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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.

390 pages, Paperback

First published May 22, 2007

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About the author

Michael Scott

179 books6,538 followers
Irish-born Michael Scott began writing over thirty years ago, and is one of Ireland's most successful and prolific authors, with over one hundred titles to his credit, spanning a
variety of genres, including Fantasy, Science Fiction and Folklore.

He writes for both adults and young adults and is published in thirty-seven countries, in over twenty languages.

Praised for his “unparalleled contribution to children’s literature,” by the Guide to Children’s
Books, Michael Scott was the Writer in Residence during Dublin’s tenure as European City of Culture in 1991, and was featured in the 2006 edition of Who’s Who in Ireland as one of the 1000
most “significant Irish.”

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5 stars
50,790 (32%)
4 stars
52,290 (33%)
3 stars
35,923 (23%)
2 stars
11,256 (7%)
1 star
4,780 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,069 reviews
Profile Image for dyanne.
127 reviews126 followers
October 3, 2017
Dear Josh,
let me start out with you. You could've been a really great kid but apparently, the author just couldn't make up his mind about you. One minute you're an ordinary kid who likes superheroes and doesn't do well in school and then you become this person who has a super computer and uber-nerdtastic knowledge? Whoa, big difference. I feel sorry for you. I really do. I get jealousy. I get envy. What I don't get is how you and Sophie never fight. Is it just that in those two days that I was extracted from my world and put into yours, siblings and constant fighting and all the things that go with "brother and sister" was recreated into this perfect world where it's mushy-gushy unconditional brotherly love and nothing else?
Sincerely,
Annoyed

Dear Sophie,
You're really annoying. I would like you if you stopped being you. You're quite the hopeless case.
Sincerely,
The Truth

Dear Nicholas,
You can go die in a hole and then come back to life and dissolve slowly in a pot of acid and then come back to life again to be slowly and maliciously tortured for eternity You should've never existed in the first place.
Sincerely,
Rightfully Angry

Dear Pernelle,
Why did you marry Nicholas?
Sincerely,
Confused

Dear Scatty,
You are pretty awesome. Still, you're 1,000 years old and still have the maturity level of a teenager. And I don't really get why you hang out with Nicholas.
Sincerely,
You Could Do Better

Dear Dora,
You remind me of my own grandmother.
Sincerely,
Impressed

Dear Hekete,
why the heck did you say yes to Nicholas and "awake" Sophie? I mean, where is your common sense? Don't you have any wisdom?
Sincerely,
Frustrated

Dear John,
You're supposed to be dead. Live with it.
Sincerely,
We're better off without you

Dear Crow Goddess,
you're so unimportant I don't remember your actually name. Crows are cool so I don't think you should ruin them for me. It's really selfish of the author to have him ruin crows.
Sincerely,
I know you're not to blame

Dear Bastet,
I liked you better as the Egyptian goddess.
Sincerely,
Go back where you belong.

Dear crows,
goddesses don't exist. Get that through your bird brain and live life.
Sincerely,
myths will be myths

Dear cats,
I love you guys. You're great. Keep doing you, sweetie. xoxo <3
Sincerely,
Proud mom

Dear rats,
The cats will eat you.
Sincerely,
Just saying
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,517 reviews10.9k followers
May 24, 2011
2.0 stars. I did NOT like this book. The plot was derivative, the writing was passable AT BEST and the two teenage main characters annoyed me to the point of causing actual hair loss.
pulling out hair Pictures, Images and Photos

However, the book avoided the 1 star noose based solely on some crafty ideas and oh so unused potential that I will explore once I briefly explain the plot...which should not take long as we have all seen this tired old movie before.

BRIEF TIRED OLD PLOT SUMMARY:

Sophia and Josh (two VERYannoying kids)
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work at a book store for a mysterious guy named Nick. Based on the title of the novel, I don't think I'm giving up state secrets by telling you that old Nicky is really the immortal Alchemyst Nicholas Flamel (NOTE TO AUTHOR: spelling Alchemyst with a "y" was really clever and not at all gimmicky or ham-handed).

Well, Nick (or should I be all hipster and call him Nyck) has a very important book called the Codex that he has been safeguarding for many centuries until a bad guy, with a bunch of otherworldly baddies find Nick and steal the Codex from him. From there begins your oh my God not again, please not again, i have read this before a hundred times and don’t want to see it again or i may do something terrible to myself "typical" plot of: (a) explain the kindly gentlemen is really an immortal alchemist, (b) provide info dump on background of world, (c) kids discover their special (but special don't cure annoying laddies), (d) kids must find main bad guy or else will die, (e) fight some monsters, (f) kids seem to be wickedly smart and yet at times say some of the DUMBEST things imaginable
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(f) group gets split up, (g) think hope is lost, (h) oh not quite yet, we have ONE chance, (i) more powerful monsters show up (j) powerful good guy protectors show up and join the quest, and finally (k) a big, special effects laden climax and a nice tidy ending with the plot wrapped up but with the basis for the next story introduced ...HUH?...THE BOOK JUST STOPS OUT OF THE BLUE...
wtf Pictures, Images and Photos ?

SO WHY 2 STARS?

