Reviews for Magician


Booklist Reviews 2008 July #1
The Alchemyst (2007), the first book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series,  introduced a wide-ranging group of historical figures who have achieved immortality and are engaged in a present-day struggle for the fate of the world. This second entry picks up exactly where the first left off. Allied with the legendary Nicholas Flamel  on the "good" side are teenage twins Sophie and Josh, who are supremely gifted but with powers that are untrained. Countering them is a new archvillain, Niccolò Machiavelli, who, along with other figures from history and legend (Joan of Arc, a trio of Valkyries), swells the already impressive cast. Plundering every imaginable culture of their heroes and heroines is a clever feat, sure to draw all manner of historically and mythologically minded readers. One weakness starts to show through, however. In a six-book series such as this, each installment begins to feel like a lengthy, glorified chapter rather than its own book complete with a satisfying story arc and resolution. That said, this keeps the pace as an exciting and impeccably thought-out fantasy, well suited for those left in the lurch by Harry Potter's recent exeunt. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
The magic book stolen in The Alchemyst is still missing, and time is running out. Teenage twins Sophie and Josh, on the run in Paris, train under a magician rock-star in order to learn to control their powers and help retrieve the book. The story's many point-of-view shifts can be difficult to follow, but the battle scenes, incorporating magic, are exciting. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2008 May #2
The headlong magical adventure begun in The Alchemyst (2007) shifts from California to Paris. There the gifted but untrained twins Josh and Sophie meet a further array of immortal friends and foes--"human, inhuman, and abhuman"--from history and legend, including but not limited to Joan of Arc, Niccolo Machiavelli, valkyries, the giant reptilian Nidhogg and all of the gargoyles and grotesques of Notre Dame brought to life. Though Scott's efforts to blur the line between Bad Guys and Good seem occasionally labored (particularly Josh's stubborn suspicions about Flamel's motives in the face of continual evidence to the contrary), readers will be swept up by a plot that moves smartly along, leaving a wide trail of destruction and well-timed revelations. Uncharacteristic in a middle volume, things are looking up at the end for the twins: Sophie has learned Fire Magic, Josh's powers are Awakened at last (though at an ominously unspecified price) and back in California Flamel's brilliant wife Pernelle has escaped imprisonment. Stay tuned. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 August

Gr 6-9-- Flamel and company return in this fast-paced follow-up to The Alchemyst (Delacorte, 2007). The immortal human Nicholas Flamel; Scathach, the veggie vampire warrior; and the mortal twins of legend, Josh and Sophie, are still on the run from the malicious Dr. John Dee. Flamel retains two of the pages of the legendary Book of Abraham, and Dee will do anything to get them. After hopping a ley line to Paris, our heroes barely escape the machinations of Dee's partner in crime, Niccol Machiavelli. While finding shelter with fellow immortals (Joan of Arc turns out to be a particularly helpful ally), Josh attempts to deal with the fact that his twin sister is now incredibly powerful. Having had her powers "awakened," Sophie's new abilities make him surprisingly jealous--a fact that Dee may find useful. Scott tapers down the sheer breadth of gods, goddesses, legends, and myths already introduced in his first novel, which is a bit of a relief. Even though the plot moves forward at breakneck speed, the author is careful not to lose sight of his characters' struggles or inner demons. Fans of the previous novel will certainly find much to love, root for, and fear in this successful second installment.--Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library

[Page 132]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2008 August
Twin magicians-in-training Josh and Sophie Newman return in this sequel to The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (Delacorte, 2007/VOYA June 2007). After fleeing California at the conclusion of the first book, they end up in Paris, accompanied by their allies, the immortal magician Nicholas Flamel, and vampire/warrior-extraordinaire Scatty. In hot pursuit of Flamel and the twins is the sinister Dr. John Dee, aided by some powerful new allies. Although Sophie's magical powers have been awakened, Josh has not had a chance to arouse his own powers, leading to his growing jealousy of Sophie. This conflict brings him closer to Dee, who hopes to unleash Josh's powers and then manipulate him into working against Flamel. Add a scattering of plot twists and turns, some horrifying otherworld monsters, and an all-out battle between good and the result has the makings of a highly entertaining fantasy. To his credit, the author successfully weaves together the many plot threads that go into this intricate and skillfully written fantasy. Although the novel is essentially plot driven, the book's characters are well developed and engaging. The addition of historical figures in the story, such as Niccolo Machiavelli and Joan of Arc, add an appealing intrigue to the book. Teens who like fast-paced fantasies with lots of action, like Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books or Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series are sure to enjoy this new addition to the genre.-Jan Chapman PLB $19.99. ISBN 978-0-385-90373-8. 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.

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