Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Necromancer- Book 4 in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series

With awesome covers and an intriguing story these books have fascinated me since the day I picked the first one up (with absolutely no idea this was part one of six! ugh).  I'd be lying though if I didn't say I've struggled with them, and I just couldn't pin point why.  I love the story, it's action packed and full of great reveals and monsters.  There's an intriguing cast of characters, many of whom are immortal and have rich histories for Michael Scott to divulge at his leisure.  So what is it, exactly, that rubs me the wrong way about these books?  Why is it I feel kind of unsatisfied every time I finish one?

At first I thought it was because although I was intrigued by the characters I didn't like any of them.  Especially the Twins, Josh and Sophie, who are sort of the Hero's of the story.  There's nothing worse than when an author, in attempt to be gritty and realistic, ends up taking away all the redeeming factors from a character leaving you with some unlikable, often cruel, protagonist.  But while reading The Necromancer I decided that although Michael Scott repeatedly makes Josh a whinny temperamental teenager (ugh, my least favorite, their bad enough in person! please don't follow me into my reading too!), and insists on hinting at Nicholas and Pernelles potentially less than heroic past (I think he's just trying to be mysterious and keep you guessing but really it just gets frustrating), the real problem is the pacing of the books coupled with the one year breaks between them.

Four books into a six part series, Michael Scott has only covered 7 days.  They have been an astoundingly action packed seven days, honestly it's shocking when you get reminded of just how little time has gone by, but if you think of it this way, it means he's averaging less than two days per book.  With each book spread apart by a year.  See what I mean?
And that is what I think the problem is.
Take a series that is gogogogogogo, and cut it off right in the middle of something big, annnnnnnnnnnd, wait for a year to read the next two days of gogogogogogogo, annnnnnnnnd, wait for another year to jump right back into the action and gogogogogogogo.

Honestly, I think this series has awesome potential, once it's fully released in two more years.  Until then, it just sort of drives me crazy, and i doubt I'm enjoying the full scope of it reading it as it releases each year.  Will I keep buying it as it comes out? Yes.  Do I recommend it? Yes, at this point four of the six books are out, so it's a good time to jump on board.  But for us suckers who started with the first book?  Honestly it just isn't working for me.  I'm pretty sure I'll feel differently about it once I double back and read it in one go, but since the ending of The Necromancer was completely annoying(seriously does it always have to end on such a cliff hanger?) I'm not in any hurry to go back to them right away.

The Necromancer, Book 4 in The Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series, By Michael Scott
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers,  April 2010

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