Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

Loved, loved, loved these!
This is the way I started my summer this year. My old favorites - YA fantasy! And these did not disappoint. Well, actually they did only because there is one more book in the series due out next year. A whole year!!!

Anyway, I am ahead of myself. For those of you who are Harry Potter fans - in the first Harry Potter book the Sorcerer's Stone is owned and hidden by Nicholas Flamel. A man who was an alchemyst and discovered the secret of immortality via the stone. At least that was the story in Harry's world. Well, it turns out there was a real alchemyst named Nicholas Flamel. He really lived! Is that cool or what. This is how he is described on Michael Scott's official website Michael Scott

Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel both existed. Nicholas was
born in France in 1330, and not only do his diaries and writings
exist, his house at 51 rue de Montmorency still stands in
Paris today.

In his diaries he writes extensively about discovering the
Book of Abraham, and his long quest to translate it. He claims
he discovered the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone – how
to turn base metal into gold – and also the secret of eternal

From being a poor bookseller, he became extraordinarily
wealthy and founded schools, churches and hospitals in Paris.
In recognition for his charitable works, there are two
streets named after him and Perenelle.

He lived simply and when he died in 1418, his tomb was broken
into by thieves looking for his vast wealth.

His tomb – and that of Perenelle – were both

In the centuries that followed, there were several sightings
of Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel across Europe.

I think that is my very favorite part of this whole series. It started with a real person. Then Scott does a Percy Jackson thing and uses real characters and mythological beasts.

So - let me start at the beginning. The story if of twins - Josh and Sophie. Josh works in a bookstore for the summer and Sophie works across the street in a coffee shop as their archeologist parents are away on a dig. One morning Sophie watches a car pull up in front of the store and has a bad feeling...the evil Dr. John Dee - attacks the bookshop to steal the Book Of Abraham which provides immortality to Flamel and his wife Perenelle. Josh is able to rip out the last few pages of the book before Pernelle is kidnapped along with the book.

That is the beginning. From here Sophie and Josh witness the downfall of ancient worlds and legendary leaders as Dee tries to return the world to the Elders. Through the process Sophie buys into the flawed process of saving the world that the Flamels have embarked on via a bit of a prophesy- rescuing twins and giving them ultimate power to defeat the Elders only to have them die in the process. But, Josh questions the real motives of the Flamels and eventually sides with Dee.

There are many twists and turns and the fate of the world rests on the understandings and decisions of a pair of teenagers. But, I really liked them. I especially liked Pernelle - an amazing sorceress and an equally wise woman. The love between Pernelle and Nicholas is so sweet - made even sweeter because the lack of the Book of Abraham is causing their accelerated death. The death of an immortal is not an easy thing!

I can't wait for the final book! And I do have to wait - until next summer!

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