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Doctor Illuminatus: The Alchemist's Son Part I
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Doctor Illuminatus: The Alchemist's Son Part I (The Alchemist's Son #1)

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  520 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Pip and her twin brother, Tim, awaken an alchemist's son from a centuries-long slumber when their family moves to an old English country estate, and he enlists them in the fight against an evil alchemist who seeks to create a homunculus.
ebook, 0 pages
Published July 31st 2007 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published June 5th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,094)
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Arielle Walker
Feb 01, 2012 Arielle Walker rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I suppose I'm a little old to be reading such simple stories now, hence the low rating but would recommend for children definately.
Logan 8-3
Dec 13, 2007 Logan 8-3 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like adventures
Doctor Illuminatus (The Alchemist's Son), by Martin Booth, is an adventurious story. It has magic, history, action, science, and good grammar, but the main characters, Pip and Tim, are not that interesting. Pip and Tim move to an old mansion with their parents, but somethings not right, there's a knock coming from within the walls. Pip and Tim, being as audacious as they are, decide to find out what is going on. As the wall opens, out comes a pale- faced boy, covered in dust and mildew. Pip and ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Dr. Illuminatus is a fast-paced story of alchemy and adventure, and sorcery and suspense, in which past and present comfortably coexist. When Tim and Pipís family moves to an old English country estate, they accidentally awaken an alchemistís son, Sebastian, from a centuries-old slumber. But Sebastianís fatherís enemy, Pierre de LoudÈac, has also awakened--and is relentlessly pursuing the dream of alchemists to create an homunculus, an artificial human made from dead material. Aided by
Jun 16, 2016 Brooks rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was a fun book and pretty interesting but not something I would reread.
It's not my favorite, but it's not the worst thing my wife has made me read.
Julie Decker
Aug 18, 2014 Julie Decker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Pip and Tim are twins who have just moved to a mysterious old house which turns out to conceal a boy from a long-dead generation. Sebastian, looking good for his 600 years, shows up and explains he's a resurrected alchemist's son (whose father built the house and did odd experiments inside it), and furthermore, there is a villain who must have been raised from his slumber as well--de Loudeac will come for them with his mindless magical creature (a homunculus). The twins must ally with Sebastian ...more
While Doctor Illuminatus: The Alchemist's Son is a wonderful magic story, it grounds its fairy tale lore firmly in history, with facts about electricity, herbology, knowledge of florae and faunae, metallurgy, et al., liberally sprinkled in it. Surprisingly factual, it’s the kind of so-called children’s book that you suspect might have a lot of useful real-world applications.

Where the book fails, sadly, is in the stodgy nature of its main protagonist, the phlegmatic Sebastian. He speaks in an adu
Dec 11, 2015 Wes rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This book was probably more like a 2.5 for me. I think the concept was amazing, just I didn't like how it was carried out. Also I have just read so many books like this I didn't really see anything special. I don't really have much to say so this is my review.
Becky B
Oct 15, 2012 Becky B rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Only kids who can handle gore
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I read this book to see if I wanted to recommend it to my middle school students. My conclusion is that not all my middle schoolers are ready for this and I'll probably steer most of them to better books.

The story is about two kids who move into an ancient house in the English countryside that happens to be built on special ground that tends itself to magical uses. Once they move into the house they find out that some of the previous owners were leaders of the good alchemists several hundred yea
Mar 18, 2013 Maryam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book that I read, “Doctor Illuminatus” is all about magic, and nonfictional ideas such as potions that make you live for thousands of years, flowers that make you tell the truth, and new things I learned such as shape shifting!
So the Tim and Pip, the two twins, move into an old English house existing from the time of King Henry the 5th. They find out that Sebastian, who is the son of the house’s original owner, is still alive, only 12 years old! And has woken up from his so called hibernatio
Jun 18, 2009 Jessi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Harry Potter
From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8–This suspenseful novel is sure to please fans of J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series (Scholastic) who are looking for an engaging story utilizing a more sophisticated writing style. Incorporating alchemical history, Booth introduces Pip and Tim, twins who move into an old English country estate cloaked in mystery. They meet a pale boy, Sebastian, who emerges from the walls and claims to be the son of a medieval alchemist. He leads the siblings on a journey
Sep 28, 2009 Louis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This books is classified as teen at Phx Public Library. I truly enjoyed it. The internal logic of how the son of an alchemist could survive over a span of 500+ years was believable. We were spared too much disbelief from the two modern-day cohorts of Sebastian, and I appreciated this very much. The parents also rang true, even if their involvement was minimal.

This book ended up being a bit gruesome in some places. As an American, I enjoyed the British setting, especially some of the terminology
Finished reading the book, the first in The Alchemist's Son trilogy. One of my must reads at NBS and happened to buy it last sale.

The story of twins Philippa and Timothy who discovers a new friend trapped in their newly bought house (a Victorian house) who is more than a century old. Sebastian is the name and his father, an alchemist, left him a mission to combat the evil side of the craft.

Reminds me of Harry Potter but specific to Potions. The book has something to say with alchemy. Gee, it's o
Kristin Rosenberg
Pip and Tim have just moved into a house that was built in the 1400s, on a 30+ acre piece of land. After being stung by a butterfly and bewildered by bizarre bushes, Pip and Tim discover a boy who was living within their walls.

