The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Book review by Aejay Tapang
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS OF THESE BOOKS. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ THESE SPOILERS, ONLY READ THE BROWN TEXT.
Author: Michael Scott
Book/Series: The Alchemyst, part of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel series (The Alchemyst, The Magician, The Sorceress, The Necromancer, The Warlock, The Enchantress)
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Fantasy, Mythology
Audience: Young Adult
The Alchemyst is a fantasy/mythology thriller book, which is the first installment of the six-part series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel. The story evolves around two twins, Josh and Sophie, who seem to be normal teenagers – that is, until they find the bookstore Josh worked in to be completely trashed by a small man named Dee and his three magically-created companions. From then on, their lives were changed. They ventured on with Nicolas Flamel, the owner of the now-destroyed bookstore, and recollected their thoughts on world they thought they knew. Dee, working to bring back the Dark Elders and rule the world, was striving to retrieve the entire Codex, a book of powerful knowledge and spells created by Abraham the Mage. Nicolas and the twins were doing everything they could to protect the last two pages Dee did not manage to get for the sake of the world. At the same time, Nicolas was protecting the twins themselves, for he recognized them as the legendary twins that will decide the fate of the world.
ezgaming420 says: This book alone is awesome so far. There are so many positive things about it that I could say the list is endless. There are a few criticisms that i have about it, but overall, it’s one of the best first installments to a series, especially one with 6 books. One of the few others I’ve seen like this was Harry Potter. The Alchemyst forms a lot of build-up on character development, side plots, setting, suspense, etc. It doesn’t introduce too many characters that it’s impossible to keep track of, but enough characters that have an importance to the story. Every chapter holds a surprise, and always keeps the reader wondering the true identity of Nicolas and Dee, as well as their true motives. Many of the side plots aren’t major off-tracks from the main conflict, but instead contribute to its development. The settings, too, have an affect on the general story. Michael Scott is very clever with the way he uses vocabulary and description, making details with seemingly no importance to the story be one of the most crucial things the reader should have looked out for. As the story continues, so does the characters’ behaviors. As the story reaches the end, Josh starts to disapprove of Nicolas’s actions, and does not fully put his trust into him. It suggests a possible betrayal from Josh. Every time I set up a certain reading limit when holding this book, I never want to stop reading it. The book even foreshadows possible events in the upcoming books.
There are still some things that I do not fully appreciate in the book. The book introduces some seemingly important characters, but after a few chapters, they are killed or left behind, as if they only played a role for mere minutes. The book wants you to think these characters are very major in story development, but it always rotates back to Nicolas and the twins. Even in book 2, which I am finishing in terms of reading, the group’s warrior ally Scathach is separated from the group and expresses her possible absence in book 3. This is probably a good story element, but it sometimes annoys me. Plus, the author is trying to develop 3 stories at once from different people, which will eventually wrap together at the end of the series, but gets somewhat confusing when there are three different events being told at once. However, these negative aspects of the book aren’t very major, just mostly my opinion. In total, it doesn’t extremely affect my opinion of the whole premise of the book.
FINAL RATING: 96%
Croak by Gina Damico
Review Author: Brilyan Kof
Croak by Gina Damico is about a 17 year old girl named Lex. In the book, Lex is a trouble maker at school unlike her twin sister, Cordy. After being sent to the principal’s office for the tenth time, reforming her straight A student reputation, she was sent to her uncle’s farm to change for the better. After arriving on the farm, courtesy of her uncle Mort, she finds out that her uncle is a killer. He works for the afterlife as a reaper. Since learning about her uncle’s occupation, Lex decides to join uncle Mort as a reaper. Her partner is a Culler, someone who collects the souls after the reaper has killed them. In a short while, Lex gets used to being a reaper and makes new friends. While reaping, she learns that there are people dying before their time, Lex investigates and finds that it is Zara, a veteran Culler. She has been preeminently collecting the souls of criminals that have gotten away with their crimes. Let me stop there, if I told you what happened next, it would spoil the ending. Overall, you should read this book because its a great read and it will leave you in suspense.