Katie Stew

A rich, simmering blend of my favorite things

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: Books one and two


The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

My mother asked me multiple times over a number of months if I’d read this book. She kept telling me that it was fun and I would enjoy it and I finally got around to downloading it on my phone. I am now on book three of the series in as many weeks. So that’s a good sign.
The Alchemyst centers around Nicholas Flamel, the famous alchemist who discovered the secret of immortality. When the book begins, he is working at his bookstore in San Francisco. He has a nice teenager named Josh Newman working for him and Josh’s twin sister works across the street in a coffee shop. It is a day just like any other until everything changes. Dr. John Dee arrives with a set of golems and proceeds to turn everyone’s life around. Dee is searching for the Codex, an ancient book of spells that Flamel has been the guardian of for more than half a century. A battle ensues and Flamel and the twins end up on the run with Dee holding part of the Codex and Flamel with the rest. Also in the struggle, Flamel’s wife is kidnapped by the dangerous Dee.
Josh and Sophie are immediately caught up in a world of magic and creatures beyond their wildest imaginations. Over the coarse of this first book, they meet characters from myth such as The Morrigan, Bastet, and Hekate and come to learn that they may be the pair of twins that are mentioned in the Codex as either saviors or destroyers of the planet. They learn that they may possess powers that they would have never believed.
Can they trust Flamel? Are his intentions really in their best interest? They are in the center of a battle they new nothing about between good and evil, but are they on the right side? And when the powers of one twin are awakened and not the other, will the resentment tear them apart and turn one away from the side of humanity?
These are the exciting questions that drove me directly into the second book.

The Magician: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

The second book begins in Paris. The twins, Flamel, and the Warrior, Scathach have barely escaped the clutches of Dr. Dee and his dark magic. They think that they will be able to relax and recuperate. They think that they will have time to stop and focus on the magics that Sophie has learned. They thought wrong. Dee has many friends in this world and though some are not his friends, they are at least his allies. One such ally is Machiavelli, another immortal human that is an agent of the Dark Elders. He is a very dangerous man and though he tries, he cannot capture the crew.
In this book, there are even more creatures and figures from myth and legend. We meet the legendary Joan of Arc and one of Flamel’s former students, the Comte de Saint-Germain. Creatures are unleashed across the city of Paris, swords from legend appear and are wielded with exciting results. The twins continue their journey into magic and many questions remain. Will Flamel get the Codex back in time to make his immortality elixir or will he die trying? Will the twins work together, or end up fighting against one another?
I guess I will have to find out in the third book.
Here is the thing though. These are not beautifully written books or anything. In fact, I believe they are targeted for young adults. What does that mean for an adult reader? It means that the author obviously thinks that you need to be told key plot points over and over and over, because you obviously can’t remember that the Codex is the book of Abraham the Mage and contains spells and prophesies. So, he tells you, over and over and over, along with many other bits of fact. It is kind of annoying. I wish he would give the reader more credit, but maybe he was just trying to get to a certain book length.
However, these books are very fun. I always enjoy a fun fantasy read that is filled with characters from legend and myth alongside people who really existed. So, next time you are looking for some fun, light, easy reading, think about picking up this series. I am seriously enjoying it and you might too.


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