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The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel


The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Cover





“OK—answer me this: why would anyone want to wear an overcoat in San Francisco in the middle of summer?” Sophie Newman pressed her fingers against the Bluetooth earpiece as she spoke.

On the other side of the continent, her fashion-conscious friend Elle inquired matter-of-factly, “What sort of coat?”

Wiping her hands on the cloth tucked into her apron strings, Sophie moved out from behind the counter of the empty coffee shop and stepped up to the window, watching men emerge from the car across the street. “Heavy black wool overcoats. Theyre even wearing black gloves and hats. And sunglasses.” She pressed her face against the glass. “Even for this city, thats just a little too weird.”

“Maybe theyre undertakers?” Elle suggested, her voice popping and clicking on the cell phone. Sophie could hear something loud and dismal playing in the background— Lacrimosa maybe, or Amorphis. Elle had never quite got over her Goth phase.

“Maybe,” Sophie answered, sounding unconvinced. Shed been chatting on the phone with her friend when, a few moments earlier, shed spotted the unusual-looking car. It was long and sleek and looked as if it belonged in an old black-and-white movie. As it drove past the window, sunlight reflected off the blacked-out windows, briefly illuminating the interior of the coffee shop in warm yellow-gold light, blinding Sophie. Blinking away the black spots dancing before her eyes, she watched as the car turned at the bottom of the hill and slowly returned. Without signaling, it pulled over directly in front of The Small Book Shop, right across the street.

“Maybe theyre Mafia,” Elle suggested dramatically. “My dad knows someone in the Mafia. But he drives a Prius,” she added.

“This is most definitely not a Prius,” Sophie said, looking again at the car and the two large men standing on the street bundled up in their heavy overcoats, gloves and hats, their eyes hidden behind overlarge sunglasses.

“Maybe theyre just cold,” Elle suggested. “Doesnt it get cool in San Francisco?”

Sophie Newman glanced at the clock and thermometer on the wall over the counter behind her. “Its two-fifteen here . . . and eighty-one degrees,” she said. “Trust me, theyre not cold. They must be dying. Wait,” she said, interrupting herself, “somethings happening.”

The rear door opened and another man, even larger than the first two, climbed stiffly out of the car. As he closed the door, sunlight briefly touched his face and Sophie caught a glimpse of pale, unhealthy-looking gray-white skin. She adjusted the volume on the earpiece. “OK. You should see what just climbed out of the car. A huge guy with gray skin. Gray. That might explain it; maybe they have some type of skin condition.”

“I saw a National Geographic documentary about people who cant go out in the sun . . . ,” Elle began, but Sophie was no longer listening to her.

A fourth figure stepped out of the car.

He was a small, rather dapper-looking man, dressed in a neat charcoal-gray three-piece suit that looked vaguely old-fashioned but that she could tell had been tailor-made for him. His iron gray hair was pulled back from an angular face into a tight ponytail, while a neat triangular beard, mostly black but flecked with gray, concealed his mouth and chin. He moved away from the car and stepped under the striped awning that covered the trays of books outside the shop. When he picked up a brightly colored paperback and turned it over in his hands, Sophie noticed that he was wearing gray gloves. A pearl button at the wrist winked in the light.

“Theyre going into the bookshop,” she said into her earpiece.

“Is Josh still working there?” Elle immediately asked.

Sophie ignored the sudden interest in her friends voice. The fact that her best friend liked her twin brother was just a little too weird. “Yeah. Im going to call him to see whats up. Ill call you right back.” She hung up, pulled out the earpiece and absently rubbed her hot ear as she stared, fascinated, at the small man. There was something about him . . . something odd. Maybe he was a fashion designer, she thought, or a movie producer, or maybe he was an author—shed noticed that some authors liked to dress up in peculiar outfits. Shed give him a few minutes to get into the shop, then shed call her twin for a report.

Sophie was about to turn away when the gray man suddenly spun around and seemed to stare directly at her. As he stood under the awning, his face was in shadow, and yet for just the briefest instant, his eyes looked as if they were glowing.

Sophie knew—just knew—that there was no possible way for the small gray man to see her: she was standing on the opposite side of the street behind a pane of glass that was bright with reflected early-afternoon sunlight. She would be invisible in the gloom behind the glass.

And yet . . .

