The Alchemyst, by Michael Scott

alchemyst_scott.jpg“The Alchemyst” is the first book in a new series called “The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel”, and it’s one of those Young Adult novels that will also appeal to adults. It introduces us to twins Sophie and Josh Newman who are destined to be the deciding factors in a war between “Humani” and the so called “Dark Elders”. The elders are made up of well known figures from mythology such as Hecate, Bastet, and the Morrigan. The Dark Elders have broken away from their brethren because they have never forgiven the Humani for discovering cold iron which precipitated their withdrawal from the modern world. Aiding Sophie and Josh are Nicholas Flamel and his wife Perenelle. Their primary foe is Dr. John Dee who has taken of the cause of the Dark Elders. One of the things I loved about this book was the interesting mix of mythology and actual historical people and events. In his afterward Michael Scott gives us the historical backgrounds of Nicholas and Perenelle, as well as that of John Dee. The only thing I did not like was that I felt the character of Nicholas was quite ineffectual than you would think, given that he’s portrayed as a centuries old alchemyst and magician. Other than that though I thought the writing was excellent and I loved the other characters especially the twins. Although Sophie and Josh are fraternal twins they share a special bond forged by the many absences of their archeologist parents. They react to their world being turned upside down with a heart tugging mix of courage and vulnerability. The book also gives us a tantalizing glimpse into the forthcoming sequel “The Magician”.

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