in the book, you don't feel like something's missing. Who they are, as characters, is also hinted at with the development of their relationship. They are your typical pair of siblings, they still do tease each other and all the rest, but when they're thrown into a world neither of them know of, they stick together.

The plot and world building, were two of my best aspects in the whole book. None of the chapters seem to be dragged out, always keeping you captivated from the beginning to the end. The book's events ran really smoothly too, rather than choppy and abstract like a few books I've read, so that's also a bonus!
As for the building of this new magical world, it's done in such a way, that you almost believe it could exist. It's set in modern times, ordinary San Francisco (I'm pretty sure), for the first part, and for the rest, it's set in Hecate's shadowrealm or the island of Alcatraz.

In all I don't think I could have enjoyed the book more. I did read it a while ago, and will have to re-read it, but I'm sure I'll have the same opinions. The story it riveting and enlightened with bits and pieces from a lot of different legends!
I apologise if this review was all over the place, but this series just gets me so excited! Highly recommended!

Alright I'll see you guys tomorrow with day twelve!

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