The Magician is the second book in Michael’s Scott’s young adult fantasy series. The series revolves around two teenage twins, Sophie and Josh, who are traveling the world with Nicholas Flamel, famous alchemist from the 15th-century who also happens to be immortal. In this novel, the twins have arrived in France with Nicholas and Scatty, another immortal warrior who is helping keep the twins alive. They are looking for someone to Awaken Josh’s powers, and teach Sophie to use all of her newly Awakened powers.
We get to meet several new and exciting characters in this novel, the first being a new immortal villain, Machiavelli. Machiavelli does not like working with Dee, the very evil villain we met in the first book, but must when his master commands him. He does not seem to be quite as cold-hearted as Dee, and he likes to quote himself from the various books he has written over the centuries (which amused me greatly). We also get to meet some more of the “good guys,” like St. Germain, another immortal, a Frenchman who used to be a student of Flamel. We also meet his wife, Joan of Arc, not burned at the stake–rescued by Scatty, and now living in secret in France. St. Germain and Joan help Sophie, Josh, and Flamel fight the next round of evil minions Dee and Machiavelli send after them.
While I liked this novel, I didn’t like it quite as much as the first, and here’s why. I really started to have enough of Josh’s incessant complaining. He is jealous of his twin, because she has powers and he doesn’t. He doesn’t trust Nicholas Flamel. Sword fighting is hard. The list went on and on. I realize he is a teenage boy in extraordinary circumstances, but by the end of the novel he had gotten on my nerves to the point where I almost wanted to give up on the book. Another issue was the cliffhanger chapter endings, which were followed by chapters from another person’s point of view. I did like hearing so many different points of view, but I didn’t need the cliffhanger endings to make me want to keep reading the book, it was a good enough story in it’s own right. (And, after reading Karen Marie Monig’s Fever series, I never really want to read another cliffhanger ending ever again, thank you very much). When every chapter is a cliffhanger ending, they lose their effect and just get frustrating.
Despite my gripes, I did like this book and am looking forward to the next one. We got to see more of Perenelle, which was fun. She and Scatty are my favorite characters. Perenelle is still trying to escape Alcatraz, where she was imprisoned by Dee; although, by the end of the novel, the lines between captive and captor are getting a little blurred. It’s also clear that something big is about to happen to all these characters and I want to see what it is. I am intrigued by how many characters from mythology Michael Scott is weaving into his story as well. I thought I was pretty good with mythological characters, and some of these I have not ever heard before. If you haven’t started reading this series yet, start soon!