Having stopped there, I must admit, this was a difficult book to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone who could use an injection of fantasy into their everyday lives.
Apr 14, 2014 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was a well thought out book with the possibility of some actual historical facts. I also love how descriptive it was with the details, yet not so talkative about it that I wanted to skip. Although there were some words I didn't completely understand, I was able to get the idea of what they were saying. Overall I think this is a great book.
I received a free copy of this 9 years ago and have finally read it. It's pretty formulaic as fantasy involving children and alchemy go. It seems like it was written to take advantage of Harry Potter fever. I never really felt I got to know the characters, and was surprised at the emphasis on good v. evil as God v. Satan. I was also surprised by the gruesomeness of some of the descriptions of dead animals and people. It was okay and might be enjoyed more by its target audience (8-12).
Angela Boord
Listened to this book on audio while on vacation. My favorite part of the book was the old house, an English manor built in the 1400's where Sebastian, the alchemist's son, has been sleeping for 600 years. The house almost becomes a character of its own. The story was absorbing enough to keep everyone listening to the end, and the use of Christianity (and really, Catholic Christianity) as a base for the alchemy Sebastian uses in his fight against evil was interesting and welcome -- although the ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Roxanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I bought this because it was on sale for $3.99 at Border's and looked decent, and Eoin Colfer is quoted on the cover. I did not love it as much as Eoin Colfer did. It was okay. The plot was a little light, which is fine for younger readers, but it was surprisingly gory if that's the target audience. I also didn't like Sebastian's character--none of the characters seem to have much, well, character really, Pip and Tim are just empty any-child figures and they're the protagonists. It was a short b ...more
Alfonso Rodriguez
Dec 02, 2013 Alfonso Rodriguez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very different from other books I have read. It shows a religious but science point of view on life. In simple words its considered alchemy, a mixture of religion and science. Instead of looking that word just from a religious view or only a science view. I would advise you to read this book because it will help you look at the world in a different way. The book creates a mental movie in your head with all the descriptive words used to describe the scene, the characters, and the eve ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Selena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although excellently written, I do feel like more could have been added to the end in regards to de Loudéac, but perhaps that is in the second book which I have yet to read. All in all, a quality read and one that I will certainly add to my bookshelves.
I'm on the next-to-last disc, and I still feel like I'm waiting for the story to start

2.5 stars. Female character, twin to male character, was treated and acted as if she were three years younger than her brother. Meh
Melissa Bennett
Didn't really enjoy this book. Thought I would but I had a hard time sticking with it. Can't really put a finger on what it was. Maybe it was a little bit of everything. There was nothing there to pull me to the characters at all. The writing sometimes seemed like the book should be steered toward a younger audience and then would shift like it should be for an older kid audience. I couldn't figure out if I was reading a kid's book or a young adult book. The premise of the story is what got me s ...more
Dec 24, 2009 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here I sit in hopes to know what to write about this book. Honestly I’m blank. The beginning and middle hooked me right in and I couldn’t put it down but when I got to the end, I was bored. I think this book had potential and maybe the second one will be better but I don’t see myself running out to buy it. Sorry to say, I’m disappointed. The characters were likeable but everything came up flat in the end. There was more action in the middle than in the climax. The end seemed rushed and forced. W ...more
Kait bowen
May 04, 2015 Kait bowen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book and I still do. If you are into mysteries you need to read this asap!
Dayna Smith
Feb 09, 2014 Dayna Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witches, teen-series
This is the first book in a trilogy called The Alchemist's Son. Pip & Tim move into their new English country estate and discover Sebastian. He says he is the son of a famous alchemist and has been "sleeping" for several centuries. He only wakes when the evil alchemist de Loudeac is about to try another scheme to take over the world. He is awake now because de Loudeac has returned. Can three children save the world from the evil de Ludeac? This is a great story. It combines action and lots o ...more
I liked this book enough to hope to read the second book in the series, but it wasn't really spectacular or anything. It did keep me interested through out, and curious about some of the historical information it contains, wanting to learn more about alchemy. I did find some of the subject matter to perhaps be a bit heavy for the intended audience - the debate of whether one can practice something considered occult and at the same time be Christian, the idea of 'playing god' and creating a being ...more
Jul 22, 2016 M rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Verbose. Grotesque. Not a pleasant children's/YA book.
Renée Fontenot
Feb 23, 2016 Renée Fontenot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alchemy, england, fantasy
Lovely story blending the present with the past.
Feb 11, 2016 Brittany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was one of my first favorite books. I was oddly into alchemy as a child and so this really sparked my interest. One of these days I should read the rest of the books in the series, as I remember loving the characters.
Laura (booksnob)
Sep 06, 2008 Laura (booksnob) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenagers
This book is surprisingly good. I didn't expect to like it but I really couldn't put it down. Full of action, history, alchemy and moonbeamers. It is essentially about 2 teenagers named Pip and Tim who move into an old manor home and meet a 600 year old boy named Sebastian. Sebastian is trying to combat an evil alchemist (also 600 years old) out to create a homunculus. Lots of adventure ensues, and you don't know who to trust because of all the shapeshifting going on. It is fun read, try it or r ...more
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Martin Booth was a prolific British novelist and poet. He also worked as a teacher and screenwriter, and was the founder of the Sceptre Press.
More about Martin Booth...

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