Posted by: Nyxks | January 5, 2008

The Alchemyst

The Alchemyst
by Michael Scott © 2007
Delacorte Press
ISBN 978-0-385-73351-1
375 pages (Includes Author’s Note) Hardbound Book Club Edition
$16.99 (U.S.)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason

I got this book from one of the book clubs I belong to for two simple reasons. The first is that I have been fascinated by Nicholas Flamel for many years. And the second reason is that I enjoy fiction with a mystical or magickal theme

Much like the Harry Potter series, which was (allegedly) for the “younger” reader, this book contains a wealth of details which go far beyond a child’s understanding of myth and legend. It will not teach any great secrets, but it may pique your interest in various topics.

This is the opening volume of a series (presumably to run to at least five volumes, based on the format set out here) of well-thought-out, carefully planned, well-executed books. Michael Scott has done his research in a thorough manner. He has skillfully blended reality, myth, legend, and his own perceptive “take” on things to bring to life a group of individuals who are reminiscent of the heroes of Narnia, with a touch of Lovecraft, without being copies of anything.

This is going to be, I am sure, a magical series firmly rooted in reality (SUVs, Alcatraz, cell phones, etc.) with more than touch of Otherworldliness (Nicholas Flamel, John Dee, the Witch of Endor, Bastet and Hecate among others).

Some of the motivations are easy to see from the opening chapters. Others develop as you get further into the story. Regardless, each motive is given time to develop and be revealed fully as the story progresses.

I’m not sure how many books are going to be written in this series, but I can safely make these personal predictions: No matter how many are written, more will be wanted. And, the wait between volumes will, regardless of the actual time elapsed, be too long to be endured.

Looking for a good series to help ease your withdrawal from Harry Potter? My guess is, you may well have found it in this series. Read this book and see if you agree with me.


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