And yet in that single moment when their eyes met, Sophie felt the tiny hairs on the back of her hands and along her forearms tingle and felt a puff of cold air touch the back of her neck. She rolled her shoulders, turning her head slightly from side to side, strands of her long blond hair curling across her cheek. The contact lasted only a second before the small man looked away, but Sophie got the impression that he had looked directly at her.

In the instant before the gray man and his three overdressed companions disappeared into the bookshop, Sophie decided that she did not like him.



And rotten eggs.

“That is just vile.” Josh Newman stood in the center of the bookstores cellar and breathed deeply. Where were those smells coming from? He looked around at the shelves stacked high with books and wondered if something had crawled in behind them and died. What else would account for such a foul stink? The tiny cramped cellar always smelled dry and musty, the air heavy with the odors of parched curling paper, mingled with the richer aroma of old leather bindings and dusty cobwebs. He loved the smell; he always thought it was warm and comforting, like the scents of cinnamon and spices that he associated with Christmas.


Sharp and clean, the smell cut through the close cellar atmosphere. It was the odor of new toothpaste or those herbal teas his sister served in the coffee shop across the road. It sliced though the heavier smells of leather and paper, and was so strong that it made his sinuses tingle; he felt as if he was going to sneeze at any moment. He quickly pulled out his iPod earbuds. Sneezing with headphones on was not a good idea: made your ears pop.


Foul and stinking—he recognized the sulfurous odor of rotten eggs. It blanketed the clear odor of mint . . . and it was disgusting. He could feel the stench coating his tongue and lips, and his scalp began to itch as if something were crawling through it. Josh ran his fingers through his shaggy blond hair and shuddered. The drains must be backing up.

Leaving the earbuds dangling over his shoulders, he checked the book list in his hand, then looked at the shelves again: The Complete Works of Charles Dickens, twenty-seven volumes, red leather binding. Now where was he going to find that?

Josh had been working in the bookshop for nearly two months and still didnt have the faintest idea where anything was. There was no filing system . . . or rather, there was a system, but it was known only to Nick and Perry Fleming, the owners of The Small Book Shop. Nick or his wife could put their hands on any book in either the shop upstairs or the cellar in a matter of minutes.

A wave of peppermint, immediately followed by rotten eggs, filled the air again; Josh coughed and felt his eyes water. This was impossible! Stuffing the book list into one pocket of his jeans and the headphones into the other, he maneuvered his way through the piled books and stacks of boxes, heading for the stairs. He couldnt spend another minute down there with the smell. He rubbed the heels of his palms against his eyes, which were now stinging furiously. Grabbing the stair rail, he pulled himself up. He needed a breath of fresh air or he was going to throw up—but, strangely, the closer he came to the top of the stairs, the stronger the odors became.

He popped his head out of the cellar door and looked around.

And in that instant, Josh Newman realized that the world would never be the same again.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 9 comments:

emmejo, July 10, 2009 (view all comments by emmejo)
The only knowledge some may have of Nicholas Flamel is that he was mentioned in Harry Potter. However he was a real man and a colorful character. This *fantasy* (not what actually happened, as far as we know) novel tells the story of two teens who, by a twist of fate, end up in the middle of a fight that has gone on for centuries. Flamel once took on an apprentice, John Dee, who when he discovered that Flamel had the ability to be immortal attempted to steal the spell book from Flamel. Flamel has eluded him for five centuries, but can he still stay hidden in our modern world?

I didn't expect much, this book has had very mixed reviews, but I highly enjoyed it. Sudden plot twists and fascinating characters keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. The writing was fast and flowing, almost poetical at times. Very easy to read.
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
madcov44, June 21, 2009 (view all comments by madcov44)
Worthwhile review! read it!
I liked this book! Scott is really good at painting pictures, characters and seanes. It was a very fresh idea. There were some falts in it too, though. It didn't bring your emotions into what you're reading. You didn't really relate to the characters as much, or feel how they felt. They were all really dramatic, it seemed like they were acting in a play. sometimes it was verry cheesy. Another thing was I thought the two main characters, Josh and Sophie, were to similar to the characters in Fablehaven. One thing was that sophie got her powers first. and, like if Fablehaven, they both have opposite powers. Other than those things I thought it was a good book.I really liked the aura idea. Very origonal! I still belive another writer could make the story exciting, but still using the same plot. Good read! one funny thing was that the book takes place over two days.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
deanwinchester20, April 15, 2008 (view all comments by deanwinchester20)
This is one of the books that people need to read, it 's amazing. The beginning of the book goes straight to the point and the action. This also talks about a real person named Nicholas Flamel that lived in Paris In the 1800's If you like Harry Potter then you will really love this book.
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Product Details

