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The Necromancer

The Necromancer is the fourth book in the YA fantasy adventure series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott.

I know that I am quite behind in jumping into this series, so I wouldn’t be surprised if most of you have already read this series. But if you’re like me and are late to the boat, I strongly recommend you read the first three books in the series – The Alchemyst, The Magician, and The Sorceress - before reading this review. You can click on each title to read the corresponding review.

Don’t you roll your eyes at me! I know it gets old – but you KNOW you don’t want to spoil the fun of reading it that first time, not having any idea of what will happen! So, resist temptation! Only read the following review of The Necromancer if, and only if, you’ve read the first three books!

Okay? Okay. Here goes…

The Necromancer, like all the other books in the series so far, picks up almost immediately after the last one ended. We find fifteen-year-old twins Sophie and Josh back in San Francisco, getting a chance to visit their aunt and try to smooth over the fact that they have been absent for days without sufficient explanation.

Not real easy to explain that they suddenly realized their bosses were immortal and they are now part of a long battle for a Codex that could end the world. Let alone that they are apparently the key to everything – being the twins of legend.

While they try to get a bit of rest, Nicholas and Perry are coming to terms with the fact that they may not retrieve the Codex in time to survive the aging process much longer. They’ve decided they must deal with the mass of dangerous creatures of mythology that are housed on Alcatraz and waiting to be released on unsuspecting society.

In the meantime, Joan and Scatty appear to be stuck in a different time period altogether. Will they be able to return to help?

But when their nemesis’ Dr. Dee and Machiavelli come back into the picture, as well as some new faces, nothing goes according to plan…

Hmm. Well, if you’ve been keeping up with my reviews on this series you know that I have had very mixed feelings about The Secrets of Nicholas Flamel. I love the concept. The execution? Not so much. At least not all the time.

The Necromancer
is fast-paced, packed full of riveting history, action, and fantasy adventure – but it’s also kinda all over the place. It can feel disorganized, and sometimes some of the various plotlines can feel pointless… I hate to say that. And I know that there are a TON of fans of this series, so definitely don’t take my word for it!

Sadly, I just still don’t feel a connection to all the characters. I started to in The Magician, but then that was squashed in The Sorceress when they seemed, to me, to revert back to lifeless drones going along with the motions of a convoluted plot.

One of my biggest issues at this point is that the villains really do appear inept. They never succeed at their goal, which makes me wonder how they haven’t been defeated for this long. Our heroes, also, can come across as not too bright when they keep thinking they’ve killed the enemy – only to find out, yet again, that they are still alive and kicking.

So, despite all the reworking of legend and myths (which I love), I still feel disappointed in the series as rushes through great potential to advance a light and nearly non-existent plot. Much of the story seems recycled over and over again – such as Josh’s distrust in the Flamels’. It can be interesting, but also annoying when it continues through four books!

By the last quarter of The Necromancer it finally started to gain some actual momentum with tension and plot when the characters finally had something to DO! It did get better as it went on. But as was the case in a couple of the other books in the series, it often feels like too-little, too-late.

I’ll still read The Warlock and The Enchantress because I’ve gotten this far, but my expectations continue to be low.

Again, you love the series? Don’t listen to me! I’m glad you’re enjoying it!! This is just how one bibliophile feels, i.e. me.

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