Tuesday 31/08 : The Alchemyst
Wednesday 01/09 : The Magician
Friday 03/09 : The Sorceress
Sunday 05/09 : The Necromancer
Title: The Alchemyst
(Book 1 of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)
Author: Michael Scott
Publisher: Corgi Books (Random House Children's Books)
Release Date: 2007
Source: Sent by Random House for review
Paperback : 369 pages
Summary from Amazon:
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.
I have been wanting to read this series for a while and never managed to, but I am so glad I finally did! This series is amazing: a lot of action, plenty mythical creatures and fantastic characters.
From the first chapters, the reader gets taken in the action and follows the 15 year old twins Sophie and Josh through this adventure. With them you learn that the famous French alchemyst Nicholas Flamel and his wife Perenelle are alive and kicking (after being born in the 1300s). It is amazing because in France there has been so much speculation over the Flamels that it wouldn't be weird at all if that was indeed true! People might also know him from the first book of the Harry Potter series as the inventor of the Philosopher's Stone :)
Sophie and Josh are very different mentally but complementary, it creates a sort of balance between them. I love reading about twins, I find that the potential for stories is endless. Josh is extremely whiny and half of the time he looks like a
regular guy child but Sophie is ace (what prejudice against men?). I love how the women characters aren't just pretty objects but are sometimes stronger than men. I absolutely love the fact that Perenelle is considered more powerful than Nicholas Flamel. Girl Power!
The book is fast-paced and you will be cheering "no don't do that!", "run fasteerrr!", "Oh wow, I want to be able to do that too!" during the whole book. The characters are all fascinating with very distinctive traits of personalities. The character of Scathach simply ROCKS and I can't wait to discover all the other creatures present in all the sequels!
What I love the most in this book is that fantasy mixes with history: Michael Scott uses mythological beliefs as well as real historical facts and people who really did exist! Alchemy was a well known specialty and could be compared to being a scientist today. Alchemy is a form of magic, but it revolves more around a certain knowledge of the world and a few rules of chemistry and physics than just making things appear out of thin air. It is a fascinating thing to learn about. Yeah, so now I'm considering Alchemy as a career :)
All along the books, you ask yourself where the magic is all gone? For centuries and centuries, people have belived in magic and supernatural things, but not anymore. Things out of the ordinary are dismissed as a hoax. Did science kill magic or did it simply take its name? I find that it is very interesting to raise the question. What do you think?
This book and the series in general is a real treat, it is as much an adventure as a history book of some sort. The magical world created by Michael Scott will fascinate you and you'll be wanting to know more about everything in there!
Cool plus: this book will appeal to girls as much as boys and to the younger reader as much as to the adult!
(Until 30th September 2010)
Thanks to the amazingness of Random House, I am organising a giveaway for this series!
The first winner will get the four published books of the series (The Alchemyst, The Magician, The Sorceress, The Necromancer) which will contain six.
And the second and third will receive a copy of The Necromancer which was published this summer and which can also be read as a stand-alone novel!
To win, you will need to answer one question:
If you could have a power or special ability, what would it be?
Since I know I am going to fail at Google Document-ing this giveaway, you can send me an email here with:
- "NICHOLAS FLAMEL GIVEAWAY" in the subject
- Your name
- Your answer
Since you are dying to know (yes, I know you are, like, really really deep down), I will give you what special ability I would love to have:
I would love to be able to understand and communicate with nature (fauna and flora) because nature rocks and I want it on my side when it'll take revenge for all the oil spills and other chemicals!
OK and also because I want to cuddle a baby tiger :)
- UK only
- Be over 16 or let a parent/guardian email for you
- You don't *need* to be a follower to win, but I wouldn't mind if you chose to!
- I will post your answer on the blog when I announce the winners
Just so you know, the contest is until September 30th and I choose the winners with my brain, nothing random about it, so don't hesitate to amaze me :)
Thank you so much to Corinne and Random House for sending me the books!