Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1
Source: bought paperback
Publication Date: August 5th 2010
Age Genre: MG-YA
The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly seven hundred 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.
A part of me really wants to viciously rate this book one star, despite knowing how unfair that would be considering I only got to page 77 before calling it quits. And in all honesty, I know that would also be irrational because it's not like I can truly say this book is horrible.
It's just that I... I... I'm completely baffled. Why is this so popular? so loved? Why have most of my friends marked this three or higher? WHAT AM I MISSING, dammit?
I went into this expecting an awesome Riordan-ish adventure featuring the infinitely awesome Nicholas Flamel. What I got instead was just... one big mess.
Let's start with the names - what's up with this book's tendency to call its character by their full names, all the time? Well, you're right. Not all the time. Occasionally it would use only the first name and you'd relax for a minute thinking it had finally stopped, but then it's back again to Josh Newman that, and Nicholas Flamel this, or Sophie Newman there...
We will not forget their last name that easily, Scott. Even if we did, they don't really matter that much. So you can relax and just call them by their first name. Especially considering that's a literature tactic to bring readers closer to the characters, while last names tend to do the opposite...
Speaking of all the above characters - I really couldn't discern any personality in them. I get it that maybe that would develop farther into the book, but I would like to point out that both Harry Potter and Percy Jackson were very clear, distinct characters by... well, by the end of the first chapter really. They kept developing throughout their stories, no doubt, but you already recognized them. That... was not the case here.
And the repetition! OMG, how much repetition can you have in seventy seven page!? I've heard they're twins more times than I can count. I heard that Nicholas is THE Alchemyst. I've seen scenes repeat from different povs without any additional info... enough is enough already.
And then there was the "action". The quotation marks are to indicate how I did not find it exciting. At all. Like, I was drifting away while there were fighting with Golems and rats and making floorboards into trees. That was the moment I decided to give up on this, really. If it couldn't peek my interest with that, there's really no hope for this book and I.
And, honestly, I have so many books to read that I've long gave up on forcing myself through mediocre, passable books that fail to grab me.
Especially ones where the writing fails to impress me on every possible level:
"The rats meanwhile raced toward the open door at the end of the corridor. Most of them survived the scything blades..."anyone else finds this paragraph completely awkward and clumsy, or is it just me?... (that is the whole paragraph by the way. Including the three dots).
Maybe this is my fault, maybe I should've read this a few years ago. God knows I was less picky back then...