The Alchemyst, by Michael Scott
I stumbled across this great Young Adult fantasy book and could not put it down. Scott, like Rick Riordan of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, takes ancient myth and folklore and puts it smack in the middle of contemporary America with an exciting and humorous result.
This story starts with 15-year-old twins Josh and Sophie Newman working at their summer jobs – Sophie in a coffee shop and Josh across the street in a bookstore owned by Nick Fleming and his wife. One day four men arrive at the bookstore and, as Josh says at the end of chapter one, “the world would never be the same.”
Turns out Nick Fleming is really six-hundred-year-old alchemyst Nicholas Flamel. He and his wife, Perenelle, have been taking an elixir for eternal life for several centuries and hiding from Dr. John Dee, a wicked former student of Flamel’s.
Dee steals from Flamel the book of Abraham the Mage, the most powerful book that has ever existed, except for a few pages that Josh grabbed at the last minute. As he exits the store, Dee also kidnaps Perenelle.
As Flamel sets off to recover the book and his wife with the twins in tow, he tells them that Dee has aligned himself with the Dark Elders who want to remake the world back as it was in the ancient past – with all humans serving as slaves – or food.
On Flamel’s side is Scatty, the warrior maiden Scathach; Hekate, the goddess with three faces; and Josh and Sophie – who may be the ones the ancient book prophesied would either save or destroy the world.
It’s a fast-paced adventure from start to finish.
Check the WRL catalog for The Alchemyst