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The Necromancer (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 25, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 310 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Necromancer, book four in Michael Scott's "Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" series, brings the immortal Flamel (The Alchemyst) and teenaged twins, Sophie and Josh, back home to San Francisco, where they meet up with the sorceress Perenelle, Flamel's wife, who spent the last book escaping from Alcatraz. Time is running out for the Flamels; it's now been six days since their foe Dr. John Dee (another immortal) ran off with the Codex, the book of Abraham the Mage that keeps them young, and they are aging fast. The twins, who have been learning the Elemental Magics over the course of the first three books, are worried about getting into trouble for basically disappearing for days, so they check in with their guardian, Aunt Agnes. But Scott doesn't let them settle in for long. True to the break-neck pace of this series, they are quickly pulled back into the action when Sophie is kidnapped by a redheaded vampire who bears an eerie resemblance to one of their recent allies, Scathach, who disappeared with Joan of Arc in the last book. The Necromancer introduces readers to even more infamous immortals, while keeping up with favorites from past books--Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Billy the Kid. As the characters accumulate, so do the opportunities for hair-raising conflicts and insane reveals. Scott manages their multiple story lines with a sequence of cliffhangers that keep it a really fun read even as he is piling on the history and mythology, taking readers further into the secrets that will bring the whole story together. As the characters hurtle toward a conflict that could bring about the end of the world, we can't wait to see where they'll go, what they'll learn, and who they'll meet next. (Ages 12 and up.)

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-10–Nicholas Flamel is dying, and the spell from the Codex that renews his immortality is in the possession of the evil John Dee. Reunited with his wife, Perenelle, Flamel hopes to use his remaining power to prevent the monsters now on the island of Alcatraz from escaping. Meanwhile, Machiavelli and Billy the Kid have come to San Francisco to achieve the opposite, releasing the monsters to destroy the city. Twins Sophie and Josh are also back in San Francisco, where Sophie is kidnapped by Aoife, the twin sister of Scathach, the Celtic warrior who had been protecting them. Josh is beginning to doubt whether he is on the right side of things. John Dee is now persona non grata with the Dark Elders, having failed to capture the siblings in London. Trying to escape his inevitable judgment, Dee teams up with Virginia Dare to find his way to Josh so that he can train him as a Necromancer. With this power, Josh can raise Coatlicue, the Mother of All the Gods, from the dead, and thus allow Dee to take over the world himself. Depending on one's point of view, all of these plot elements can either be disconcerting or can serve to create a sense of unrelenting forward momentum, taking readers breathlessly through to the end. The end in this case is a huge cliff-hanger, carrying with it an enormous sense of melancholy and moral ambiguity. This book will thrill fans of the series who are willing to stick with it to the conclusion.Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385735316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385735315
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
**Spoilers ahead** and - this review won't mean much if you haven't read the others to know who the characters are that I am talking about...

Surprises galore! This was filled with so many wonderful surprises about places, times and characters. We get so much more information about all the characters and the Elders. The dialogue between the characters was wonderful- as always. The plot was fast paced and kept me sitting on the edge of my seat to see what was going to happen next. Mr. Scott tells excellent stories and knows how to weave clues into the smallest things. And there is so much mythology to embrace here - the real historical figures pulled in make this book - and series - a real treat!

It wasn't what I expected. Not that I mean that in a bad way. I did expect to see more necromancy - or really at least some - but unless I misunderstood, Josh calling Coatlique wasn't really necromancy. So, not seeing too much necromancy was kind of a shock. I would have liked to see more. I also would have liked to see a little more detail on some of the Elders who have now been identified. In the past, we have been given a little information about the mythology behind the Elders - here it at times felt like mere name dropping.

It was a great pace - I couldn't put the book down because it just kept moving us forward. It was great. I hit about chapter 25 (I think) and said "wow" to myself at the end of every chapter after that. I was shocked and amazed (happily, most of the time) at every thing that was happening. I loved the romance behind Germain going after Joan and it seemed a theme (Machiavelli seeming to waiver - and talking about his wife), Perry and Nicholas, Virginia and Dee (in it's own sick and twisted way)...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been an avid follower of these books, as they are written with both complex and delightfully entertaining characters, while incorporating facets of historical events and figures. While the characters have always been the huge draw for me concerning these books, The Necromancer takes character development a step further with the evolution of Josh and Sophie, particularly Josh in this installment. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Michael Scott has been building up to the inevitable separation of Josh and Sophie in the previous books, foreshadowing the plot point with Josh's jealousy- and guilt-driven asides towards his sister. While we've known that Sophie has oftentimes regretted her Awakening, Josh has craved ultimate power and autonomy over his own destiny, and he has been cajoled by John Dee into believing that joining his side is the answer to all of his ailments. Scott begins to draw serious parallels between Dee and Josh, and although Josh hasn't quite decided whose side he is on definitively, it becomes glaringly obvious towards the end of The Necromancer that he's beginning to associate Sophie with the Flamels, his enemies at this point (or so he thinks). What's so interesting about this book (and the series in general) is that you're constantly guessing and questioning the motives of all characters, right down to William Shakespeare and Palamedes. Which side is the right side to be on when the end of the world draws near? Even Machiavelli (one of my favorite characters) begins to wonder whether he' truly has it all figured out, or whether he's just as much of a pawn as the humani he so carelessly discarded over the course of his immortality.
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Format: Hardcover
An AMAZING fast paced thrill ride weaving in and out of the real world and a magical world of mythology. The Necromancer, being the 4th book in a 6 book series, really sets the tone for the rest of the story as we find the twins, Josh and Sophie Newman, back in San Francisco. The first chapter started off making me think our heroes would have some time to relax before taking up the fight to the Dark Elders again... I couldn't have been more wrong, as by the end of the chapter danger finds them rather quickly! The ensuing barrage of twists and turns, magic and mayhem, Shadowrealms and swords make for a very entertaining read! It is really hard to find a stopping point to be able to put this book down!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"My most pressing concern still lies with the twins. I am no longer sure how they view me. It was always clear that Josh harbored reservations about me, but now I am sensing that they are both fearful and mistrustful. It is true that they discovered portions of my history that I would have preferred be left uncovered. Perhaps I should have been more honest with them. I am not proud of some of the things I have done, but I regret nothing. I did what I had to do to ensure the survival of the human race. I would do it again." - from the Day Booke of Nicholas Flamel, Alchemyst

Less than a week has passed since fifteen-year-old twins Josh and Sophie Newman learned that everything they have ever believed is a lie. Six days, and their knowledge of the world has been broken and rebuilt a dozen times. They have both been Awakened - had their incredible talent and power for magic brought to the surface and their senses sharpened to the keenest edge. Sophie has learned three of the Elemental Magics, Josh one. Now, in the company of the immortal humans Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel, the twins have returned to the city where it all began, the very place where last they were normal teens - San Francisco. But it is not just their knowledge of the world that is changing and even here they can no longer pretend to be normal. With each passing day, Josh and Sophie become more aware that no one - none of the immortal humans, nor the Next Generation, nor the Elders they have met - is being completely honest with them. What IS clear is that each faction in the approaching conflict needs the twins, wants to use them for their own purposes. And because of that, Josh and Sophie have no idea who they can trust, or indeed, if they can trust anyone at all.
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