Simcsa's Reviews > The Alchemyst

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
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May 08, 2011

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bookshelves: fantasy-paranormal, supernatural-creatures, witches-wizards, vampires, angels-demons-gods, dropped-series, childhood-favorites, read-more-than-once
Read from September 15 to 17, 2011

3.5 stars

The main problems of the series: (I read the first four books)

1. The story takes place in a few days (the first book - 2 days, the second one - 3 days...). If it continues like this, the world will be saved in what? Two weeks? The war lasts milleniums, there are centuries old people and even older creatures, yet two children (ehm.. teenagers) are going to end it in a matter of weeks?

2. As I said, characters here are usually living on the earth for some time, some of them are even ten thousand years old and wouldn't you expect to actually see that for yourself? It just never felt like they are that old, that they have lived for so long.. Using sentences like "I glanced something ancient in her eyes." isn't enough.

3. Josh. He is super annoying and it doesn't get better, it's even worse further into the series. He is selfish, he wants power, he doesn't trust anyone (even his sister), he is absolutely clumsy, he doesn't know how to behave... The list goes on, still he is one of the good guys. And his attitude towards his twin.. (he envies her everything!)

4. Sophie is too perfect and it makes her kind of bland, her character lacks life and personality, she is just boooring..

5. How many languages can a person learn? I mean that even if someone was centuries old could he actually speak 20 languages? Is it even possible? I personally don't believe it. Scathach (about 2 thousands years old) speaks hundreds of languages fluently. Huh?

6. A lot of padding. The author doesn't know how to write dialogues and there are many unnecesary scenes. Imagine: two villains are sitting in an office in their suits and talking about how to kill Flamel.

7. At the end of each book is cliffhanger!!


I really liked the book one, it was quite interesting and original, I was willing to overlook the flaws, but as the series keep going, it's getting worse and worse and now I'm considering whether to read on or not. As I said, the concept is great, all that mystical creatures, tangled mythology and famous people still living and action scenes are also good (even if they become repetitive after a time), but I have never really cared about the characters and the writing is mediocre plus all the points I made above... Nope, I don't recommend it.
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Reading Progress

02/16/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by Wendy Darling (new)

Wendy Darling Ah hah, I've seen these books everywhere at Barnes & Noble, so it's good to have feedback. Great review!


Simcsa Thanks! :D Smallish piece of advice: if you ever wanted to buy it, wait till the last one comes out, because I can tell you that the cliffhangers are really annoying (and I could use worse words to describe my feelings towards the fourth book!)


message 3: by Wendy Darling (new)

Wendy Darling Good to know, thanks. :)


Melanie I knew a linguistics professor, probably in his 40s or 50s, who could speak 40 languages. So if you've been around for thousands of years, you could learn hundreds. :)


Simcsa Melanie: Well that's certainly interesting, I didn't know people like him exist. And don't you know if he could also write and speak in all of them fluently? Because that seems almost impossible. At least to me. :) (I'm no genius, I'm glad I can speak english, so that's maybe why. :P) And possibly not everyone has such a crappy memory as I do, because without practicing it I would forget the language in no time.


message 6: by Gandalf (last edited Apr 01, 2013 02:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gandalf Stormcrow @#5 - Maybe because you are reading "fantasy" :)


Simcsa Gandalf wrote: "@#5 - Maybe because you are reading "fantasy" :)"

I'm not sure what you mean. Care to clear it up? :)


Gandalf Stormcrow I just wanted to say that this is "fantasy" so I think stumbling to a multilingual character like Scatty was not really extraordinary. :)


Simcsa True true, it's fantasy. :) But if the languages thing was part of their superabilities I wouldn't mind it so much and that isn't the case here. And maybe I'm just a little bit nitpicky. :P


message 10: by Mary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mary Thx for letting me know the rest if the series doesn't get better. I thought the 1st was somewhat entertaining, and had annex to read the rest of the series, but had been assuming that the writing/character development etc would get better as the series progressed. Guess I'll take a pass now. Thx for the heads up!!


message 11: by Simcsa (last edited Jun 14, 2013 06:01AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Simcsa You're welcome. :) I also thought it would get better with each book, but it went the other direction, till the point I could stand it no more. The fourth book was a real torture to get through. And I'm sorry to say so, but the truth is the books kind of started to blend together after a while. Running, finding a shelter, new characters, some talking, learning new abilities, battle, running again.. round and round.


message 12: by Emma (new)

Emma Thanks for this! I have as well seen these at stores, and have wondered if I should pick them up, mostly because I am A HUGE fan of Harry Potter. Thanks again. :D


Simcsa I'm happy to be of help :) If you liked Harry Potter so much, maybe you could try The Amulet of Samarkand?


message 14: by Emma (new)

Emma Looks great! Thanks again! :D


Sneha Gavli I too am a hp fan. The name from hp was the reason it caught my eye. But as it is a different series and writer I had no expectations or prejudices. Book one was good. starting of book was capable of keeping me engrossed so I kept reading. but I agree as book progress the writing style becomes from ok to not so good and goes down. characters become annoying. Right now I am reading and it does make thirsty to read on and know what happens next


Simcsa In that case, do not read book 4. That was the last straw for me and the characters became absolutely unbearable.


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