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 Alchemyst 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.
So, a couple weeks ago in the car on a ski/snowboard trip to Whistler, BC Canada, I looked up Michael Scott to see if this was the book I was thinking about. I clicked on images so I could see the cover and what came up was a ton of pictures of Steve Carell from the Office. And this:
Personally, I love Steve Carell as an actor. And this was hilarious to me. I was laughing for a whole forty seconds. (Which is actually pretty long for a laugh). This picture pretty much sums up my feelings for this book though, except in a different way. I am afraid of this book and I love it.
First off, the kids were annoying. Sophie and Josh were bratty and didn’t understand the situation. I felt like choking Josh sometimes. His density and nativity squandered some of the important moments in the story. I was disappointed that the characters had to ruin those moments, because those were the moments in the book that would’ve really impressed me. There were also parts to the story that I hated, because of the plot of Sophie and Josh saying something wickedly smart and extremely intelligent and then do some really, really DUMB things. It’s like one second they understand and the next second they’re fed up with the situation that they don’t really know if they understand.
Just think of some of Gordon Korman’s work. Gordon Korman is able to reference to modern day devices, phones, events that are really going on and make it work. There are many talented authors that can make you feel like you’re living in history with the scenes and backdrops of books that you read about. I think Michael Scott was bordering on the edge of something dangerous by referencing back to history and current-day stuff so much. I just had this chagrin in the back of my mind as I read the story, kind of waiting to see what Michael Scott would do. I was glad that it worked though, and I breathed a sigh of relief when it did. I was happy in the end, even though I felt like he was going to mess it up the entire way through. It was more relaxing to read the second time around. On the second time, I felt like those events made Michael Scott’s story more immediate, relatable and believable, which I really appreciated.
The magic in this story was really interesting, connected with the five senses and all that. Michael Scott did a great job of coming up with some original magic that I could bounce back ideas with as I read the book. I love books that inspire me.
If I could change one thing about this story, it would definitely be the characters. I would’ve liked to see Josh and Sophie grow more as people throughout the series. It’s weird that they don’t fight in the beginning. That works for some people, if you can come up with a good enough reason for why they don’t fight. Maybe one sibling is a pacifist. Maybe one is a Gandhi-in-training. Maybe they were both part of some freak accident and no longer have no one to turn to but each other. I don’t know, I’ve seen all kinds of books that made it work and all kinds of books where the theme was the broken relationship between siblings or a family. If Josh and Sophie had argued, it would have opened up all kinds of possibilities for the two of them to go and grow, adding onto the fact that it would’ve seemed more realistic.
3.5 stars. Like the books in the later series better. Recommended for tweens girls and boys.
pg count for the hardcover: 375
Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
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