It's 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows - a fascinating boy who's not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies - Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.
©2011 Maile Meloy (P)2011 Penguin Audio
The Apothecary exists in a class with Scott's Alchemist series, Riordan's Lightening Thief series, Divergent and Michael Vay-- and is simply wonderful...I have a Tween daughter who is an avid reader and I am always looking for new authors for her to try...I hit a gold mine with Maile Meloy. Obviously I am not the target audience...but I thoroughly enjoyed this book...My daugher is on her second go-round listening and is quoting passages. It is original, funny, action packed and full of fantasy--a recipe my child cannot resist. She did, however, have one complaint--she does not like the ending--it is a cliffhanger and now she has to wait and hope he author publishes a follow up book...which we will be certain to add to our collection. There is a select group of books (comparison books I listed among them) that we purchase in hardcover and on audio...this is firmly in that category. Highly recommended by Mother and daughter...
This is a YA adventure story set in the 1950s featuring an American girl (14, I believe), whose screenwriter parents have to leave the US due to the blacklist and relocate to London. She has the usual adjustment troubles, until she gets involved with a group of underground apothecaries who can make potions with magical powers and who are trying to rein in the nuclear arms race. There are chases, a lot of colorful characters, a small dash of romance and wistful ending. I think there will be a sequel, to which I look forward eagerly.
Meloy is a renowned author of adult fiction, and one plus of THE APOTHECARY is that it is exceptionally well-written for a children's book.
I liked this book, but was suprised that others fell in love with it. It was a good adventure story focused on young adults (14/15ish). But the story was complete fantasy which I was not expecting. It was a fun read & The reader was excellent.
Mystical, Adventurous, & Exciting
The magical aspects
The name is perfect
I would love a sequel.
For lovers of "A Wrinkle in Time," "Narnia" and Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series, this captivating story comes complete with a plucky heroine, a fast-paced and adventure-packed plot as well as an excellent performance by the narrator. Can???t wait to read everything else Meloy???s written.
Great upper grade school to adult read. The title of my review says it all.
Dog lover & book addict.
I only gave this book a try because she was the narrator. I finished another series she did and she was so good I went looking for more read by her. This book, though slow in some places, is fun and adventurous. There are two more books in the series and they are pretty good as well.
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