Despite my general annoyance with the plot and the characters, I ended up deciding to give the book 2 stars rather than 1 because I REALLY LOVED THE WORLDBUILDING CONCEPT behind the book. What I mean is that the world created by Michael Scott was filled with some serious mega potential and felt unique and daisy fresh, despite his best efforts to muck it up. Now before anyone goes all Charlie Sheen on me screaming that Scott simply borrowed pieces of dozens, if not hundreds, of different stories and mashed them together, let me say that I would NOT disagree with that assessment at all. Calm down and take a valium. My point is that by bringing together so many different threads and assembling them as part of a unified world view, the end result was something that began to feel fresh and if, not unique, at least not old and worn. It was that whole sum greater than parts thing.

For Example....minor spoiler about the world building aspects to follow...

For me, all of the above world building aspects give Scott a treasure trove of material to draw from in order to be able to create a story that could be truly funtastical . However, nothing will save the series if the negatives outlined above are not addressed in later books. I just hope that Scott can do a better job of minimizing the short comings of this story and expanding on the clever world he has envisioned. For what it's worth, I also hope that Chuck Norris kicks the smarmy off Justin Bieber's face, but that is another conversation.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
492 reviews39 followers
April 11, 2008
Okay. I liked this book a lot more than most people who have written reviews. I feel that it's because I didn't go into it with many preconceived notions. I had hoped it would be related to Harry Potter, but when I realized it wasn't I moved on. I also didn't read the book because I was a huge fan of the real Flamel. If you read it for either of those reasons, you will most likely be disapointed.

15 year-old twins Sophie and Josh have gotten summer jobs in San Franciso. Josh works at a bookstore, and Sophie works across the street. One day, a group of evil men come to attack Josh's boss, and it ends up that they are headed by the evil John Dee, Elizabeth I's spy, and that Josh's boss is none other than the immortal Nicholas Flamel.

Before flattening the bookstore completely, John Dee and his henchmen steal a very old book, except for the last 2 pages, which Josh has a tight hold on. It ends up that the book is the secret to Nicholas Flamel's long LONG life, and that the last 2 pages are key, so now Josh's life is in danger, and Nicholas Flamel is aging before his eyes.

Josh, Sophie, and Flamel flee the city, with Dee in pursuit, but they soon learn that there is more to the 2 of them, Josh and Sophie, than they have ever realized, that they are special, and perhaps Flamel is not being completely honest about his reasons for wanting them to accompany him on his journey.

I felt a little confused why Nicholas Flamel couldn't make another stone, or whatever, to extend his life without the book that Dee took. You would think that he would have the method down pat during the last 600-so years.

The book does something different with magic that I'd never read before, which is link it to the 5 senses. According to the book, the reason that the average person cannot do magic is because their senses are dulled, and when the magic starts happening, there are an amazing number of smells described.

I did think the book did something dangerous, because it tied itself way too much to the present: ipod, wikipedia, Shrek, the new Spiderman. All of that is really going to date it in time. It did make good historical references, linking the story to events that happened in the past, like the potato famine, and the great fire in London. That somehow made the events in the story more believable and immediate. I also learned from the book, because the characters in it are ones I never have heard of before, like the Morrigan. It was cool that he worked, somewhat, with characters who already exist. I bet it would be easier to make them all up, but it was cool to see how they would all interact if they were together.

Like Into the Woods, which I just reviewed, I think this book would make a really excellent movie, and in fact, some of the scenes would play out better in a movie than they did in the book. I would definitely see it. There is a sequel, which is coming out soon, and I'm going to read it. The ending leaves you with a cliffhanger, so I'm glad I didn't read it when there was a long wait 'til the next book.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
June 12, 2020
The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1), Michael Scott

The Alchemyst is the first installment in the six volume fantasy novel series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. It was written by Irish author Michael Scott and published in May 2007.

Sophie and Josh Newman are 15-year-old twins who are working at their summer jobs in The Coffee Cup in San Francisco (Sophie works at The Coffee Cup, Josh works at the bookstore on the other side of the street) when a mysterious man, John Dee, comes into the bookstore for a book, the Codex – or Book of Abraham the Mage. Josh witnesses both Nick and Perry using magic.

He discovers that Nick is not an ordinary bookseller, but is the medieval and the legendary alchemist, Nicholas Flamel, being kept alive by making the elixir of life (a secret from the Codex) for him and his wife, Perenelle. Dee also uses magic and takes the Codex by force while Josh is holding it – resulting in two pages being left behind; "The Final Summoning" pages that Dee needs to raise the Dark Elders, the beings whom Dee serves, and who have kept him immortal for several hundred years.

Both Flamels need the Codex to make the elixir of life, or they will age rapidly and die within a month. Also, if they do not retrieve the Codex, Dee will summon the Dark Elders to destroy the world and return to an age in which humans are but slaves and food. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه دسامبر سال 2011 میلادی

عنوان: کیمیاگر - ششگانه اسرار نیکولاس فلامل جاودان - کتاب اول؛ نویسنده: مایکل اسکات؛ ترجمه پونه اشجع؛ تهران انتشارات بهنام‏‫، 1389؛ در 383ص؛ شابک 9789645668684؛ چاپ دوم 1392؛ چاپ سوم 1394؛ چاپ چهارم 1396؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایرلندی - سده 21م

