The Alchemist


Nicolas Flamel was a scribe and manuscript-seller who lived in 14th century France. Some time after his death he was assigned a reputation as an alchemist and the creator of the Philosopher’s Stone, which produced an elixir that enabled immortality and could create silver and gold. He is one of the main characters of this story.

Moving the setting to modern day California. We find Flamel and his also-immortal wife running a bookshop. Until an old enemy arrives to try and take The Codex – a book from an old sorcerer that contains the recipe for the life-extending potion, among other things. During this attack, a pair of siblings intervene and are drawn into the narrative. They, it turns out, are mentioned in the book.

The rest of the story is essentially a chase as the small group flees their pursuers and run into, obtains shelter from or picks up various other mythological figures.

It’s an interesting enough story, but aside from running into various figures, it’s little more than a chase. I didn’t find myself engaging with the narrative or the characters to any great depth and was quite glad to get to the end.

The reading was fine and he does a reasonable job of making each character unique.

An inoffensive but uninspiring read.

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Reviewed: 10th January 2016