Review: The Warlock by Michael Scott

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Book 5

The Warlock by Michael Scott, UK edition cover.

Title: The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)
Author: Michael Scott
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: 2nd June 2011 (Doubleday)
Blurb:

The twins of prophecy have finally been divided. The end is near.

In Alcatraz, Machiavelli and Billy the Kid are following the Elders’ plans to unleash the monsters of Alcatraz on the city of San Francisco, triggering the end of the Humani race.

In the Shadowrealm, warriors – including Scathach and Palamedes – have been summoned to travel back in time to destroy the lost city of Danu Talis. The island must fall to save the modern world.

In San Francisco, Josh has chosen a side – and he will not stand with his sister, Sophie, or the Alchemyst, Nicholas Flamel. He has chosen to fight alongside John Dee and the mysterious Virginia Dare.


Rating: ****
(4 stars)
Review:

The Warlock is the penultimate book in Michael Scott’s series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. The story starts from where The Necromancer leaves off. Scott crams so much into such a short period of time – it is hard to believe that the first book in the series The Alchemyst takes place on Thursday 31st May whilst this book takes place  on Wednesday 6th June. A lot happens in just six days in this world.

To be honest I’m not quite sure where to begin talking about this book. It took me on one heck of a ride, and there were times when I just wanted to get off but something always drew me back. This book is not for the faint hearted; it’s not for those who want the world painted in black and white – this character is good, and this character is evil; it’s not for those who give up easily. So the question is, who is it for? It’s for the dogged and the determined; for those who can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel; for those who believe and hope and wish.

There is a very definite sense that this book is the beginning of the end – and what a glorious, surprising, heart-breaking end it will be. You can almost see Scott start to gather all the plot threads, he’s weaved in the previous four book, together and the tapestry he’s created starts to become clearer. It’s still blurry, and there’s still more of a twisty journey to take, but you know the final reveal is almost – but not quite – upon you.

Like the other books in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, The Warlock opens with a diary entry. However, for the first time we have a new speaker – a new insight into the events we have watched unfurl on the page for the previous four books. It adds an interesting twist and some more depth to the story – it becomes more real.

The story is a very tense one. The lines blur, and as the reader I found myself wondering which twin had picked the “right” side – was there even a right one to pick? This is partly why I found the book difficult. The further I read, the more in knots I found myself. Previously trustworthy characters were suddenly dubious – one character in particular I found myself really disliking – and I began to wonder how much of Dee’s lies were truths; because the best lies have truth at the bottom of them. And then there were the words of the prophecy, which seemed to haunt the pages:

The two that are one must become the one that is all. One to save the world, one to destroy it.

Which twin is which? That is the question that The Warlock leaves us with. I for one cannot wait for The Enchantress to find out.

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