شخصیت نخست کتاب «کیمیاگر»، شخصی به نام «نیکولاس فلامل» است. بر اساس آنچه در تاریخ آمده، «فلامل» در سال 1330میلادی در پاریس به دنیا آمد، و سالها به عنوان کاتب و کتابفروش، در آن شهر زندگی کرد. اما با خرید کتابی قدیمی به نام: «کتاب آبراهام دانشمند» مسیر زندگیش برای همیشه تغییر کرد. «نیکولاس» و همسرش «پرنل»، بیست سال تمام به امید یافتن کسیکه بتواند زبان مرموز کتاب را برایشان ترجمه کند، سرتاسر اروپا را زیر پا گذاشتند. هیچکس نمیداند در آن سفر طولانی چه بر آنها گذاشت، اما سرانجام با ثروتی هنگفت به پاریس بازگشتند؛ و قسمت اعظمی از ثروتشان را صرف کارهای خیریه ای مثل ساخت بیمارستان، کلیسا و یتیم خانه کردند. «نیکولاس» و «پرنل» هیچگاه راه به دست آوردن چنان ثروتی را بازگو نکردند؛ همین امر باعث قوت گرفتن شایعاتی شد؛ از جمله اینکه کیمیاگر راز ساخت سنگ جادو و تبدیل مس به طلا و همچنین رمز جاودانگی را کشف کرده است؛ این شایعات هرگز از طرف آن دو تایید و یا تکذیب نشد. در مورد سال مرگ «پرنل» اختلاف نظر وجود دارد، اما آنچه به یقین میتوان گفت این است که «پرنل» زودتر از «نیکولاس» از دنیا رفت؛ بر اساس آنچه در تاریخ آمده است، «فلامل» در سال 1418میلادی درگذشت؛ پس از مرگ کیمیاگر، خریداران خانه اش در جستجوی گنجی مدفون، ساختمان را زیر و رو کردند، اما چیزی نیافتند؛ پس از این رویداد جویندگان گنج دست به نبش قبر «نیکولاس» و «پرنل» زدند، و در کمال شگفتی متوجه شدند، که تابوت هر دو خالی است؛ در نظر مردم تنها دو توجیه برای این اتفاق وجود داشت: نخست اینکه جسد هر دو در آرامگاهی مخفی دفن شده باشد، و دیگر اینکه هیچ کدام نمرده باشند؛

نقل نمونه متن: «من افسانه هستم! دست مرگ هرگز مرا نخواهد ربود. بیماری در من اثر نخواهد کرد. در چهره‌ ام بنگر، حدس زدن سنم کاری بس دشوار است، این در حالی است که در سال 1330میلادی، بیش از ششصد و هفتاد سال پیش به دنیا آمده‌ ام. در گذر سال‌ها، حرفه‌ های مختلف داشته‌ ام: پزشک، آشپز، کتاب‌فروش، سرباز، آموزگار زبان و شیمی، هم دزد و هم مأمور قانون، اما پیش از همه‌ ی این‌ها کیمیاگر بوده‌ ام: نخستین کیمیاگر. از من به عنوان برترین کیمیاگر تاریخ یاد میشد. پادشاهان، شاهزاده ها، امپراطورها و حتی شخص پاپ، همه و همه به دنبال من بودند. من توانایی تبدیل فلزات بی ارزش به طلا را داشتم؛ میتوانستم سنگهای معمولی را به جواهرات گرانبها تبدیل کنم؛ اما از همه ی اینها مهمتر، از دل کتاب جادوی کهن، راز زندگی جاودان را کشف کردم. اکنون همسرم، پرنل، و کتاب ربوده شده اند. بدون وجود کتاب، من و او پیر خواهیم شد. به تدریج تحلیل میرویم و سرانجام وقتی که ماه کامل شود، خواهیم مرد. با مرگ ما، اهریمنی که سالهای سال در برابرش جنگیده ایم، سرانجام به پیروزی خواهد رسید. نسل باستان، بار دیگر زمین را تحت سلطه ی خود خواهد گرفت، و انسانیت را از چهره ی زمین خواهد زدود. اما من به سادگی تسلیم نخواهم شد. چرا که من نیکولاس فلامل جاودانم. پنج شنبه، 31 می، سانفرانسیسکو، برگرفته از دفتر خاطرات نیکولاس فلامل کیمیاگر»؛ پایان نقل از متن

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 22/03/1399هجری خورشیدی ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Tina ➹ Woman, Life, Freedom.
384 reviews397 followers
October 1, 2022
Complete 5 Golden Stars

kind of a general review about the whole series I guess:

for the start of a new series, this book was absolutely interesting. Exciting, mysterious plot, making questions in our minds along with protagonists, lovable characters, Magic (with a such a unique system, I actually didn't know I needed to read this before seeing it in this series) in our world.
Now I'm thinking, this series, kind of reminded me of "the Librarians" tv show (or that show reminded me of this series, if I want to say it chronologically creation of both & me meeting them. but as I was writing it (& I recently finished binge watching the show) the idea just strike me.) because we see many ancient famous characters during this series (duh, the bold example is Nicholas Flamel himself) mythological characters or historical real people.

it was recommended years ago by the nice librarian who knew me well & I'm so glad he did that.

✦ a mixture of Greek, Norse & Egyptian myths plus some real historical characters, & magic in our modern world, mysteries & exciting chasing & escaping & adventures & travels is the inseparable part of this plot.

