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)
Glad to be part of the audible community and I hope that my reviews help to choose the right book and share my love of reading.
This book is not awful, not bad, but certainly not good - it's a stewpot. The author repeats himself a lot and uses the same analogies over and over. "like the "his tongue was too big for his mouth"... or "he had the same thought than his twin".. I got it after the first two times... twins tend to think alike. The author was influenced by Lord of the Rings and other mystical book one might have read. Not much originality, if you ask me.
I bought this book because it was on sale, I would NEVER spend a full credit or anything over $8.00 on any of the sequels. The narrator did a good job.
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.
There was too much coolness ( this book explains everything) . Vampires, old gods, historical figures, there was just too much. Once the Irish lady said she fought with Joan or Arch and she was a Vampire, I stopped reading.If you like that sort of thing this is the book for you it was not for me.
I suppose teens might like this, though expect they'd enjoy it more in a movie, to better experience the pyrotechnics and special effects. That's really all there was to it. I guess I liked Denis O'Hare's voice in the sample, and had just finished a couple of really good books featuring twins and history-based witchcraft and mythology tales. This is nothing like those. I'm embarrassed that I actually bought this, but felt it would be a public service to strongly caution other mature adults against making the same mistake.
Traveler, Reader, Political Blogger.
A very enjoyable first volume. Easy to follow, lots of action and magic set in modern times. A great book for all ages.
I was intrigued by the concept of the book and it's "is it fiction or not?" inspiring premise. I don't mind reading young adult fiction, in fact, some YA titles have been some of my favorite reads. When I finally became a reader I learned quickly that just because a book falls into the YA category doesn't mean it can't have depth and be entertaining. But this book's pacing was sooooo painfully slow I couldn't even finish it.
The writer kept having the characters go over the same plot points as a means of underscoring how amazing and fantastic the experience was. "Flamel is immortal?! But that means he must have met people..*gasp*... from history!!!" I get that characters are supposed to be stunned or experience disbelief in a sci-fi/fantasy setting, but once they've agreed to go on the adventure surely their must be more interesting things to talk about than the same shocking disbelief over and over.
The characters were flat and two dimensional and when they were put in danger, I found myself not really caring if the bad guys won or not. There was no sense or scope of tension for me as a reader to care if anyone was hurt or if the day was saved.
The narrator did a fine job. Nothing exceptionally good or bad about that aspect of the listen. I just don't think he had much to work with.
Becoming more familiar with the characters, making them more believable. Maybe a different age group.
The constant use of Nicholas Flamel. Almost every time he is mentioned, his full name is used. Its impersonal. I found myself unable to connect with the character. Also the constant reminder that the twins were twins. It does seem to be an important aspect to the story but its mentioned too often, especially between the twins themselves.
I have not listened to any other performances.
I found myself constantly disappointed.
I am a person that tries and get through 1 book a week if possible. I am Dyslexic so this is really the only way I can get through a book. I have listened to more book in a year than I read my first 20 years of my life. I found the joy of audio books in the early 2000 and have been a audible customer since 2000 or 2001. I have over 490 books in 2 different accounts and listened to 90%.
Not in my top ten but I will finish the series. Great way to look at magic in a modern world.
I am always a sucker for the good guys and this book is no different. Also already tired of the boys complaining
The book of Abraham
It is supposed to be a book for teen, but the main character are terrible role model for teen. If you are in trouble run to your suppose friend than abandon them to their death while you run with your tail between your legs.
Characters that behave dismally, I root for the antagonist and want the protagonist to be killed off. The main characters have no personal character at all.
Great performance wasted on this book.
I would cut out the main four characters and replace them with other that are more likable.
The book could be so much better if the protagonist have a redeeming character. I would not recommend this book to my worse enemy.
Books are where I can clear my head and fall into another world for a short while.
Great plot with lots to look forward to in the future books. There are many characters to remember throughout this story. I enjoyed the mix of history, mythology, and current times all rolled into one.
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 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.
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.
"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
"A lovely listen"
This book was very enjoyable. Based on the other reviews I was hoping it would make the leap from teen to adult fiction and be something I could really get excited about as an adult reader. It was a lovely laid back listen, I particularly enjoy the mix of modern and myth, bringing familiar mythological characters and concepts together but for me it was definitely teen fiction. Don't get me wrong I lined the second in the series up the moment I realised I was almost done, it's very good: but not prolific.
Also as an British listener the accent of the narrator took a little adjusting to, maybe because the last book I listened to was a British narrator. It didn't detract from the story but I had to acclimatise myself.
Great Characters, myth and legend. Narrated really well, loved listening to the is audible book
I loved this book and can't wait for the second one to come out, this is brilliant.
wonderful story line with all the twists and turns kept me listening right to the very end definitely cannot wait to listen to book 2 to see how nick and the twins and their vampire friend get out of any next catastrophe/s wonderful inventive plot beautifully narration definitely a good buy Mrs j b Williams.
"Exciting at first, but putters out"
This came highly recommended from a friend who has been reading the series and whose opinion I respect and as a result I think I was expecting a lot more. The beginning of the book grabs your attention and sets you up for an exciting ride but it just didn't sustain that level of interest the whole way through. Overall, it's a good book, but not gripping enough on first listen.
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