Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: The Alchemyst

by Michael Scott


He holds the secret that can end the world.

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 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.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. 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. 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.


So I'm in a used bookstore with a friend sorting through all the "previously owned" novels in the YA section with my friend when I run across this book. It looks fairly interesting and, hey, it's only five dollars, so I buy it. And I'm glad I did.

Instead of going on and on about the book, I'm just going to split the review up:

What I liked:
  • The Alchemyst is very different from everything else that's out there right now. It was refreshing to read something new.
  • The characters are really well done. They have well thought-out flaws, weaknesses, and history.
  • The plot is interesting. While he doesn't write the most complex plotline in the world, Scott manages to tie together a lot of seeming insignificant things at the end that really help to move to plot toward its conclusion.
What I didn't like:
  • The novel isn't really "gripping." I usually like a book that I can read in a day, not because it's short but because it's so good I can't put it down. While this one was good, it definitely did not fill that criteria.
  • The villain wasn't all that scary. True, he was evil, but I never really felt like he could win. The good guys were way too in control for there to be much tension.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend the book. It's no thriller, but it's great to curl up with on a rainy afternoon, and I really enjoyed it.

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