I love Josh (why are you even surprised? I always fall for the main male character) & his character development throughout this series was awesome, & one of a kind! yes, he was sometimes stupid & impulsive, but questioning things & loyal.

a confusing strong thrilling plot with mysteries & in a quick flow. you don't know where is up or down after drowning in this series!

such a must read for a mythology lover, regardless of the age. It categorized as a Middle Grade (probably because main characters' age) but it's mature, serious & captivating, adventurous & interesting, something like Percy Jackson, & even if it is, it's a one of the best. I read it in my late teen years & loved it.
also interesting choices for the titles which made me think who'd been referring to.

the 4th series in my top fav series.
it's worth reading if you like middle grade (it's not fun or lighthearted like other MGs, it's complicated& serious, more inclining toward YA), Alchemy, historical characters in modern stories, all kinds of mythology, aura & elemental magic.

also gorgeous covers with ancient (alchemical) scrolls vibes
Profile Image for Kris.
19 reviews2 followers
June 8, 2007
This book was awful. So awful, it warrants me actually putting in a review.

First of all, there isn't enough Nicholas Flamel. There is far too much of the twins that kind of become Nic's apprentices, and attatches way too much teenage exposition to them. And we don't need the two of them mentioning that their parents are archaeologists every other page. We got it the first time. Move on. And even if their parents are archaeologists, they're not necessarily going to know as much about it as they seem too. When you're 15, you try to stay away from your parents as much as possible. And there seriously didn't need to be as much name dropping around the character of Josh (I swear to God, whenever the story was from his perspective, there was always a name dropped of a movie or a video game, and there was always mention of his laptop, his cell phone, and that he had been on the football team). And the repetition of the name dropping, or them mentioning their parent's profession, was enough to make you put a gun barrel in your mouth. It felt way too forced. Too much like he was trying to be all, "Look!! I'm one of you!!"

He turned a potentially kick-ass 2 1/2 thousand year old vampire into a lame teenager. Not a cool one, something you might have imagined Bill and Charlie Weasly being. No, she was lame ... and just happened to be able to kick ass ... cuz she was a vampire.

And some of the other gods could've been completely awesome (like Morrígan) ... but they came off kind of lame, without any real power, and seemingly easily manipulated.

Scott really could've done something awesome with this, if he had decided to do a kick ass Sword & Sorcery story (a la "Highlander: The Series"). Instead, it felt more like a teenager's attempt at High Fantasy (::cough::Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2)::cough::), and not a very good one at that. And seriously, mentioning LotR at the beginning of your book, does not a High Fantasy make. Nor does having something that's the equivalent of the Force, a good fantasy make.
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,806 followers
October 1, 2012
I'll try to be fair here, this is a "YA" book and it comes in telling us it's going to "play" with historical and mythological figures....and play it does. I found the book annoying and wonder at the damage we're doing to our "youths" and their knowledge of mythology, what we can learn from mythology, from the archetypal characters, thoughts, and ideas they contain.

Okay, part of rant over. There are different types of YA books. Some are more yA while others are more Ya. This is in style and execution more of a Ya book with emphasis on the "Young" rather than the "adult". With it's repetitive story telling (asking something and then farther on asking it again, and again especially by the boy was a sort of constant). Then however, along with the juvenile storytelling you get attempts at "semi-adult" content that doesn't really work.





There's more and we've all played with mythology I suppose but I'm not really taken with this book. No that's a polite understatement, I'm annoyed with this book and approaching dislike. I'll go with 2 stars, but "just" or barely. Will I read the next book? Haven't decided yet.

Oh, one more thing, the book doesn't "conclude" or "end" so much as "stop". Lots I didn't care for... sorry if you liked it.

By the way..the fact that Michael Scott is a mythology scholar simply bothers me more. He is of course free to treat these figures as he wishes... I make no complaint about that. But I'm free not to enjoy the given treatment, and I don't. As I say in many cases, if you do enjoy the book then that's good for you...enjoy, not my cup of tea.

UPDATE: I'm not planning on following the book up...just letting you know.
Profile Image for Tea Jovanović.
Author 411 books663 followers
March 27, 2013
YA naslov(iliti Young Adult, kako takve knjige u svetu izdavaštva zovemo)... Kupio me je još u rukopisu... Alhemičara je objavio Evro Giunti... Pošto ništa nisu uradili s tim naslovom (uprkos sjajnom prevodu vrsnog prevodioca), odustali su od autora... drugi naslov uradila je Mladinska knjiga s istim prevodiocem... Ali ni oni se, nažalost, nisu previše potrudili... I treći naslov nije objavljen u Srbiji... Dok ga u Hrvatskoj (na moj nagovor) lepo gura Algoritam... Čitaoci moraju da razumeju da se često dešava, kada izdavačka kuća promeni urednika, novi koji dođe, nažalost, uglavnom zanemari ili ignoriše naslove koje je radio njegov prethodnik (osim ukoliko autor u međuvremenu nije postao ultra hit pisac u nas)... Upravo to se desilo i sa EG i sa MK... Dok se u Hrvatskoj urednici duže zadržavaju u svojim izdavačkim kućama (zbog boljih uslova rada i više podrške koje imaju kod svojih izdavača)
Profile Image for Nick Borrelli.
359 reviews322 followers
September 28, 2017
Quick review on this one: Oh how this book conflicted me so. On the one hand, I really enjoyed the story and the characters but ultimately the shoe-horning of SO MANY historical events and figures into the story just curbed my enjoyment of it. I get what the author was trying to do. Flamel was a real person who supposedly discovered the secret to immortality but the cramming in of all of the historical figures that he encountered along the way as well as the significant historical events just killed it. Could have been so much better but as it is...just average.
Profile Image for Luann.
1,277 reviews116 followers
March 11, 2015
I enjoyed The Alchemyst more than I thought I would. It didn't sweep me away with the "must finish this book now" feeling, but I also was never bored. Fans of Harry Potter, Fablehaven, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books, and even The Da Vinci Code will find interesting connections and similarities here. And yet Scott manages to bring something just a bit new to the table as well. I was interested to learn that many of the main characters (Nicholas Flamel, Perenelle Flamel, and Dr. John Dee) were actually real people and much of what is told as their back story is actually known about them. Other characters in the book come from mythology and folklore. Only the twins, Josh and Sophie Newman, are the author's own creation.

