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review 2017-05-04 10:48
The Alchemyst Review
The Alchemyst - Michael Scott,Erik Singer

I enjoyed it

 

So, I came into this knowing it had mixed reviews and thought for the worst. I'm not saying where I read these reviews, and I don't always read reviews beforehand, but sometimes it's good to know, so I don't get too excited only to be let down. The crux of it is that I enjoyed the book. Sure, it's a little slow at times with all the talk and what not, but overall I found it enjoyable and a good ride.

 

Characters

 

There are several main characters in this book. But, like all books, there are probably more central characters than the rest. The first character I'd like to describe (or voice my opinion about) is Sophie Newman. She's the (spoiler) twin sister to her brother Josh. They are both ordinary teenagers until they meet Nick. Now, Sophie is the smart one of the two twins. She's the one who can think and act reasonably. Josh is a hot head and says whatever he wants without any filter. Obviously, Josh is the one who lands them in trouble most of the time.

 

After the twins, we have Nicholas Flamel and his wife, Perenelle. Nicholas seems to be the schemer in the family while Perenelle is the stronger sorceress (the one with the more powerful magic). We didn't read much about Perenelle, so she's still a mystery to me as to how she'll behave. But, I do believe she's more honest than Nicholas. Nicholas was a character I liked and also disliked at times - he came across quite arrogant and demanding, but I suppose if you've lived for hundreds of years one might tend to think they're better than the others.

 

As for the bad guys of the story, we have Dr John Dee, the main "baddie" of the story. He's been the Flamel's enemy for a long time and has just found them in this book. He teams up with some evil (god-like) beings that nobody should team with. I thought he showed the usual signs of a villain, how he's afraid, but determined to show his strength and power at the same time.

 

Themes

 

So, the central theme throughout this book and is referenced over and over again (sorry if this a spoiler) is the idea of fate. It is written in this grand book that Flamel has, that twins, Josh and Sophie, will either tear up the world or save up. They are fated to do this and can't escape the prophecy that was written about them thousands of years ago. I like the idea that we're fated to do things, and it's written in the threads of time.

 

Another theme is that the twins, Josh and Sophie Newman, have to grow up fast. For everyone, whether you're old or young, will notice this. You'll always be forced into situations where you have to grow up and stop acting like a kid. To be honest, I wish I could still be a kid and not have the responsibilities that I have now. But that's life. You grow up.

 

Lastly, I'd like to discuss the theme of morality. I know I almost present this every book, but nearly every book is teaching us what is right and wrong, or the opposite. In The Alchemyst, we learn that the Flamels might have ulterior motives and that Dr John Dee might not be as bad as we thought he was.

 

Recommendation

 

Like the first title says, I enjoyed the book. It wasn't s good as some of the books I read last year, but I'm going to continue the series. So, I definitely recommend you give this a read (if you're into Young Adult) and let me know what you thought of the book. I heard a rumour that this is going to become a film, so I'll also go and see that when it comes out.

Source: www.amaitken.com/book-review/the-alchemyst-review
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-06-22 21:16
Excuse Me, Were You Going to Say "Worse?"
The Alchemyst - Michael Scott,Erik Singer

  "Are you a victim too?" -The Alchemyst, p.338

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review 2016-03-05 15:03
The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1)
The Alchemyst - Michael Scott,Erik Singer

It's somewhere around a 2 and 3/4 star book.

 

Ever since I seen the cover of this book I wanted to read it. I have always had an interest in alchemy, philosophy and mythology and stories with those elements. I also adore the cover. It is beautiful.But, reading the reviews I was some what put off. Then I read it anyways. I don't know why but just had too.

 

It's actually an okay book. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It is an easy read with more potential than it's actual realization. The story line is okay, it's not the most suspenseful though. There is no inner vs outer conflict. The struggle doesn't seem real in the story.

 

The main issue is that it lacked characterization. There was no attachment for me to any of the characters. The were all flat and you never get to really know any of them to actually care about them. I also found the relationship between the twins to be really...odd. However, I do not know what it's like to be a twin so maybe that's what it's like.... dunno. I also expected more out of Nicholas Flamel. I wanted his character to be more wise and sage-like. I mean, he's like 900 years old after all. But, he just turned out to be goofy with a dash of douchebag mixed in.

 

Even after all that being said, I may continue with the series too. It lacked emotional involvement for me but I didn't mind the story line. So, I think it will be nice to read the rest of the series while I'm at the beach this summer.

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review 2014-10-26 02:23
Summer Reading and The Alchemyst
The Alchemyst - Michael Scott,Erik Singer

Like most schools in this crazy age of the Common Core testocracy, the district I live in does some things right (and some things really wrong).  One of the things I think they do right is their middle-school summer reading program. Each year the students are given a choice of 3 – 4 books on a selected theme and a guiding question. The offered books are a nice balance of difficulty and genre, and mostly are books released in the last 10 years. The students are asked to read one book over the summer, and arrive on the first day of school with selected pieces of text evidence demonstrating how the book related to the guiding theme. During the first week of school, they form small groups to discuss what they read and use the text evidence gathered over the summer to support their points.

 

This summer, the theme for the 7th graders was “life’s journey” and one of the reading choices was The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott.

 

My about-to-be 7th grade son chose The Alchemyst, loved it, and over the course of the fall has read and re-read the entire 6-book series multiple times. My precocious 5th grader has also fallen into the world of Sophie and Josh Newman and devoured the series. My husband is about to start book 5 of the series and I’m lagging behind and only partway through book 2.

 

While The Alchemyst was shelved YA, I would characterize it as more of a Middle Grade book. I enjoyed the mashup of mythologies - Hecate lives in a Yggdrasil tree??? - but found the plot rather formulaic and keep picking up other things to read instead of finishing The Magician. I read The Alchemyst at about the same time as the re-read of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and it was rather fun having two different Nicholas Flamels in my head at the same time.

 

My husband was reminded of Silverlock by John Myers Myers, a similar mashup but most certainly NOT for middle grade students. Michael Scott has a wonderful time throwing a mix of gods, legends, and mythological creatures together, stirring heavily, and mixing things up. (For instance the vampire who helps our heroes happens to be a vegetarian) Mr. Scott then keeps the reader from wondering too much about the mashup – a Greek Goddess in a Yggdrasil tree? Really? – by moving the plot forward at breakneck pace. We got exhausted just reading it, and yet our heroes barely sleep, rarely spend time making sense of the wonder-du-hour, and seem immune to stress and shock. But then, the plot has moved on again and the reader must put these thoughts aside and try to catch up.

 

So the fast pace and the mix of gods, critters, and critter-gods combine to make a lot of fun. And the pace helps, no, insists that the reader suspend belief. But once disbelief sneaks into the story, it lingers a bit. The books are great fun and are likely to appeal to fans of Rick Riordan. But they are probably best read in a total binge or with a separation of about a month between volumes. Anything in-between falls risks running the reader’s adrenaline dry and leaving them exhausted in their chair, reaching for something else.

 

Thanks are due to DH for collaborating with me on this review and being far more articulate about these books than I am being tonight.

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review 2014-09-23 00:00
The Alchemyst
The Alchemyst - Michael Scott,Erik Singer Beyond stunning, it is exciting in the real sense of true art...the kind of story you’ve never read before!
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