Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

The Alchemyst is the first book in the series of ''The Secrets of Immortal Nicholas Flamel'' by Michael Scott, a very successful author which originated from Ireland.
I borrowed this from my classmate without knowing what really it is all about. She sometimes irritate me because everyday, when she meet me "read the Alchemyst, I'm sure you will like it". Just for her to stop and I accept her favor and read it. It took me about two weeks to read because of hectic school schedule. But two days ago, after I reached the middle of the book, my hands, eyes and mind are glued to it.

The Alchemyst is a contemporary fantasy which opens in modern day San Francisco when brother and sister, Josh and Sophie discover that the owner of the bookstore where Josh works is the immortal French alchemist, Nicholas Flamel. Flamel and his wife, Perenelle, are the guardians of the Book of Abraham which they have protected for centuries. This is a collection of the most powerful spells in the world. When Dr John Dee discovers the Flamels' whereabouts, he attacks and snatches the book. Josh and Sophie intervene to help Flamel, but now they too are being hunted by Dee and creatures that predate humanity.

First of all, I want to tell you that the book is not narrated by Nicholas Flamel or any characters in the book. It is the author, Micheal Scott or maybe a Persona. The book is written in a movie like sequence. You know, when you are watching from a scene it suddenly turn to another scene. For example you are watching lovers on a bay then suddenly the scene change to a store. The book is like that. It is one of the benefits of having a non-character narrator. The story is not only focus to one person. And what the best advantage of this, is that you understand the details you should know. Chapters in the book may also focus on one person then another in the next chapter. But it doesn't mess the book, it just made it fantastic!
The story is about Nicholas Flamel and the Codex, also known as The Book of Abraham the Mage. The codex contain spells beyond imagination. It can change the whole world. Dr. John Dee is the antagonist here. He wants to get the Codex to return the Dark Elders. He get the book on an attack to Flamel but his worker, Josh, a teenage which is the twin of Sophie, grab some pages from the book. Dee flee triumphantly but soon noticed that the book is incomplete. The most needed spell is missing. He then chase Flamel, Sophie and Josh who ally with The Goddess with Three faces, Scathach, and The Witch of Endor. With Flamel knowing a prophecy in the book about the Twins that will save the world, he then focuses on Awakening the Twin's magical powers and let them learn the Five Elements.

The characters in this book are drawn from real people and mythological figures. Most of the details about them in the book are real. Except for the twins Sophie and Josh which is fictional. This idea of getting real figures as the characters make a very fantastic influence in the book.

Nicholas Flamel and Perenelle Flamel are real people and real husband and wife. They lived in Paris. In stories, it said that Nicholas bought a book, a 21 page book known as the Codex. It is written in unknown language so He and Perenelle made a journey to translate the book. When they came back to Paris, they are very rich. Rumors said that the Flamels discovered how to turn ordinary metal to gold and Immortality. When they died, robbers went to their tombs but they didn't find they body. Did they died? That is the question that circled Europe. There are some accounts of sightings of Nicholas in Europe.

About the book, it was a master piece. Full of excitement and magical settings. Scott beautifully mixed the old times with the modern era. He blended the two to create a modern world but still the ancient lives in it. It has mythological features. Most books contain the Greek Gods and Goddesses but this book contained the least known and probably the oldest characters in myths and legends. It brings new discoveries. When I'm reading it, I'm in front of my computer because I search some of the characters. I simple don't know them. The involvement of these figures means the involvement of magic. Both good and evil magic. Alchemy, Sorcery and Necromancy. The reason why fantasy is my favorite is because it enable my imagination a lot and create new ideas.

If you read this book, you will want for more. The ending is sooooo Hanging! You will really want to read the second book to know what will happen next. The ending is not actually an ending. It is the start of the second book that is why it is hanging.

I simply love this book. I'm guilty for refusing my classmate's offer in the first place.

My rating: 5 Outstanding


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