The Alchemyst by Michael Scott Book Review

The AlchemystTHE ALCHEMYST by Michael Scott Book Review
Series: The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1
Publication Date: May 22nd 2007 by Delacorte Press
Rating: – Acceptable

Book Summary: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on 28 September 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 and Nicholas Flamel lives. 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. And 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.

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott Book Review Overview:

  • Unrelatable and forgettable main characters
  • Secondary characters like Nicholas Flamel, and his wife, Perenelle, were more interesting
  • Awesome blend of different mythologies and alchemy

When I hear the name, Nicholas Flamel, I immediately think of the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter. The name has popped up in other places throughout the years, but I never really gave it much thought. I was reintroduced to Nicholas Flamel in THE ALCHEMYST by Michael Scott and quickly found out that Flamel was actually a real historical figure.

One of the biggest issues I had with THE ALCHEMYST by Michael Scott is the fact that the main characters, Sophie and Josh, were unrelatable. I found their characters to be flat and under-developed. I know that this is the first book in the series, and I imagine that Scott will use the rest of the books to develop their characters. But to me, it’s always important that I create a connection to the characters in the first book. Unrelatable or forgettable characters is probably the top reason why I end up not continuing with a series.

I ended up finding the secondary characters such as Nicholas and Perenell Flamel  to be more interesting than Sophie and Josh. Because of my limited knowledge about Nicholas Flamel and his wife, I was really excited to learn that they had been actual figures in history. Scott provides readers, like me, with lots of background information. He manages to successfully weave Flamel’s history and myth into the plot. Sometimes, it does feel like the long paragraphs of information disrupts the flow of the plot. However, I enjoyed learning so much about Nicholas and Perenelle that I didn’t mind it as much as I usually would have.

Additionally, Scott seamlessly blends a combination of figures from different myths into his novel. If I had not done a little bit of research into the characters, I wouldn’t have guessed that they were from Egyptian, Norse, Celtic, and Greek mythologies. Scott adapts these mythological figures into his novel and transforms them into quite memorable characters. I quite enjoyed the combination of mythology and alchemy in THE ALCHEMYST.

Despite enjoying some aspects of THE ALCHEMYST by Michael Scott, my inability to relate to Sophie and Josh dissuade me from reading the rest of the series.I can’t embark on an epic quest with characters I don’t really care about.


  1. I agree, Josh and Sophie are forgettable main characters. So much so that their names escaped me until I read your post. I loved all of the secondary characters though and the author’s ability to weave together all of the myths coherently, which is why I ended up buying book two. I’m willing to look past Josh and Sophie because the rest of the cast is engaging enough. Book two will be the deciding factor in continuing the story though. If Josh and Sophie don’t shape up, I can’t see myself investing in the remaining books. It’s kind of a long series.

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