(Book 3 for Once Upon a Time)
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott.
From the book: Born in 1330 Nicholas Flamel was one of the most famous alchemists of his day. Alchemy is a peculiar combination of chemistry, botany, medicine, astronomy and astrology. It has a long and distinguished history and was studied in ancient Greece and China, and there is an argument that it forms the basis for modern chemistry. One day he bought a very special book: the Book of Abraham. It, too, really existed, and Nicholas Flamel left us with a very detailed description of the copper-bound book, which was written on what looked like bark.
No one knows what happened to Nicholas Flamel. What is authenticated is that when he returned to Paris in the late fourteenth century, he was extraordinarily wealthy. The rumor quickly went around that he had discovered the two great secrets of alchemy in the Book of Abraham: how to create a philosopher's stone, which changed ordinary metal into gold, and how to achieve immortality. Neither Nicholas nor Perenelle (his wife) would ever confirm how they had become so rich.
At a later date Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel's tomb was broken into.. and that was when it was discovered that the tomb was empty. Had they been buried in secret graves, or had they never died in the first place?
(below: the home of the Nicolas Flamel on Rue du Montmorency, Paris)
From Publishers Weekly
Twin 15-year-old siblings Sophie and Josh Newman take summer jobs in San Francisco across the street from one another: she at a coffee shop, he at a bookstore owned by Nick and Perry Fleming. In the vey first chapter, armed goons garbed in black with "dead-looking skin and... marble eyes" (actually Golems) storm the bookshop, take Perry hostage and swipe a rare Book (but not before Josh snatches its two most important pages). The stolen volume is the Codex, an ancient text of magical wisdom. Nick Fleming is really Nicholas Flamel, the 14th-century alchemist who could turn base metal into gold, and make a potion that ensures immortality. Sophie and Josh learn that they are mentioned in the Codex's prophecies: "The two that are one will come either to save or to destroy the world." Mayhem ensues, as Irish author Scott draws on a wide knowledge of world mythology to stage a battle between the Dark Elders and their hired gun—Dr. John Dee—against the forces of good, led by Flamel and the twins (Sophie's powers are "awakened" by the goddess Hekate, who'd been living in an elaborate treehouse north of San Francisco). Not only do they need the Codex back to stop Dee and company, but the immortality potion must be brewed afresh every month. Time is running out, literally, for the Flamels. Proceeding at a breakneck pace, and populated by the likes of werewolves and vampires, the novel ends on a precipice, presumably to be picked up in volume two. Ages 12-up. (May)
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This is a story of twin 15 year old teenagers, Josh and Sophie, who because of circumstances get to meet and be friends with a man and his wife who run a book store and a coffee shop. Due to other circumstances waaaaay beyond their control, they both learn that their friend is not who they thought he was, Nick Fleming was really Nicholas Flamel!
A man named Dr John Dee (also a real person in history) strolled into the store one day with a group of Golems and proceeded to destroy the store, steal Perenelle (Nicholas's wife) and the Book of Abraham the Mage... minus the last two pages which Josh managed to tear out as the books was ripped from his hand.... And what does Josh learn from this? He learns magic has a smell. Nicholas (the good guy) smells of Peppermint... and Dee (the bad guy) smells of rotten eggs. (somehow that figures!)
A small background worth a good chuckle: The twins parents are Archaeologists which discovered a new species of small hominids that are now called Hobbits in Indonesia. (heh.. Hobbits eh?! lol)
This whole series of books is compiled of Historical people, mythical beings and Michael Scotts own characters.
Thus begins the story of unbelief to belief. Of what was, and what is. Of danger and intrigue... and the possibility of the destruction of the world.
This series of YA books by Michael Scott are really good reads.. ALL of them! There are 6 books in the series: The Alchemyst, The Magician, The Sorceress, The Necromancer, The Warlock and The Enchantress. Every book and every character has been so well written about that you feel you know them all! I can't imagine the amount of research that went into these books
I "met" Michael Scott quite a number or years ago when he commented on a review I did. From that time, as I awaited each new book each year I would email him and always say: "Nicholas isn't going to die is he?" Michael would never tell me the answer. We graduated to emails now and then as I awaited the new books. Now, years later, Paramount Pictures has bought the rights to The Alchemyst for a movie. Before anyone says "hooray".. I will say that Paramount can be slower then molasses in winter getting started. I am hoping it happens soon though as my age refuses to slow down!
I just want to say that if you enjoy YA books now and then, this is a really action packed, character oriented group of books that anyone would enjoy!
If you'd like to know more about Michael Scott (very Irish! ) here's a link for you to discover a really super author: Michael Scott.