November 7, 2011

Review : The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

Title : The Alchemyst
Author : Michael Scott
Reading Dates : 18 Sep - 23 Sep 2011
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

From Amazon :
Grade 6-9–Scott uses a gigantic canvas for this riveting fantasy. The well-worn theme of saving the world from the forces of evil gets a fresh look here as he incorporates ancient myth and legend and sets it firmly, pitch-perfect, in present-day California. At the emotional center of the tale are contemporary 15-year-old twins, Josh and Sophie, who, it turns out, are potentially powerful magicians. They are spoken of in a prophecy appearing in the ancient Book of Abraham the Mage, all but two pages of which have been stolen by evil John Dee, alchemist and magician. The pursuit of the twins and Flamel by Dee and his allies to get the missing pages constitutes the book's central plot. Amid all this exhilarating action, Scott keeps his sights on the small details of character and dialogue and provides evocative descriptions of people, mythical beings, and places. He uses as his starting point the figures of the historical alchemist Nicholas Flamel and his wife, who have found the secret of immortality, along with mythical beings, including the terrifying Scottish crow-goddess, the Morrigan; the three-faced Greek Hekate; the powerful Egyptian cat-goddess, Bastet; and Scathach, a legendary Irish woman warrior and vegetarian vampire. While there is plenty here to send readers rushing to their encyclopedias of mythology and alchemy, those who read the book at face value will simply be caught up in the enthralling story. A fabulous read.–Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City

Book Review of The Alchemyst.

I didn’t dislike The Alchemyst but I didn’t love it either.

What I enjoyed in The Alchemyst was the way the author mixes up so many different mythologies and historical facts into his world. This is a favourite theme of mine and it is always interesting to read an alternate retelling of the past which could be believable. Unfortunately aside from this, there wasn’t much to recommend The Alchemyst to me.

The pacing isn’t what I’d describe as fast. It should be, since so many things happen in the space of 2 days. And yet, it doesn’t feel action packed. Instead, it felt more like there were more than 24 hours in a day in Michael Scott’s world.

The storyline and characters too was rather predictable. There were hardly any unexpected twists or interesting characters in the tale.

In the end, The Alchemyst was an okay read but nothing to shout about. I do hope that the next books in the series are better.

My conclusions :

  • Would I re-read the book ? Not really.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series ? Only because I already have the next 2 books in hand.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? No.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Fantasy readers or anyone who likes mythologies.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

Read another review on the book by :

Books alluded to :

1 comment:

  1. It alluded to some great books which makes it even more disappointing is didn't grab your attention


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