Can you imagine that you are 15 years old, living with your aunt for the summer in San Francisco, and you and your twin sister have summer jobs across the street from each other? Yea, maybe you can.
Now imagine that the bookstore where you work is one day visited by four men, one with glowing eyes and the other three have eyes like stone. While you are in the cellar, searching for a book, you start smelling something that resembles rotten eggs and peppermint. The smell gets so bad that you come out of the cellar and see your boss, Nick Fleming, talking to the man with the glowing eyes. Both men are making strange motions with their hands and mist is forming and swirling about. Suddenly, the two men throw these swirling balls of mist at one another, and there is a major explosion. After more mist balls are thrown, more explosions, you and your boss escape through a hidden door behind the books. This is just what happens to Josh Newman when he and his twin sister, Sophie, get caught up in this fictional book, The Alchemyst by Michael Scot. It is a story of magic, adventure, monsters, and 676 year old immortals.
Okay, so now you can’t imagine any of this, right? How about once you and your boss escape. You see your sister, Sophie and Nick’s wife, Perry, entering the bookstore that you have just escaped from? The man with the glowing eyes calls Perry, Perenelle and tells her, he has come for “the book”. She calls the man Dee, and says that Nick and she are the guardians of the book.
Nick and Josh come running back to the bookstore. Nick removes a tiny cloth covered book from around his neck. When they get there, Dee causes another explosion and goes for the book Nick has removed from his neck. Josh sees Dee going for the book and knocks him down, but Dee is able to hang on to it. Dee rips the book from Joshes hands, grabs Perry, and departs. What the heck is going on, you asked? That’s just what the twins want to know!
Nick tells the twins that his real name is Nicholas Flamel, a 676 year old alchemyst, and the book that Dee stole was the book of Abraham the Mage. This book can give you the gift of eternal life. His wife’s real name is Perenelle Flamel, a sorceress, and Dee is Dr. John Dee, an alchemyst, magician, sorcerer, and necromancer. He is here to bring back the dark Elders and destroy the world. Whoa! What’s that you say?
Josh tells Flamel that although he tried to grab the book from Dee, he was only able to get a few pages, but apparently they were the two most important last pages of the book. Without these pages, Dee can’t awaken the dark Elders. Flamel says they will all be in danger when Dee figures out the last pages are missing, so they should go get help from a friend of his named Scathach.
Scathach, what kind of name is that? It’s the name of a vegetarian vampire!! Okay, now you’re really lost, right? Scathach is a dojo master, a fighting machine that will help protect the twins from harm. Do the twins really need protecting?
Scathach agrees to help them, and suggest they go to Hekate, The Goddess with three faces. Scathach secretly suggests to Flamel that Hekate can awaken the twin’s powers. The twins have powers?
At that moment, a mud man of Dees burst through the wall. Flamel and Scathach destroy him. The four pile up in the car of one of Scathach’s students and head to Hekates.
Do they make it to Hekates? Will Josh and Sophie every realize they have powers to be awakened? What happens to Pernelle? Will Dee destroy the world?
If you want to know the answers to the first two, read The Alchemyst! If you want to know more, read the rest of the series! This is a great book, and even greater series that encourages readers to see the magic inside of themselves.
Reviewed by Hu Poston