by Michael Scott © 2008
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason
Once again we enter the world of Josh and Sophie Newman (fraternal twins) and the immortal Nicholas and Perenelle (Nick and Perry) Flamel. If all you want is a good fantasy read for the teen in your life, this is an excellent choice (as it its predecessor The Alchemyst). It is, however, much more than that. Mr. Scott has done his research. As a result, this series of books (with 4 more to come over the next four years) is populated with characters from throughout worldwide history and legend.. It is set in locales both familiar and exotic.
In The Alchemyst we met Dr. John Dee, the Witch of Endor, a Celtic warrior woman named Scathach, and the Dark Elders among others. This time we add Niccolo Machiavelle and the Morrigan to the cast of characters.
Younger readers may be unfamiliar with these names, but adults will recognize them as some of the most mysterious characters, surrounded by unanswered questions, in the history of the world.
You might think that humans who are. For practical purposes, immortal would stick together. After all, how many can there be in the human population? But such is not the case. There are three distinct groups within the immortal population and the twins have found themselves having to learn the differences and make very adult decisions about which group(s) to align themselves with.
In addition, Josh must deal with his own issues of jealousy and trust in the beginning of this book, Sophie must learn to control powers which should be slowly assimilated in a matter of mere days. On top of those, minor, things they must also deal with absent parents, attacks by creatures from various mythologies of the world, and any number of “normal” teenage concerns. Josh has his powers awakened, the twins avoid death in various forms, and the story continues.
For those who have bemoaned the last of the Harry Potter books, this series looks like a good bet to be the next “great thing” in young adult fantasy literature.