The Alchemyst

By: Craig Hamilton

Overview

Nicholas Flamel is a local book shop owner in San Francisco, or so Josh and Sophie thought but Dr. John Dee enters the shop to steal the codex, things are a lot different. The codex is an old book containing the secret to eternal life, magic, how to turn metal to gold and if in the wrong hands evil will take over the world. Dee is one of the evil people who want the human race to perish. Josh and Sophie get caught up in the magic battle and end up ripping much needed pages out of the book. Dee, who now has the book, discovers that pages are missing and starts a manhunt for Flamel, Josh and Sophie along with his leaders of the Dark elders. The dark elders are a race of immortal beings that ruled the Earth long before humans. Josh and Sophie cannot escape their fate of being apart of the long struggle over the book.

"Through exploring other worlds, we can learn about our own cultures."

This quote is displayed in The Alchemyst because Sophie and Josh are regular teenagers that get thrown into a world with magic, immortals, monsters and legends. They, along with the reader, find out a lot about our culture when looking at the culture of the past and of the immortal Elders. Nicholas Flamel was an alchemist. Alchemy is the early form of chemistry. Alchemists in the sought after was of turning ordinary metals, like lead, into gold. They believed that metals were like people. Gold was the most mature metal while lead was the least. They thought by changing the four elements in these metals, earth, fire, water, and air, they could create gold. They also wanted to find the secret to eternal life. Knowing this we learn about our own culture and how far we have come in the fields of science. Today we know that everything is made up of matter, atoms, and elements. We learn how improtant science is today. Without what we know our lives would be much different. Without it we would not have microwaves, cell phones, batterys, and cars. Flamel, in the story, was born in the year 1330. He had discovered the secret for eternal life in the codex.
At one point in the story Flamel, Josh and Sophie see a Elder for help. This Elder lives in her own sadowrealm, which is separate from our world, like another dimension. This realm was created by magic and to stay existent needs energy and it takes energy from any source. When the group arrives the arrive by car. Josh and Sophie also carry cell phones and computers. Within a few minutes the realm has taken all of the power out of their electronics and car. Without the car they won't leave. This shows us how heavily we rely on our electronics and transportation in our culture. Without our phones and computers we complain and we would rather not walk if we have the choice.
In the story Josh and Sophie learn that All of the legends they heard as kids and magic are real. They are taken by surprise and do not know what to say and have many questions. They thought magic, which is the attempt to understand the world through symbols, rituals, and language, never existed. This tells the reader that our world know so little about the universe and what is around us. We have little understanding of the world we live in.
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sources

Radford, Benjamin. "What Is Alchemy?" LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 29 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.


"Magic (paranormal)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Feb. 2014. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.