I was also interested in the use of modern gadgets, especially in the beginning. Mostly the modern gadgets such as an iPod, texting on a cell phone, and googling for information via a laptop are used to give background information to the reader while showing that these kids are modern teens - although at one point even one of the "Elders" uses a cell phone. As the story progresses, though, the gadgets are left behind.

I wouldn't rank this as one of my all-time favorite fantasy stories - even if I'm just limiting to books I've read this year. But I did enjoy it and will certainly read the sequels as I get a chance. If we had half stars, I would give this 3.5.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
81 reviews4 followers
December 13, 2019
REMEMBER: This is Fantasy. Welcome.

I experienced a world that was filled with ancient characters (both good and evil), strange creatures, and wonderfully described scenes with TONS of detail.

I met twins, a boy and girl, with pure auras who possess magical powers that once awakened will change the world. A 600-year-old alchemyst who performs magic and when doing so the air around smelled like mint. His wife (possibly the same age) is magical in different ways and befriends ghosts. A 2,000 and a half-year-old Warrior who's also a vegetarian vampire. An evil man about 400-years-old creating mud people and zombies to do his evil bidding as he abides to evil that's far greater than his own. I saw creatures from legend, myth, and nightmares. Along the way many well known faces from history pop in and out of the storyline. I heard mention of Joan of Arc, King Tutankhamen, and Queen Elizabeth I, just to name a few.

This story sounds almost unbelievable, right? OK, so maybe all these myths that are intricately mixed into real life can be overwhelming, although it works for me. I love this stuff. How could such a vast amount of information be put into a story and actually make sense? I don't know but it does. And it was easy to understand, take in, and digest as long as I continued to pay attention. It was clever. It was delicious.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,803 reviews31.2k followers
February 22, 2020
There were several things I appreciated about this story. I loved that Michael Scott used Auras in his magic system. THANK YOU! It was well done and used well. As someone who works with auras and on occasion can see them, it is fun to have them in a story. Michael also uses Lei lines of the Earth. The Raven Cycle uses those too. That's another great idea to put into a magic story. Lei lines are just the Earth's meridians, simple concept.

Another positive about this book is I do like how Michael weaves different mythologies together to create his story and world and wrap it up into his system. Yggdrasil is in the story, and I love the thought of the world tree. I was glad to see this in there and how he used it. It was a cool place to live.

This is a good story, a decent story, and average mythology story, in my mind. I think if you want mythology brought into the modern world, Rick Riordan is the way to go. He does it so well. If you don't like the humor and puns, then maybe this will be more your style.

Dee, the villain was not fleshed out at all. I don't know any of his motivations. I did not appreciate the cliff-hanger. I need to speak of this so:



SPOILER WARNING:

I do not think that using King Authors sword, no matter how magical, could kill the Yggdrasil tree. It just isn't going to do that. There is too much life and energy in the tree of life to ever be killed my one sword stab. I didn't buy that. Plus, killing the world tree bothered me. I mean, brutal.

The chase didn't seem all that exiting to me and Dee as a villain didn't do much for me either. I didn't feel the stakes here. As I said, this is a good book and it will probably be a decent series. It will probably even get better, but I don't feel the need to go on with the series and I'm a 'finish the series kind of person'. I'm learning that I have so many series to read that I have to chose which series I finish.

I think this is a great book for middle grade readers and above who are into mythology or want to get into it. It's not Percy Jackson or Harry Potter.




Profile Image for Grace.
79 reviews
February 21, 2009
To be honest I would never have read this book had I not been given it for my birthday. It was obviously one of those books that was cranked out immediately after the Harry Potter phenomenon and was unabashedly aimed toward that audience. Now don't get me wrong, I adore Harry Potter and that's probably why this sort of book irritates me. I've picked it up in the bookstore before, interested by the title and catchy cover, but after flipping through it I always put it back.
It is very similar to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series in that it uses old mythology and mythical figures for it's main plot. I wasn't enchanted with either of the authors approaches. The characters in The Alchemyst are flat and one dimensional and where he could have gone all out with the 700-10,000 year old beings he stuck with boring, flat interpretations. The twins were just as flat and uninteresting. After an entire book there isn't more one could say about them than: The girl is the thoughtful one who looks out for her brother and makes sure he doesn't get into trouble and the boy is the reckless one. They are also not that likable and at times irritating. I wanted to reach through and smack them when, halfway through the book, they were still insisting that they must be on Candid Camera and the whole thing was a big hoax.
The plot wasn't particularly engaging either and it seemed that every other page there had to be a big, magical battle, as if he felt the only way to keep the reader going was to put in action. Personally, I think that is a mark of an adult author who is trying to write for kids. Obviously kids can't read anything deep and are too uninterested and the only way to keep them reading is to pack the entire book with pointless battle scenes. Who needs engaging, round characters and character development? *rolls eyes* It was also very predictable and linear, with no risks or surprises.
I'm glad that I decided to read this book on an eleven hour plane ride because that way I could get it over with in a day, without having to drag it out for several. I probably won't read the rest of the series as I was, obviously, far from enchanted by the first one.
Profile Image for Micheline.
314 reviews136 followers
July 25, 2012
I had high hopes when I picked up this book. At the time, I was fresh off the Harry Potter series and had a bad case of 'Post-Potter Depression'. The idea of learning more about the intriguing and mythical 'Nicolas Flamel' (which I had heard of before HP) instantly captivated me, and the book blurb only added fuel to the fire. Sadly, about halfway through I had to shelf this one (DNF). I found the protagonists Sophie and Josh very flat and one-dimensional. They spent most of the time confused or panicky and quite frankly, I found them annoying. You'd think that out of two protagonist, at least one would have captured my fancy. Yeah, I thought so too, but apparently not.

