Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
Publisher: Corgi Childrens, 2007-2012
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Source + Date Read: Lil’ cousin + April 2012
Recommend: For those that want an entertaining light read where good triumphs over evil (barely).
Series Pro’s: Awesome world building, great characters. It’s a truly fantastical world.
Series Con’s: My mind had trouble wrapping around some of these things- all of those gods and that super funky ending really messed with me. The minute you get involved with time travel things get sticky in my head.
Ok so each of these reviews will be about 1 paragraph each because I have to write 7 of them and I don’t want to lose anyone. I mean, cramming 7 books into 1 post is hard, and I’m not sure if I’m a bit crazy.
First of all, I love this series. The reason it didn’t get higher than 3.5 hearts is because there were certain gaps that were left upon completion of the book and that always annoys me. Especially since Book 1 packs such a great punch. We’re introduced to the main characters, Sophie and Josh Newman, twins with an unearthly aura and a destiny they have little control over. I loved both characters and I can’t say who I loved more. The best part of this book is that Scott dives right into it, it’s like he grabbed you by the shirt and threw you into a portal to another world. He minces no words, and slows down for no one.
The Magician follows smoothly from the first book. We’re introduced to a whole new host of characters so things become a tad bit more complicated. The twins also start to rift in this book, a reason that I think is very important because shows their growth, maturity and the conflicts that arise from it. This book was beautifully written, but the whole slew of new characters bumped this down from a 4 to a 3.5 because I had trouble keeping up with it all.
We go to find Water magic in this book! Hazzah! There are a few issues that are discussed in The Sorceress. My favourite is Scott’s concept of destiny. Flamel goes through a sort of crisis in this book, are Sophie and Joshua the true twins of legend, or by choosing them, did he make them the twins of legend? This raises issues of whether you’re born (destined) to do or be something, or if by someone defining or throwing this so-called ‘destiny’ upon you, you inherently transform yourself into the being that you were so-called ‘destined’ to be. Ok that is some round about logic but I hope you get it? The point is, does destiny control our fate, or do, in trying to control destiny, end up with the same fate. Either way you end up in the same situation, but the ethics and philosophy behind this is fascinating.
Josh comes into his own in this book, and it is a bit heartbreaking to read. The rift between him and sister grows to such a great point that you can’t imagine any opportunity to rectify this.
But it is this independence and growth that makes this book so stellar. I think this was my favourite of the series. This book explores notions of trust. Sophie and Josh have gone along with everything that Flamel has said, however, when they’re faced with a few white lies and gaps in their knowledge they have to wonder if they can truly trust him. I ask, what the hell took them so long? I wasn’t gonna go off with someone I’d known for a few weeks even if that person tells me I’m some superhero. Actually, I’d probably have run faster in the other direction at that point. It’s good they realised that truth is almost arbitrary and they must choose their truths carefully.
This books is a build up to the last one. There is not a lot of development happening here, but it props up the last book in a very good way. Everything is laid out in a concise and detailed way and Scott even clears up a few questions readers had.
This book is touted as the beginning of the end and it is refreshing to see characters respond to this not with panic, or an overly essentialist heroism, but with simple clarity. Each character prepares in their own way and truths, friendships and alliances are tested, broken and forged. In the end, you don’t know who you can depend on till all hell breaks loose, I guess.
Man. Can I just say man, for this entire review? Imagine my saying it in a very whiney, angry sort of growling way. I waited for this book to come out, and I devoured it and was left feeling very disappointed. Scott left out a lot of information so there are some tunnels in my mind that don’t match up. I don’t like not-knowing these things, I like knowing the rational and reasons behind every plot twist, character and so on. I would have made charts describing each character, aura and power if I had the space in my room.
I just didn’t like that things didn’t add up, plus I can’t figure out who the hell the Enchantress is and I’ve reread the series at least twice. Sigh. I guess I need to read it a third time?
I’m also starting to realise that I really like fantasy books.