Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series review

It seems that since the explosion of Harry Potter, the book world has become obsessed with fantasy series. Stand alone books may not be rare, but they certainly don't always get the buzz and following that these series do and "The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" series by Michael Scott is no exception. And rightly so. Thus far, the series contains three books and I have enjoyed each immensely, as they are filled with adventure, magic and alchemy, thrills, a variety of unique and often odd characters, and for lack of better description, just plain fun!

Though I'm attempting to not "spoil" anything, if you haven't read any of these or haven't moved beyond the first book yet, there may be some plot spoilers. Just letting ya know!

Beginning with The Alchemyst, readers are introduced to 15 year old twins, Josh and Sophie Newman, a normal couple of kids, each with a summer job in San Francisco, Josh working at an old bookshop and Sophie at a tea shop across the street. What begins as an ordinary day, turns into a horrifying and adventure-filled couple of days as Josh and Sophie realize their employers are a famous alchemyst and sorceress and they just may be the "twins of legend."

The twins are quite obviously dumbfounded at what they are experiencing and just what their role in it is. A great introduction to the series.

Book two, The Magician, moves the plot mainly to Paris and introduces us readers to some new and powerful characters. Josh and Sophie are still on the run from John Dee, with Nicholas Flamel leading the way, still unsure whether or not to fully trust the Alchemyst. Peri, the Sorceress, is imprisoned on Alcatraz Island, unable to help her husband or the twins remain alive.

This one was probably the most action packed and suspenseful. Josh and Sophie definitely grew as characters and the introduction of some pretty famous characters, long believed to be dead by the twins (and the rest of the world), Joan of Arc and William Shakespeare, made for interesting plot twists.

Finally, book three, The Sorceress, continues the story right where it left off, Josh and Sophie both have powers now and are working on becoming stronger and more useful in warding off John Dee and his band of followers. Lots of strange beasts make their appearance in this book, more on Peri on Alcatraz, and of course, more fabulous action.

The series really does keep getting better and better as each book comes out. Michael Scott obviously has a wild imagination, enough to keep the story fresh and new, without changing up the concept from book to book. The characters are realistic (as much as they can be) and the thrill aspect spot on.

A fabulous choice for middle graders (upper middle graders probably) and young adults. The books are long, but well worth the pages. Great for fans of Harry Potter :) I read the books one right after another this summer and now am bummed I have to wait for the 4th next year. Hurry on up the writing process Mr. Scott!

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover to link to Amazon.

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Michael Scott
400 pages
Young Adult
May 2007

The Magician: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Michael Scott
496 pages
Young Adult
June 2008

The Sorceress: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Michael Scott
512 pages
Young Adult
May 2009

1 comment:

maureenhume said...

Amanda, I'm always on the look out for what's new (or not so new, but unknown) in children's fiction and your reviews sound like they come from the heart. I'm a bit over fantasy books, but the 'Nicholas Flamel' series sounds like it's worth a look. Keep up the good work, books and reading are so very important.
Maureen Hume www.thepizzagang.com