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The Enchantress

I received my copy as an ARC from the publisher.

By: Michael Scott

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series

The end play has begun. Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel are close to death but they are prepared for this last stand. They will not let San Francisco be overrun by monsters. They do not stand alone, allies and previous enemies, gods and immortals, stand side by side. The Flamels, Machiavelli, Black Hake, Billy the Kid, Odin, Mars, Prometheus and Niten have their part to play in the mortal realm. John Dee, Virginia Dare and the twins, Sophie and Josh, have disappeared and are back at the end of Danu Talis, the city has to fall and they all have a part to play, though not necessarily the part they thought they would have. Everything in their lives has led them to this point. One twin to save the world, one to destroy it. The twins are not alone but the final choice is theirs to make.

I was very much looking forward to this book and it didn’t disappoint. The pace is fast and there is plenty of action, monsters, heroism and redemption. Sophie and Josh reunite, standing together where they were a little apart. Here in this moment, no matter what Isis and Osiris say, Josh and Sophie get to choose, they will not be led meekly to the end. The twins have had their ups and downs in this journey through awakening to mastering their gifts. They didn’t always agree but they stand strongly together at the end. Josh’s journey is perhaps the hardest, he has struggled the most with jealousy and finding a place to fit, Sophie remained more firm, but Josh needed to take the path he did. He needed to have questioned, he needed to choose and hear the advice he did in order find himself in the position he does. He is ready to decide. Sophie’s journey may have been a bit steadier but she provides a grounding for Josh, she is there for him no matter what and it is her determination not to let him go that allowed them to be where they needed to be, standing together.

The twins are never alone and the story of the Flamels and other immortals are equally interesting. I still love the fact that Shakespeare, John Dee, Machiavelli, and Joan of Arc are all participants in this story (as well as others). Scathach is a wonderful character and remains one of my favourites.

Scott has taken many strands and woven them together masterfully. The texture of this story is intricate, entertaining and an absolute pleasure to read. Somehow mixing so many characters and mythologies doesn’t get messy, teh strands remain clear and as a result the big picture stays clear.

A wonderful and fitting end to a great series.

Publisher: Random House

Published: 24 May 2012

Format: Paperback 528 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Mythology

ISBN 13: 9780385619004

Purchase: here or use the Booktopia link on side of page

The Warlock

By: Michael Scott

The Secrets of Nicholas Flamel series book 5

The twins of the prophecy are now separated. They are divided, finding themselves on opposite sides. Josh has chosen to fight side by side with John Dee and his mysterious associate Virginia Dare. His masters have declared him utlaga (outcast), there is a price on his head and others have joined in unlikely alliances to hunt them down.

Machiavelli and Billy the Kid are on Alcatraz preparing to release a hoard of monsters on the unsuspecting city of San Francisco.

Sophie, Niten, the Flamels and others join together at Tsagaglalal’s, where She Who Watches passes on messages to each of them from Abraham the Mage. They all have specific parts to play if the world of humans is going to survive.

Scathach, Palamedes, Joan, Saint-Germain, and Shakespeare have gone back in time in order to ensure the island city of Danu Talis falls, for fall it must if the modern world is to survive.

This is the second last book of this series and it’s pace is still flying along. The division between Sophie and Josh that has been seething from the moment Sophie was first awakened, has finally torn them apart. The fragile alliances are precarious and this is, in part, what makes things interesting. ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’, is a strong theme and throughout loyalties shift. It is interesting to see how Scott allows his characters to ebb and flow within their own moral codes. The simple fact – that so many of the characters are grey rather than black and white, is one of the things that makes this series so very appealing.

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, Scott is a master at writing a multi-perspective story that makes sense. The prose jumps from character to character yet never gets confusing. His writing style keeps you wanting to turn the page to see what happens next. Sophie and Josh may be the key to the prophecy but the characters around them keep the story interesting, providing it with texture and depth. I wish I didn’t have to wait so long for the final book but at least I know it will be worth it.

Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

Published: 24 May 2011

Format: Hardback 385 pages

Categories: Adventure Fantasy Siblings Mythology

ISBN 13: 9780385735339

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

The Sorceress

By: Michael Scott

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, Bk 3

Paris suffered some serious destruction at the hands of Dr John Dee, who released the Nidhogg in a desperate attempt to get rid of Nicolas Flamel, the twins Sophie and Josh and retrieve the last two pages f the Codex. However Josh killed the Nidhogg and was finally awakened, and now the trio are in London searching for the oldest immortal, the King Gilgamesh. Nicolas hopes the King can train the twins in the mastery of water magic. FInding him is only part of the problem though as it turns out the Gilgamesh is quite mad. Added to that, London is Dr John Dee’s home ground and that is an advantage he plans on using every inch of.

