Thursday, December 10, 2009

the alchemyst

So my son and I have been cranking through some books together. The latest was The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, by Michael Scott. I guess you could say we're on a fantasy kick. We started out reading the Harry Potter series, then read The Lord of the Rings, which we started with The Hobbit. When we finished, he asked me to read The Silmarillion.

So okay, he's hooked. And he's hard-core.

So then we read The Chronicles of Narnia, and when we finished that he was looking for a follow-up. He was very specific: it needed to have multiple books, be fantasy based, and be good. So its back to the living room library. He says no to The Summer Tree, Eragon, and Artemis Fowl. The first two series I read, and I thought they were good. I didn't read Artemis Fowl. So we tried The Alchemyst, and its pretty good.

First things first: this is not the Nicolas Flamel mentioned as a minor character in the Harry Potter books. Both JK Rowling and Michael Scott have had their way with this real person from the 1300s, but The Alchemyst isn't a spin-off of Harry Potter.

The story was fun, fast moving, and pulled in lots of myths and legends. Which have been updated for today's savvy young reader. Reinventing mythology is dear to my own heart, and I've dabbled in it myself with poetry. So readers will recognize characters and it was delightful how they were woven into this story. Scott's writing is easy to read, and rarely were we able to read just a single chapter before bed. I've just picked up the next book, The Magician, which we just started. So far so good!


  1. Wow. Will you be my Dad? Try Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. The second and third in particular are interestingly inflamitory!

  2. Yeah! Read that, but I don't recall if I read that myself, or to my daughter. Pullman's answer to the Chronicles of Narnia, right? The god of self. Thanks for writing! -Philo


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