Also, considering the book is named after Nicholas Flamel, I was expecting a lot more of him front and center; not as an almost background character. Making him a titular character on the book cover almost seemed gimmick-y. The man has obviously lived a very long life, there would have been plenty of information or plot to fill this book with. Why mention him in the title if he's barely developed in the book?

Every time I walk by these books in bookstores, I get a pang of regret. This had the potential of being an amazing series, it's sad that it was such a letdown.
Profile Image for Franco  Santos.
485 reviews1,333 followers
January 14, 2016
En cierto modo todos somos prisioneros... prisioneros de las circunstancias y de los acontecimientos.
Buen libro. Aceptable inicio de saga. Me gustó mucho que el autor haya incluido tanta magia, mitología e Historia. Los personajes no me despertaron ninguna simpatía, pero espero sentir algo por ellos a medida que vaya avanzando en la serie.

Como aspectos negativos tengo que decir que no me convenció cómo está escrito. No me gusta la manera de narrar de Michael Scott. Es demasiado repetitiva y alarga descripciones que, para mí, deberían ser breves. También los diálogos: muy artificiales, imposible imaginarme a una persona hablando de esa forma. Y por último, la trama en sí. No es original.

A pesar de todo, El Alquimista es un libro entretenido, con un ritmo correcto y me dejó con ganas de leer los siguientes lo más pronto posible. Lo recomiendo.
Profile Image for Stacey.
266 reviews449 followers
July 22, 2011
I'm getting better at my new "don't read bad books" plan. Not that this one is "bad," exactly, so much as it is a little bit irritating. The two kids in the story are just too much. They know everything, can do everything, they're just too perfect.

And really Mr. Scott, did you have to attempt to borrow a story from every fantasy written in the last 2000 years and cram it into this one? I mean, really.

But what clinched it for me was a main character named "Scatty." Every time I read that name, my mind substituted "Poopy." After a few dozen repetitions of that, I simply had no choice but to call it quits.

Poopy.

Edit: I was going to give this 2 stars, because it wasn't awful. But how can I give a book anything more than one star when it makes me think of poop on every page?
Profile Image for Sofia.
266 reviews6,180 followers
September 7, 2020
Well well well... what have we here? Take a look at this incredibly unique and interesting plot:

1. Hello hello, I'm Josh and I like my cell phone. And football. And Superman and Batman, too. I spend 99% of my time looking up things on my 2007 laptop. I am a relatable teenager.
2. Why hi, I'm Sophie. I'm a barista. Rad. I have a lot of sisterly love for Josh. We hold hands sometimes to support each other. We're twins and we never fight because LOVE and PEACE and UNICORNS.
3. Oooh look, this old bookstore guy we work for is an aLcHeMySt (with a WHYYYY). *info-dump, please continue*
4. Uh-oh, there's an Elder Race of gods who act like teenagers! And some of them are INCREDIBLY EVIL and want to TAKE OVER THE WORLD! And there's a guy helping them who drinks soda and smells like rotten eggs. Intimidating.
5. WHOOOOOAAAA Sophie and Josh have magic!! And they're meant to fulfill a prophecy to stop the bad guy coincidentally! I'm so shocked! Who would have ever thought a middle-grade novel would be written that didn't have a Chosen One narrative! Or a rElAtAbLe TeEnAgE pRoTaGoNiSt! (a.k.a. an adult pretending to be a teenager. Groovy. Oh, did I mention they like Superman? And playing video games on their phone.)
6. WE'RE GONNA GET TRAINED BY MAGICIANS WHOOPEEEEEEE oh wait it's break time, Josh needs to say something stupid and offend an entire race of gods
7. Presumably, they get ambushed by a bunch of monsters and have some cringy deus x machina moment, and then one of the RELATABLE TEENAGERS saves the day, but I dunno, I DNF'ed it before I could figure out how this REALLY INTERESTING plot ends.

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Profile Image for Karli.
28 reviews1 follower
October 10, 2013
Dreadful.

I appreciate Goodreads because I can read through other negative reviews and feel justified in my hatred of a book.

There is not much I can say that hasn't already been said.

