Wednesday, August 11, 2010

[Novel Review] The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flammel #1)

The Alchemyst (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flammel #1)
by Michael Scott
Nicholas Flamel: I am an immortal and my role is to guard an important book... which I failed to do so in this story.
Female Twin: My name is Sophie Newman. I'm the older twin and I am very protective of my overprotective brother.
Male Twin: I'm Josh Newman. I love my laptop, iPod, and cellphone. One day in a bookshop I worked in, our lives changed forever.
Dr. John Dee: Their lives have changed thanks to me, the bad guy in this novel! I'm so evil yet so awesome because I have so many talents! But since my role is to be a villain, I use all my might to make their lives as miserable as possible... no matter how many times I fail!
This book has been very engaging and it's a real page-turner for I already wanted to throw it away after reading the first chapter! It was also full of surprises; so many of what I had expected had happened! I was very shocked!

I was very thrilled with its action scenes because none of the main characters did any special moves.... even though they mentioned about attending to martial arts classes and getting a red belt in taek won do. The book has also been good with the drama, for it made the twins have as many touching moments as possible; I didn't even shed a tear.

More importantly, let's give praise to the author for being so thoughtful that he considered how forgetful readers are. I could no longer remember how many times it was mentioned on how much the lives of the twins have changed, how much they don't want to believe it yet they couldn't help it because of what's going on, and also in how much danger they're currently involved in. We are also constantly being reminded of how old the Alchemyst and his wife are. And of course, we are also being frequently reminded of the little things like the profession of the twins' parents. Thanks to that I had become sooooo aware that their parents are archaeologists, and thanks to them, the twins know stuff related to myths and legends. They're so knowledgeable about these things that they need to research about it through Google or hear the explanations or descriptions from the other characters. It looks like they do know these myths and legends really well!

Speaking of the twins, they are so multi-dimensional that even after I've finished the first book, I still don't know them very well! What I'm certain of is that they've been together since forever and no plans of changing that. I also often notice about their annoyance in being treated as kids in the book, even if they really are. They sure have shown the great qualities of teenagers nowadays!

And oh, because they're the main characters of this story, naturally they're very very special. They are prophesized to be the ones who can save or destroy the world.... and of course their abilities are rare and the most powerful ones.... even against the gods! And even if the other characters have more experience.... and no matter how many victories the other characters have bragged about.... in the end, the twins are still the ones who save the day! And yes, even if they're still amateurs and ignorant! Aren't they incredible?!



I'm so disappointed. This book had so much potential! How the author had managed to connect mythology, legends, and history was beautiful! I believe the author should be complimented for the research done for this book. They were real people connected to "fictitious" events yet they make sense! It was really remarkable!

However, they were placed in a horribly cliche-rich story centering on typical leading characters. What's supposed to stand out didn't stand out! No thanks to that, the story became annoyingly dull. It was very PAINFUL to read.

The book has interesting ideas and a nice selection of the cast.... but they were placed in the wrong story. I think the author made a mistake for oversimplifying things and trying to please the teenage audience as much as possible. It may have worked for some, but it made me lose my faith in him. What a waste!

I think this would've been better if Flamel was the main character. His life in those earlier years seem more interesting. If not Flamel, Dee would do. He's the one who was originally planned to be the main character in the first place. I wish he didn't change his mind. It would have been more intriguing to read about Dee's story... a great character who succumbed to the dark side afterwards. That might not sell though. Most good stories don't sell. *sigh*

On the bright side, I find the cover of the book very tantalizing and enchanting. The material is also of very good quality (doesn't smell bad either). It was pretty affordable too (or maybe it's because the actual worth of the book would be much less if it weren't for the pretty publication?). Hopefully I'll be able to see good books (that are unlike The Alchemyst) from Delacorte Books some day.

Sadly, this book hadn't been good enough to make me wish for more. I'm so relieved that I didn't decide to purchase its sequel. It certainly saved me from a terrible headache.

C- (SO-SO! Very average and typical whatever!)
It really wasn't that horrible but it had so much potential. It's such a waste.
2.5 Hearts ---> NEUTRAL
It was disappointing, but I don't really hate it... can't say I like it either though.

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