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Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Magician (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #2) by Michael Scott

After fleeing Ojai, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty emerge in Paris, the City of Lights. Home for Nicholas Flamel. Only this homecoming is anything but sweet. Perenell is still locked up back in Alcatraz and Paris is teeming with enemies. Nicollo Machiavelli, immortal author and celebrated art collector, is working for Dee. He’s after them, and time is running out for Nicholas and Perenell. For every day spent without the Book of Abraham the Mage, they age one year—their magic becoming weaker and their bodies more frail. For Flamel, the Prophesy is becoming more and more clear.

It’s time for Sophie to learn the second elemental magic: Fire Magic. And there’s only one man who can teach it to her: Flamel’s old student, the Comte de Saint-Germain—alchemist, magician, and rock star. Josh and Sophie Newman are the world’s only hope—if they don’t turn on each other first.

I've been waiting to review this because I still can't decide what to think of this book.  I kept putting off the review, but if I don't do it now, I'll never get it done.  So here goes. 

I'll start with what I didn't like.  The character development still has issues.  During the first book, I thought Sophie strayed dangerously close to Mary Sue Territory.  In this book, she crossed the line.  I just couldn't bring myself to care about her.  She believed everything anyone told  her, for the majority of the book.  She just wasn't interesting to me, as characters go.  Nicholas and Scathach just got annoying after awhile.  Perenelle seems interesting, but we didn't get to see much of her. 

The villains actually improved.  Throughout the first book, Dee was your stereotypical Muahaha bad guy.  Enter Niccolo Machiavelli.  If the cool name wasn't enough, he's a villain who's actually interesting, actually villainous.  If he is even a villain...because now, I'm not sure. 

*Spoiler in this paragraph only*  I don't believe for a minute that Scathach is dead.  How bad is that?  I read so much fantasy that I tend not to care when a major character dies, because in more cases than not they simply end up coming back anyway.  Either they return from the dead, or they were never dead to start with.  Sadly, now I tend to prefer it when characters actually stay dead.  It adds more emotion and finality to the story. 

I really enjoy the mythological aspects of this series.  I love how all the mythology is used, not just Greek or Norse or whatever.  I'm just waiting for Loki to pop up, because I'm fairly sure he will.  I like the magic, too, and I'm curious to learn more about it. 

I was actually really happy with Josh, as a character.  I have to admit it, but he did the exact same thing I would've done in that situation.  He seems so much more interesting than his sister.  (What can I say?  Maybe since Murtagh is my favorite character ever, I enjoy reading about characters who follow in his footsteps...)

All in all, I liked this book.  My problem was that it just wasn't as good as it had the potential to be.  It definitely wasn't as good as the first one.  The characters just weren't as compelling as I'd like them to be.  The whole book just didn't pull me in like it should have.  And it didn't use the Oxford Comma, which bothers me. I'll probably pick up the next one if I see it, but for now, three stars it is.   It's more of a solid 3.5, but since it was a bit disappointing I'll round down. 

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