The book is about Nicholas Flamel the Alchemyst (spelled with a "y" because his author/father wanted him to be yoo-nique!) and a bunch of whiny and conveniently-forever-questioning teenage twins who are on the run from the evil Dr. John Dee (called Dee, which makes him sound like a very silly villain . . . his tagline should have been "I'm Dee . . . tee hee hee"). Dee wants the codex, a magical/prophecy sort of book, and if he gets all of it, the world will end, or something like that. Flamel and the lame twins enlist the help of several of the elder race, who sound cool in theory . . . in theory. What follows is just a whole bunch of messy plot mixed with flashes, aromatherapy, glowing balls, and confusion, and then the book ends. Just ends. Somehow Michael Scott is expecting me to endure more agonizing reading to find out what happens. In the (truly) immortal words of Cher, "AS IF!"

Terrible writing. Terrible, terrible boring characters. Terrible plot.

Others have mentioned that the mythological and legendary characters were the only interesting point in the book, but I beg to differ. It feels as though all Michael Scott did was blindly throw a dart at a list of legendary heroes and say, "that'll do." Little was said about these characters or their background and awesome stories or places in mythology. All it was was name dropping and plot filling. And then what about Nicholas Flamel, the main fella? Isn't the book called The Alchemyst: the secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel? What secrets? Most of the time he sat in the back of a car.

Worst.
Profile Image for Raha.
186 reviews173 followers
September 14, 2018
اونقدری که انتظار داشتم خوب نبود. با اینکه کتاب موضوع فوق العاده جالبی داشت اما به نظرم نویسنده نتونسته بود به خوبی از پس نوشتن داستان بر بیاد. اتفاقات و حوادث کتاب به قدری سریع و پشت سر هم پیش می اومدن که اصلا فرصت نمیشد هضمشون کرد... به علاوه ی کم و کاست های زیادی که شخصیت پردازی کتاب داشت و اینکه یه جاهایی دیگه زیادی اغراق شده بود
اما کتاب نقاط مثبتی هم داشت. اینکه نویسنده از شخصیت های اسطوره ای و باستانی استفاده کرده بود و به زیرکی حوادث تاریخی رو به اونا ربط داده بود از نظر من جالب انگیز و جسورانه بود
----
در کل کتاب بدی نبود اما خیلی بعید می دونم که بخوام پنج جلد باقی مونده رو بخونم
Profile Image for Connor.
681 reviews1,657 followers
October 3, 2019
[2019 Reread - 2nd time reading] I read this originally when the first book first came out, and I loved it back then. Now, about a decade later, I went back to see if I would have similar feelings.

I still think the weaving of different folklore, histories, and mythologies together is done wonderfully. I've realized that doing this inherently means there is going to be some info dumping so that the author can explain the connections to readers who may not see them all - especially when the author changes myths to make them overlap. Another example (it's very adult as opposed to for younger readers) is Paternus by Dyrk Ashton. I wish there was a wider range cultures that the immortals were pulled from. In this book, everyone is mostly pulled from European and Egyptian stories. It would be nice to see other beings from other mythologies pop in.

Josh is way more angsty than I remember him being. Sophie was always the MC I preferred to read about, and now I know why. He's difficult to relate to because he's such a perfect son - plays football, reads books, does well in school, makes friends easily (or not easily? The book was inconsistent about this), etc. But when he's not in the spotlight, he starts being so annoying about it. Some fifteen-year-olds are like that though, so at least it's something I know happens.

The plot progression method was an interesting choice. The novel gets the reader to a cliff hanger, and then it goes backwards to fill in the details from other POVs (points of view). As an example, the characters will be like, "What is that smell?! Rotten Eggs?" And then the story jumps to another character about an hour in the past to talk about what they were doing before the potent odor of rotten eggs invades. It creates a "two steps forward, one step back" method of storytelling, and I wish the plot moved forward continuously instead of constantly jumping back to tell the same hour from a different POV. Not a huge con for me, but it's something that dampened my excitement whenever we reached a cliff hanger moment.

I'm going to leave my original rating, but although I enjoyed experiencing the story again, I didn't looove it like I did at sixteen. I'd probably give this around 3.5 stars now. It's a fun ride, but there were a few things that threw me out of the story
Profile Image for Kaethe.
6,362 reviews456 followers
July 31, 2017
The Alchemyst - Michael Scott  The author kept referring to the weather in San Francisco as hot and dry, which, sure, it can be, but mostly isn't. That was strike one.Strike two was the idea that if A is true then everything ever must also be true. Again, it could be, but it doesn't have to be.Strike three was putting the teens into Yggdrasil and having them be shocked, SHOCKED I say, that they can't get cell phone or internet service.Also, there's way too much about auras. I hate auras.
 
7/31/17 edited to add:
I had a lengthy conversation this morning on the bus to work with a gentleman who loved these books, recommended to him by his son. He also loved several books/series I was lukewarm about, but this was balanced by the number of books we had both loved. So I wanted to look this up and give it a try if I hadn't already, although I thought I had tried it and didn't like it. I might have tried it despite my earlier response because his enthusiasm was so great, but auras are apparently a deal breaker.
Then, when I got into work my boss and I chatted about her current book club selection, by an author I dislike who is much admired.
Even when it doesn't result in a new book for the TBR list, I really love listening to people talk about their favorites. So many of my most casual conversations are about books these days, and that delights me. Somewhere along the way walking around reading a book became a positive social introduction to me, rather than an asocial rudeness. This twenty-first century world is awesome!
 
Profile Image for Lisa.
295 reviews23 followers
July 12, 2014
A lot of people haven't heard of this series, and I don't know why, because these books are AWESOME!



We have adventure, we have wit, we have sass, and my absolute favourite... myths and legends coming to life. Topped off with the wonderful absence of teenage drama makes this a delightful read.