The trio aren’t completely helpless. Nicholas still has some contacts and Josh is carrying Clarent, the sister sword to Excalibur, and it is a blade with a power that makes it almost impossible for it to be used without darkness bleeding into the wielder’s soul.

Meanwhile Perenelle is no longer a prisoner, now roaming free on the island of Alcatraz. As long as she can stay that way she is working on a plan to get her off the island and back to Nicholas and the twins. This battle is taking it’s toll and it is nowhere near over.

The pace doesn’t really let up in this the third installment of the Secrets of Nicholas Flamel. Mythical creatures come out of hiding to hunt down Nicholas and the twins so they must keep moving to stay alive and remain a step ahead of Dee. Scott whips us through modern day terrain blending in seemlessly the different mythologies and historical figures. (Seeing Shakespeare in this did bring a smile to my face). It is interesting to note that Scott’s characters are complex: one moment Sophie and Josh appear mature enough to handle what they’ve been thrown into, other times they are teenagers struggling to  adjust to it all. Then there is Nicholas, who you think you should like, but with so many secrets you’re not sure you can. And somehow Perenelle, while trapped, still seems more of a threat.

Where as some books appear to painstakingly create complex layers in an effort to draw you in, Scott seems to let bits of information leak out while flinging you into the action and expecting you to keep turning the pages just to keep up.

Publisher: Random House

Published: 27 April 2010

Format: Paperback 502 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Family, Mythology

ISBN 13: 9780385735308

Purchase: here or use logo on side of page to go to Booktopia

The Magician

By: Michael Scott

Nicholas and Perenelle are dying, without the Codex they cannot make the elixir that has kept them alive so long, and that is not the worst news. Perenelle is being held prisoner on Alcatraz by Dr John Dee and his dark masters and they have the Codex, most of it.

Twins Sophie and Josh have found themselves pulled into the middle of a battle for the world that they never knew was going on. With auras of pure silver and gold they may be the twins of prophecy which makes them key in the upcoming events. Sophie’s power has been awakened and her training has been started, Nicholas hopes to find someone to awaken Josh so the twins can both be trained in all the elemental magics. He believes they are the world’s only hope. The differences between where Sophie is and where Josh is are starting to show. Nicholas is not without his allies, including the formidable Scathach and Joan of Arc, while their enemy John Dee does not face them alone as Machiavelli is on his side. Then there is Perenelle, she may appear to be trapped and out of contention but she has her ways and the world is running out of time.

Dashing over continents Michael Scott masterfully eaves the modern world with mythological beings and historical figures into one tight story. He has set a tight timeline and moves from strand to strand with no feeling of disjointedness in the reading process. The the action is fairly full on so that when you finish each book you need to remind yourself so little time has passed.

The tension between the twins is great, it ebbs and flows. As they are drawn together and pulled apart it is interesting to watch their relationship develop. I like that the characters (not just Sophie and Josh) are layered, they are pulled in different directions, flawed and therefore interesting even though there are times you wouldn’t mind slapping them upside the head. I love the historical characters that are part of the story, it is fun knowing and adding to what you know of them historically and then seeing how Scott threads them into modern society. It perhaps should feel strange but it doesn’t. Scott has created a story that is captivating and keeps me wanting to read.

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Published: 28 April 2009

Format: Paperback 464 pages

Categories: Adventure Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9780385737289

Purchase: here or click on Booktopia logo on side of page

The Alchemyst

By: Michael Scott

Nicholas Flamel and his wife Perenelle are not the lovely old couple running a simple book store like they appear to be. They are the Guardians of The Book of Abraham the Mage, also known as the Codex. Nicolas and Perry were born nearly 700 years ago and are still alive because the Codex contains the secret to the elixir of eternal life. This is not the only secret the book contains and should it fall into the wrong hands, like those of Dr John Dee, the world could be destroyed.

Sophie and Josh Newman stumble into the truth when they try to help the couple and this starts them down a path that brings them into contact with gods, goddesses, immortals and creatures out of mythology and legend. Sophie and Josh could be the twins of prophecy with their pure silver and gold auras. Their abilities need to be awakened and they need to be trained and it all needs to happen in a very short period of time. Each step is it’s own hurdle and could cost them their lives.

An intricately woven fantasy taking two modern teenagers and thrusting them into a hidden world of historical figures and myth. Scott blends the mythologies seemlessly into one story, making it not so much about branches as an overall battle between those on the side of the humans and those that aren’t. The characters are well developed and the world described with a detailed eye that vividly brings it to life. This layered story draws you in, and is paired with cracking action sequences. A great read that leaves you wondering who they will meet next and what is going to happen.

Publisher: Transworld Publ. Ltd. UK 

Published: 01 May 2008

Format: Paperback 375 pages

Categories: Fiction

ISBN 13: 9780552559164 

Purchase: here

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