Scott, Michael
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Moriarty, Chris
Fisher, Catherine
McQuerry, Maureen Doyle
Geyer, Mark Edward
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Action & Adventure - General
Brothers and sisters
Fantasy & Magic
Action & Adventure
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Legends, Myths, & Fables - General
Edition Description:
Hardcover w/Dust Jacket
Time Out of Time
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 4 up to 7
Matte and code
8 x 6.5 x 1.25 in
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Fables
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Young Adult » General

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.99 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers - English 9780385733571 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Michael Scott's The Alchemyst series hit us like a ton of gold bricks! Mr. Scott has already published several books of folktales, and this little venture into the life and time of Nicholas Flamel is full of great gods and myths. If you haven't had a run-in with Bastet while you're on the run with a sacred priceless object lately, you haven't really lived. Just try it. It begins, "I am legend. Death has no claim over me...."

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "While there is plenty here to send readers rushing to their encyclopedias of mythology and alchemy, those who read the book at face value will simply be caught up in the enthralling story. A fabulous read."
"Review" by , "[E]xplores the issues of good and evil, which can be deceiving to the eye, as well as trust and loyalty."
"Review" by , The writing and story line have a flamboyant style that will put readers on the edge of their seats as they rush to the final page, pausing along the way to savor the author's vivid descriptions of worlds and events. Readers will actively root for the good guys in this exhilarating fantasy — if they can figure out who they are."
"Synopsis" by , Magic, mayhem, and humor abound in this riveting middle-grade adventure, the sequel to The Inquisitor's Apprentice.
"Synopsis" by , and#8220;A fabulously imaginative historical fantasy.and#8221;and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review of The Inquisitorand#8217;s Apprentice

At the turn of the twentieth century, New Yorkand#8217;s Bowery District becomes the scene of a terrible murder when the Klezmer King gets fried to a crisp by his Electric Tuxedoand#8212;on stage! Theand#160;Inquisitorand#8217;s apprentice, thirteen-year-oldand#160;Sacha Kessler, tries to help find the killer, but the closer he gets to solving the crime, the more it sounds as if the creature that haunted him in his first adventure is back. Worse still, his own Jewish family is in danger. Sacha has avoided learning magic until now, but as his world falls apart around him, he changes his mind.

"Synopsis" by ,
Beyond the Door, the first in the Time Out of Time duet from Maureen Doyle McQuerry, weaves a compelling coming-of-age story with fantasy and mythology. With his love of learning and the game of Scrabble, Timothy James feels like the only person who understands him is his older sister, Sarah, and heandrsquo;s fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. But one night, while his parents and sister are away, the door opens, and mythical creatures appear in his own living room! Soon, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold, revealing an age-old battle of Light against Dark, and Timothy must embark on a quest to prevent the Dark from controlling the future and changing the past. But he canandrsquo;t complete the quest alone. Timothy has to team up with his sister and the school bully, Jessica, to face an ancient evil, and in the process, this unlikely trio discover they are each more than meets the eye.

Praise for Time Out of Time


andquot;McQuerryandrsquo;s compelling narrative races forward, immersing the reader in its lyrical mysteries.andquot;

--Booklist, starred review

andquot;McQuerry smoothly blends adventure, coming-of-age, and mystery with a mythological world where special academic and problem-solving talents

are required assets rather than nerd-bait for bullies. The characters are charming, and the quirky, supernatural good guys are compassionate and forgiving.andquot;


andquot;A promising start to a fantasy series mines the rich ore of Celtic mythology and propels a young boy into cosmic battle.andquot;

--Kirkus Reviews

andquot;A sense of wonder and worry permeates the narrative, evocative of The Dark Is Rising or the work of Neil Gaiman, and the cliffhanger ending will leave readers clamoring for more.andquot;

--Publishers Weekly

andquot;Fantasy addicts will find plenty to like in Beyond the Door, and it is beautifully designed with Ogham code (early Irish alphabet) at the bottom of the pages for kids to decipher while they are waiting for the next instalment.andquot;

--School Library Journal


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