The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest alchemist 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.
©2007 Michael Scott; (P)2007 Random House Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
"Proceeding at a breakneck pace, and populated by the likes of werewolves and vampires, the novel ends on a precipice, presumably to be picked up in volume two." (Publishers Weekly)
Harry Potter fans would like this book, I think. There's the magic of Potter, but most of it takes place in present day California. Lots of action mixed with a mystery about the past. The narrator's ability to create different voices is amazing!
I thought this sounded like a great book since I am into fantasy and mythology like Lord of the Rings and Eragon. Not that I would compare this book to any of those titles but when I heard "Welcome to Audible Kids" when I started the book on my MP3 player I may have blushed just slightly (I'm 49). Turns out the book is fantastic and so is the reader. I like to think I am of above average intelligence and this book entertained me and left me wanting more and just did not seem at all to be a children's novel. It is rare that a writer can write something that appeals to old and young alike but that is what you will find here. I love the characters and the voices are handled nicely by the narrator. I highly recommend it and the two that follow it as well.
Somewhat typical messaiahs to save the world from evil theme but with some original characters, some imaginative villians, and page turner action. Fun but nothing that feels really new or to original.
This series may or may not be intended for teenagers or the youth. It is a nice fun series. I am a seriously avid reader, and finish a novel per week. I picked up the first book in the series for my daughter. I ran out of books and picked it up. I have read all of them now. They are fun.
The series has characters that are well wrritten and believable. The goals and problems are very truthful. Michael Scott has to have or had a few teenagers because he has them down pretty well in the books.
Now don't think you are about to read a literary masterpiece but the stories have heart, soul, well planned themes and flow, and realistic well described characters. I love a good book and these are just that. GOOD BOOKS
I could have rated it as a 4 if they had mentioned the book was written for 10-year olds. It was just too silly/childish for me to enjoy. However I do enjoy books like Harry Potter, CS Lewis's Narnia adventures, Eragon, and L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack series, so I am not a young-adult-fiction snob. So out of loyalty to my fellow Audible book listeners I felt inclined to warn you of my assessment of this book's intended audience.
I enjoyed the book, but felt that it was geared more toward a younger reader (young adult/teenager). Perhaps that's because two of the major characters are themselves teenagers. I greatly preferred the George RR Martin "Song of Ice and Fire" series - which is definitely geared to adults, and I've preferred (so far) the John Twelve Hawkes "Traveler" series. The Alchemyst reads too much like a fairy tale (so far). I do plan to listen to the next one to see if my opinion changes.
Wonderfully written. The combination of historical and mythical features is entertaining. Highly recommend Percy Jackson Fans looking for a new series.
Really interesting take on magic and reality. If you like Harry Potter this is a good choice. I found it very entertaining and was glad when Audible got the sequel!
I will leave the problems with character development to other reviewers. The book reads like a first draft, cynically published in this unpolished form with badly conceived main characters (the twins) to sell to the huge YA market.
The writer could not bother to keep track of his own writing. Redundant vocabulary is common. He uses the word "countless" several times in a short passage, his favorite lazy word for great quantity. He often employs "countless" for things readily counted (the number of gargoyles on Notre Dame, for example).
Even a magical otherworld must have some internal logic, but the author has lazy inconsistencies. Such as the description of Yggdrassil, when we are first introduced to the world tree, compared to what happens to it later, indicating an absurd change in size.
I hope the author uses a thesaurus, and a good editor, in the future.
This book has you on the move from the first page, and doesn't stop to the last page. Michael Scott, Keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole book. And when you're driving, that's not a bad thing. I'd recommend this book to anyone of any age. I await more audible books from this author.
The Alchemyst looks to be the start of a series to rival Harry Potter. The main character the famous Nicholas Flamel is one of those characters who just has to be good. You know he will come through in the end but what a page-turner. Can?t wait for the next book to go audible.
"I loved this audiobook"
As a thirty something, I have just discovered the joys of fiction that bridges both adults and teens. The alchemist is an excellent example. Although about two teenagers, it had me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next chapter. Comes highly recommended. I've just downloaded the next book.
This is a spell binding book. It had both my 10y old son and myself enthralled from beginging to end. Next book soon PLEASE PLEASE
I have not listened to The Alchemyst yet, however both my children have listened to it over and over again. They also ordered me to get the follow up books as soon as humanly possible. Therefore this is a major hit with them, and I can therefore recommend it on that basis.
I loved this book and can't wait for the second one to come out, this is brilliant.
This is a good story so far. For those who like Harry Potter this will suit well. This is obviously the first book of a series, though I didn't know that when I started it. Will definitely get the second in the series when it comes out in May 08.
"Enjoyable fantasy story for older children"
Fast paced throughout, and a complete fantasy world that took me away from the mundane for a while!
This obviously revolves around Nicholas Flamel, who JK Rowling also mentions in Harry Potter - these books are not linked in any way as Nicholas Flamel is a real person that both authors have decided to concoct a story around. Whilst this book is fantasy/witches/wizards etc I would say it was for older than the first 3 or 4 Harry Potter's, equally I am in my 30's and enjoyed it! It's easy reading at a good pace with a good plot, I'd recommend it!
"Difficult to put down"
I was researching books to read to my daughter as a follow-up to Harry Potter and found the Alchemyst... Really like the mix of ancient and modern, mythology and history, and regularly found myself looking up characters on the internet. The pace of the book is good and I found Denis O'Hare very easy to listen to. The use of different voices for each character makes it easy to keep a grip on the story.
I have since listened to the whole series and thoroughly enjoyed it. And will definitely buy the paper versions to read to my daughter.
I finished the last book in the series about a year ago, but still have flashbacks to the stories.
This book has it's pros and cons just like any other book. What I liked about it is the magic and the tone of familiarity which resonated with me. This book is chuck full of mythologies and other known and historical fantastical elements. And since they are already known they make a connection with the reader as soon as they are mentioned. This made the book easy to get into. Having said that, it took me sometime to get over the mundane-ness of the first chapter or so. This book did not start with a high note, so to speak. The mundane start, I guess, is the other side of the familiarity. It was so mundane though that after two sentences or so I unconsciously put the book down to do something else and only realised that I wasn't reading anymore after a few minutes of not reading anymore. And it kept on like that, me putting it down again and again, until I bought the audiobook version. I listen to it on my way to work and on my way home until I finally finished the book. That is how I cheat into finishing a book, by the way. In the end, it wasn't bad. It was only a truggle at the beginning, then the book ran on an even tempo. What I didn't like was the small tendencies of some characters to act stupid. But thank god, none of them is ever out and out too stupid to live (TSTL)! It is pretty obvious that the character acting stupid who is otherwise wise, practical and with very good self-preservation instincts, is the author's attempt to create a situation in the story so that the heroes/heroines could save the world. Unimpressive plot development. Another thing which did not endear this book to me is the cliffhanger ending. So my advice to those thinking of reading this book, is to have all books in this series handy before starting so that you can dive straight into the next book as soon as you hit the cliffhanger ending.
"Dull, simplistic, badly written and dull dull dull"
the author throws in the high gears immediately, sparing no mythology in this hotch-podge book that makes little sense and in which I didn't find a single character that I cared about.
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