If you liked the excitement of Harry Potter, the modern mythological adaptations of Percy Jackson and a new take on some of the world's most mysterious legends then this is the book for you.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
April 12, 2017
Yet another book I loved as a kid and then stopped loving. Maybe I should just forget about reviewing these.

Thousands of different world myths and world historical facts are integrated into one clever world. There's some interesting worldbuilding surrounding auras, which, although slightly overcomplicated, is certainly interested. As the series continues, however, it gets more confusing than enjoyable.

As a fantasy story, this does fall a bit on the cliche side. There's the wise old mentor, who happens to be incredibly unlikable here, and if course the Chosen One trope. But in general, the myths used are creative enough to hold up the story.

The characters are also exceptionally flat. Twins Sophie and Josh have contrasting destinies; one will save the world, and the other will destroy it. Unfortunately, the ambiguity of both these characters on the moral side is barely explored.

In general, this series is a bit of a romp in wasted potential. It's fun as a kid, but it's nothing really special.
Profile Image for Shuk Pakhi.
306 reviews48 followers
January 30, 2016
হঠাৎ করেই নিকলাস ফ্লামেল আর তার স্ত্রীর হাতে এসে যায় একটা বই। যার পাঠোদ্ধার করতেই কেটে যায় জী��নের অনেকগুলো বছর।এবই থেকেই তারা অমর হওয়ার সূত্র পায়।এবইটি দিয়ে পৃথিবীকে যেমন স্বর্গ বানানো সম্ভব তেমনি সম্ভব নরক বানানোও। শত শত বছর ধরে নিকোলাস বইটা লুকিয়ে রেখেছে, রক্ষা করে চলেছে এবইয়ের গোপন রহস্য। কিন্তু ক্ষমতালোভী কিছু মানুষ (এরাও অমর) এর পেছনে লেগে আছে।বইটা তাদের চাই-ই চাই। আকস্মিকভাবেই নিকোলাস দেখা পেয়ে যায় বইটাতে ভবিষ্যৎবাণী করা দুই জমজ ভাই-বোনের। যারা এবইয়ের উত্তরাধিকারী হবে। বইটাতে ঐতিহাসিক ঘটনা, চরিত্র, স্থান, মিথ ব্যবহার করা হয়েছে চমৎকারভাবে। সিরিজের প্রথম বই এটা মজা পেয়েছি পড়ে।
Profile Image for George Jankovic.
140 reviews86 followers
November 27, 2016
The Alchemyst is a teen/tween book that manages to combine various world mythologies into one. At the center of it is a mysterious Book of Abraham the Mage which has given immortal life to Nicholas Flamel and his wife. But the book can also be used to bring about the return of the Dark Elves and the enslavement of the human kind.

Fifteen year old twins, Sophie and Josh, are the only ones who can save or completely destroy the world as has been foretold.

I like the story of this book and, especially, how it fits many historical people, events and facts into it.

Enjoy!
Profile Image for Sina & Ilona Glimmerfee.
1,051 reviews122 followers
January 15, 2021
Während der Sommerferien jobben die Zwillinge Josh und Sophie, um sich irgendwann ein Auto leisten zu können. Josh jobbt in der Buchhandlung von Nick Fleming und Sophie im Cafe gegenüber. Doch dann tauchen plötzlich mysteriöse Männer auf, stehlen ein magisches Buch und entführen die Frau von Nick. Plötzlich ist nichts mehr, wie es einmal war. Nick Fleming stellt sich als Nicholas Flamel heraus, Alchemyst und 670 Jahre alt. Die Zwillinge starten zusammen mit Flamel in das Abenteuer ihres Lebens.

Ich mochte es sehr, dass die Geschichte schon auf den ersten Seiten spannend wird. Nicolas Flamel und sein Gegenspieler John Dee sind historische Personen und erweisen sich in diesem Buch als würdige Feinde. Ich mochte die Verknüpfung von Mythologie, Magie und einer Realität, wie wir sie kennen. Sympathisch fand ich es auch, dass jeder Stärken und Schwächen hat, aber man sich als Team gut ergänzt. So ist Flamel in der Kunst der Magie bewandert, dafür können die Zwillinge Auto fahren.

Ich habe das Buch an einem Tag gelesen und es gibt nur einen Kritikpunkt: Der Cliffhanger am Ende des Buches. Wer in diese Reihe einsteigen möchte und gefallen an ihr findet, sollte sich lieber gleich den nächsten Teil organisieren.
Profile Image for Simcsa.
92 reviews87 followers
November 21, 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.
Profile Image for Daniel.
750 reviews72 followers
October 28, 2016
Svidjaju mi se ideje, likovi su interesantni a prica je fina i ipak na karju knjiga me nije odusevila. Nekako mi fali ono nesto, momenat koji bi me vezao za sve sto se desava. Ovako na zalost bilo je zabavno za citanje ali nisam bio posebno zainteresovan dal ce nasi heroji da se izvuku ili ne.

Plus samog Flamela ima previse malo u knjizi.

Ali ima potencijal tako da ce mo nastaviti sa sledecom knjigom.
Profile Image for Sheila Beaumont.
1,102 reviews143 followers
April 24, 2020
I'm revisiting this fascinating fantasy series, which features Nicholas Flamel, John Dee, the Witch of Endor, Bastet, Hecate, and many other characters of history and legend, via audiobook. Excellent narration by Denis O'Hare.
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