The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

13 Jun

Previously posted at Mrs. Archer’s Book Notes.


The Alchemyst

Book One in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel seriesMichael Scott's signatureMr. Scott signing a copy of The Alchemyst that I will give away during Children's Book Week next May.


The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flammel by Michael Scott has been called the next “Harry Potter” series.  I must agree.  It’s a fabulous series.  Even though the twins (Sophie and Josh) are 16 in the books, I think even younger readers (4th and 5th grade) will enjoy this series as much as Harry Potter.

There are to be six books in the series. Book number five The Warlock was just released in May. I had the great privilege of attending a book signing with Michael Scott at the Tattered Cover Book Store in Highland’s Ranch, Colorado.  Mr. Scott is a fantastic speaker.  My husband, my youngest son and myself were engaged from the first word. (Ok, I have to admit that his wonderful accent was a big part of the attraction, but WHAT he said was also very interesting.)

I’m behind on my blogging and it’s been a few weeks since the signing. Also, I was negligent and didn’t take anything with which to take notes.   Here are the top things I remember: He was a bookseller before he became a full time author. He’s written over 100 books. He spent years (10 perhaps?) doing extensive research before he began writing this series.  Sophie and Josh are the only two characters in this series that are complete inventions of his imagination.  The rest are either real people from history or from mythology.

If I win the lottery, I will see if I can pay to have him do a school visit.  Wonder if he Skypes?

Titles in the series so far:

The Alchemyst

The Magician

The Sorceress

The Necromancer

The Warlock

The Enchantress (not yet published)

Story summary:  The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel is the story of Sophie and Josh Newman who are the “twins of prophecy.”  The twins, unaware of their extraordinary destiny, take summer jobs (Sophie in a coffee shop, Josh in a bookstore).  Their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of  Dr. John Dee at the bookstore.  A battle between the owner, Nick Flemming (Nicholas Flamel) and Dr. Dee ensues. In the melee Dee manages to still an ancient book, The Book of Abraham (aka the Codex), though Josh manages to snatch two very important pages.  Thus begins Josh’s and Sophie’s epic adventure (along with Flamel and his wife Perenelle) with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Throughout their adventures the twins meet various figures from history/mythology: Scathach, Joan of Arc, Shakespeare, Odin, Niccolo Machiavelli, Billy the Kid, and the Comte de Saint-Germain, to name just a few.

What I like (make that LOVE) about this series:  The historical connections! I love historical fiction.  I’m also a firm believer that reading about historical figures in well written fiction, encourages young reader to learn more about those figures. (If I’m wrong, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.)  The pacing of this series is wonderful.  I always feel as though I’m just on the edge of my seat. It is truly a page turner of a series. The detail – it’s obvious that Scott has done extensive research.

What I don’t like about this series: This is another series that I find it hard to find something I don’t like.  If pressed I will admit that all the action/details can be a little overwhelming.  Really it’s not a problem when you are reading the book (you can always flip back and check on something), but it can be a little frustrating if you are listening to the books on audio.  When I first discovered this series I was commuting an hour one way to work each day.  I found I much preferred listening to audio books than the radio. Though I truly enjoyed the audio versions, I highly recommend that you actually READ this series. It’s not as easy to get distracted while reading as it is listening while driving (after all when driving you should be concentrating on the road and the traffic) and if you miss or forget something you can quickly look it up.

I highly recommend this series for fans of both fantasy and historical fiction.  In fact, I think I might like this series more than the Harry Potter series, and I love Harry.  It is certainly a big hit at the Archer household, where my husband, oldest son and I vie to see who gets to read the new book first.  (After the book signing, my youngest son – who is generally too busy to sit down long enough to read a book this size – asked if he could borrow my copy of The Alchemyst.) This series will be at the top of my book talk list in the library next year.

Recommended for 5th Grade and up (though some advanced 4th grade readers might enjoy it as well.)

Mrs. Archer’s rating: 5 of 5!!!




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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


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