The Necromancer (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)
I know the titular character of this book is supposed to be Josh, but I found myself more reveling in the character development of some of the immortals. There is so much that is reveled in this book through the Witch of Endor and Prometheus and it’s enthralling to read. Not to mention how the insight into Elders offered by Quetzalcoatl augments the Elders into something more closely resembling a human.
Once again we re-enter the story mere moments after we left it in Book 3. Sophie, Josh, and Flamel have successfully returned to San Francisco. We begin the book with Sophie and Josh returning to their aunt’s house, where they learn that Scathach has a twin and they are not on good terms. The story swirls on from there, with our characters racing to fix the world’s problems before the world of humans blinks out of existence.
I’m finding it difficult to review each book as a standalone book because there really isn’t a book specific story arc. This is completely fine in a series, but can be problematic when you’re reading them back to back. It’s funny, reading The Dresden Files, The Ranger’s Apprentice, or even Harry Potter, it’s easy to read the books as standalone stories. Admittedly, they are way more fun to read in the context of their series, but it’s possible to read The Prisoner of Azkaban without having first read The Sorcerer’s Stone. In this series, I’m sure you could read Book 4 first, but I don’t think it would be nearly as enjoyable without the context provided by Books 1-3. Again, I’m not saying this as a point of criticism (especially given my OCD-like need to always read series from start to finish), more just a warning to readers who have just found the series and bought The Warlock first.
As to this story, it’s very similar to its series-mates. The action is there 100% of the time, which is a higher percentage the other books in the series. There’s really no rest in a safe place during this book. It’s just 100% go, go, go. In fact, the action and sense of immediacy are so present that I found I read it in no time. A little over 400 pages were read in a single day. The characters remain vividly human and empathetic, while the story continues to entrance me.
I know most people view Sci Fi/Fantasy/Youth Fiction as about as far away from high literature as one can get (with the obvious exceptions of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Asimov), but I find in my reading that there are certain things to recommend these genres into the high literature realm. For example, if you want to talk about expanding your mind with literature, then how about a fantasy series that pulls historical/mythic figures from what feels like every culture and makes them come alive in a way that a twelve year old will both enjoy and likely remember. Admittedly, it’s not quite Tolkien, but it would not be gilding the lily to call it expansive and epic in scale.
This story is entrancing and, though dark, still filled with light and love. 4 ink bottles.