Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Review: The Alchemyst

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Famel #1)The Alchemyst
Michael Scott
Middle grade fantasy

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.

Talk about a book that sat in my TBR for YEARS. Honestly, I'm preening with satisfaction that I've finished it, finally. 

Overall? For such a loved series it was freaking DISAPPOINTING. Like if I were able to not finish books, this one would have been ditched a quarter way in. It was such a struggle.

At about 3/4 in it became mildly more interesting, but not enough that you should push yourself throught 250 pages. I will say that this sells at the bookshop I work at to a lot of middle grade boys, so I guess the book isn't terrible- it may just not have any crossover appeal. 

Sophie and Josh were cute, likeable enough main characters, except that there was nothing remotely remarkable about them or their story to draw you in and differentiate The Alchemyst from other MG stories. Also, this novel was SORELY missing a funny character (there was what I think was an attempt at this with the character of Scathach, but it failed...). What kind of kids' book doesn't have humor?? The whole read was just dry without this.

Nicholas Flamel was ALL OVER THE PLACE. I honestly couldn't tell if I was supposed to like him or not. He was inconsistent in all his qualities. Also, I totally felt that he dragged the kids into this for no good reason. Prophecy shmophecy. You didn't know about that yet.

All the different elements in the book just did not come together smoothly. It almost felt like the writer was TRYING to drag everything out. We have no idea what anyone can do until conveniently something weird and unexplained happens so they get to use it. Nobody had any real motives - it felt like they were all hanging around the action because they were bored. There were no real stakes. Sure, Perenelle was captured - but they weren't doing anything to her and didn't seem to bother. Another thing done without any real reason. 

I could probably gripe on and on, but I'll just say that after the age of 11, don't bother with this. The Kane Chronicles did it better. Rating:


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