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Publisher's Summary

He holds the secret that can end the world.

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

High Fantasty in a modern world setting

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!

32 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Children's Novel......Maybe!

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.

111 of 114 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • GH
  • Sherborn, MA, United States
  • 07-25-12

A lure to hook you on the series -- It Does!

Welcome to the world of Nicholas Flamal. This is a fitting lure to hook you into the six book series. The author uses faints and foreshadowing to keep the reader in a continual quandary of emotion and ut ohs. This work has heavy helping of fantasy mixed into the ordinary world. But a killer fantasy has to be either so over the top no one cares about the laws of what we consider real or offer fantasy with a possible life connection to the world as we know it – tenuous as it might be. Scott does the later – he paints a world of creatures, magic and legend that has threads of the distant plausible. This first book will appeal to a reader of any age. So far it's like The Hobbit meets the Traveler by John Twelve Oaks. I highly suggest you read it. I am off to the second installment.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Charles
  • Arlington, VA, United States
  • 01-06-08


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.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Love it. Buy it. Just remember - youthful direct

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

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • sarah
  • littleton, CO, United States
  • 08-25-12

sadly disappointed

What would have made The Alchemyst better?

Becoming more familiar with the characters, making them more believable. Maybe a different age group.

What was most disappointing about Michael Scott’s story?

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.

Have you listened to any of Denis O'Hare’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to any other performances.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I found myself constantly disappointed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Carl
  • West Palm Beach, FL, United States
  • 12-02-07

Fun But Predictable

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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paula
  • Sarasota, FL, United States
  • 02-18-11

An interesting tale for 10-year olds

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.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Randy
  • Marysville, CA, USA
  • 06-30-07

Chocked full of action

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.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marie
  • Arlington, TN, United States
  • 01-30-11

the alchemyst

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.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • susie w
  • 07-05-07


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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Keith
  • 07-30-08

Great story

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-08-08

Very enjoyable

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tanis
  • 07-24-07

The Alchemist

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

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Victoria Pye
  • 09-22-08

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-28-15

Loved it!!!

Great Characters, myth and legend. Narrated really well, loved listening to the is audible book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • A
  • 07-12-13

Difficult to put down

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Martine Cook
  • 06-17-08

The Alchemyst

I loved this book and can't wait for the second one to come out, this is brilliant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ZoeMbubbles
  • 01-29-15

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Annaik M
  • 09-05-16

Very good

Would you consider the audio edition of The Alchemyst to be better than the print version?

It is easier to follow the story line and keep excited by the characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It is difficult to choose a favourite character as each an everyone has his or her good sides but gets shown with characteristics that are difficult to adjust to.

Which character – as performed by Denis O'Hare – was your favourite?

If I'd have to choose Josh would be my favourite character as he was shown as the person with the most relate able features and choices.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did not listen to it in one sitting but over the course of a short time. It was easy to do that as it was not too hard to get back into the story.