November 9, 2011

Review : The Magician by Michael Scott

Title : The Magician
Author : Michael Scott
Reading Dates : 24 Sep - 30 Sep 2011
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

From Amazon :
Grade 6–9—Flamel and company return in this fast-paced follow-up to The Alchemyst (Delacorte, 2007). The immortal human Nicholas Flamel; Scathach, the veggie vampire warrior; and the mortal twins of legend, Josh and Sophie, are still on the run from the malicious Dr. John Dee. Flamel retains two of the pages of the legendary Book of Abraham, and Dee will do anything to get them. After hopping a ley line to Paris, our heroes barely escape the machinations of Dee's partner in crime, Niccolò Machiavelli. While finding shelter with fellow immortals (Joan of Arc turns out to be a particularly helpful ally), Josh attempts to deal with the fact that his twin sister is now incredibly powerful. Having had her powers "awakened," Sophie's new abilities make him surprisingly jealous—a fact that Dee may find useful. Scott tapers down the sheer breadth of gods, goddesses, legends, and myths already introduced in his first novel, which is a bit of a relief. Even though the plot moves forward at breakneck speed, the author is careful not to lose sight of his characters' struggles or inner demons. Fans of the previous novel will certainly find much to love, root for, and fear in this successful second installment.—Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library.

Book Review of The Magician.

After the first few chapters, I started to despair that The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel was a series I should never have picked up. The world building is intriguing but there didn’t seem to be much else recommending it. Thankfully, the later part of the book does make up for this.

The improvement here is due to the fact that the story finally progresses, instead of repeatedly hinting at what was coming. While many things supposedly occurs in The Alchemyst and in the first half of The Magician, these events seem to be just more repetition of what we readers already know. It would probably have helped the pacing if the tale was further condensed.

The other reason is that I finally came across a character which is actually interesting to read about. Unfortunately, the character I found intriguing happens to be on the side of the villains. It isn’t that I’m now suddenly rooting for the bad guys to win because of Machiavelli, rather it is his existence in the tale which makes certain possibilities more believable. I mean here’s an antagonist who actually cares about his allies and has a care about the methods he employs to achieve his aims. It certainly makes me wonder if Sophie and Josh has chosen the right side.

With that, I’m now actually looking forward to reading the third book, The Sorceress.

My conclusions :

  • Would I re-read the book ? Maybe.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series ? Yes.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Not really.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Young adult fantasy readers.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it. It is interesting but not something I'd want to re-read often.

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