Review The Alchemyst

Senin, 16 Januari 2012



The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1)

by Michael Scott (Goodreads Author), Berliani M. Nugrahani (Translator), Nadya Andwiani (Editor)

Kebenaran:

Nicholas Flamel, yang lahir di Paris pada tanggal 28 September 1330, dikenal sebagai Alchemyst termasyhur di masanya. Ia berusaha menciptakan ramuan untuk hidup abadi, dan mengubah logam biasa menjadi emas murni. Menurut catatan, sang Alchemyst meninggal pada tahun 1418, tetapi ketika dibongkar ternyata makamnya kosong.

Legenda:

Nicholas Flamel masih hidup karena ia berhasil menemukan ramuan untuk hidup abadi. Semua rahasianya ada dalam Buku Abraham sang Magus. Jika jatuh ke tangan orang yang salah, buku itu dapat membawa petaka bagi umat manusia.

Terkadang, legenda merupakan kebenaran.

Josh dan Sophie Newman tidak menyangka, ternyata pemilik Small Book Shop tempat Josh bekerja merupakan Nicholas Flamel, sang Alchemyst yang berusia lebih dari 600 tahun! Rahasia di balik umur panjangnya adalah Buku Abraham sang Magus, harta berharga yang telah dijaga Flamel seumur hidupnya.

Kedua remaja berusia 15 tahun ini terlibat dalam perseteruan yang berusia ribuan tahun, ketika musuh bebuyutan sang Alchemyst, Dr. John Dee, berhasil merampas Buku Abraham dan menculik istri Nicholas, Perenelle Flamel.

Kehidupan Josh dan Sophie seketika berubah. Terutama setelah mengetahui ternyata mereka bukan sekadar remaja biasa. Dalam diri si kembar tersimpan sebuah kekuatan hebat yang kelak akan menjadikan mereka penyelamat dunia

Penerbit MataHati 2008

Saya: ending yg menggembirakan: Flamel dan si kembar selamat... tapi yg saya herankan, orang2 Inggris lebih dekat dengan kisah fantasi (juga sejarah) magic n tetek bengek lainnya, tapi kenapa sekarang ada org Prancis yang jago juga?

Mega: really like it!!!!sampe akhir, gw jadi bingung, ini yang sebenernya baek Flammel atau John Dee.
tapi karakter Dee itu oke banget lho. cerdas gitu.

Cindy: Kisahnya cukup seru, meskipun dengan tema yang tidak asing untuk novel fantasi. Belum punya pendapat lebih lanjut, karena setelah membaca buku 1 ini, terasa baru saja tercebur dalam nuansa awal petualangan yang masih akan berlanjut... lanjut... lanjut....

An: menggabungkan mitologi dan legenda pada kehidupan modern. itulah kesan awal yang tertangkap dari kisah fantasi ini. antara ilmu pengetahuan (penemuan para arkeolog) dan mitos (penyembahan kepada dewa-dewi). menghubungkan kebenaran mitos dengan bukti penemuan-penemuan dari hasil galian-galian.

siapa sangka jika orang yang terlibat dalam petualangan ini, anak kembar dari pasangan arkeolog sehingga peristiwa-peristiwa yang terjadi lebih mudah dipahami oleh mereka dibanding jika pelaku na adalah orang awam. sophie dan josh, pemilihan penokohan yang hebat. dan menarik lagi ketika 'penyelamat dunia' dari golongan humani yang ditunjuk adalah pasangan kemar. sehingga konflik yang bermain lebih dapat dirasakan. ketika pasangan kembar selalu ada satu sama lain, sama. namun karena kondisi tertentu harus terjadi perbedaan di antara mereka. rasa iri yang muncul adalah sesuatu yang wajar. akankah perbedaan itu menciptakan jarak diantara mereka berdua?

flamel sang manusia abadi menyimpan codex dengan ramalan akan ada na pasangan kembar yang akan menyelamatkan dunia atau justru menghancurkan na. ramalan tersebut mulai tampak nyata. jadi.. apakah pasangan ini akan menyelamatkan dunia, atau menghancurkan dunia? kedua na, atau salah satu na? siapa yang menjadi sosok penyelamat dan siapa yang jadi penghancur? baca aja..

Kris: This book was awful. So awful, it warrants me actually putting in a review.

First of all, there isn't enough Nicholas Flamel. There is far too much of the twins that kind of become Nic's apprentices, and attatches way too much teenage exposition to them. And we don't need the two of them mentioning that their parents are archaeologists every other page. We got it the first time. Move on. And even if their parents are archaeologists, they're not necessarily going to know as much about it as they seem too. When you're 15, you try to stay away from your parents as much as possible. And there seriously didn't need to be as much name dropping around the character of Josh (I swear to God, whenever the story was from his perspective, there was always a name dropped of a movie or a video game, and there was always mention of his laptop, his cell phone, and that he had been on the football team). And the repetition of the name dropping, or them mentioning their parent's profession, was enough to make you put a gun barrel in your mouth. It felt way too forced. Too much like he was trying to be all, "Look!! I'm one of you!!"

He turned a potentially kick-ass 2 1/2 thousand year old vampire into a lame teenager. Not a cool one, something you might have imagined Bill and Charlie Weasly being. No, she was lame ... and just happened to be able to kick ass ... cuz she was a vampire.

And some of the other gods could've been completely awesome (like Morrígan) ... but they came off kind of lame, without any real power, and seemingly easily manipulated.

Scott really could've done something awesome with this, if he had decided to do a kick ass Sword & Sorcery story (a la "Highlander: The Series"). Instead, it felt more like a teenager's attempt at High Fantasy (::cough::Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2)::cough::), and not a very good one at that. And seriously, mentioning LotR at the beginning of your book, does not a High Fantasy make. Nor does having something that's the equivalent of the Force, a good fantasy make.

Mike: I'll try to be fair here, this is a "YA" book and it comes in telling us it's going to "play" with historical and mythological figures....and play it does. I found the book annoying and wonder at the damage we're doing to our "youths" and their knowledge of mythology, what we can learn from mythology, from the archetypal characters, thoughts, and ideas they contain.

Okay, part of rant over. There are different types of YA books. Some are more yA while others are more Ya. This is in style and execution more of a Ya book with emphasis on the "Young" rather than the "adult". With it's repetitive story telling (asking something and then farther on asking it again, and again especially by the boy was a sort of constant). Then however, along with the juvenile storytelling you get attempts at "semi-adult" content that doesn't really work. ************************* Spoiler Below Line ************************

What annoyed me so much? Well, I happen to have a special "feeling" for the Cú Chulainn legend.... I'm not sure how good it is for "youths" to "learn" that "Scáthach" is a vampire. (I know vampires are ubiquitous now... but a mythical Celtic hero, trainer of Cú Chulainn? making her a "teenage vampire", I shudder even now) Shall I go on? The "kids" are annoying... mom and dad are archeologists (believe me I know this because...as noted before "repetition", they just kept telling us over and over). The "kids", the "twins" apparently know quite a bit about this subject, they retained it seems everything ever uttered about it along with a few other subjects, but apparently not much else. Well, of course as occasionally one of them (especially the young lady) seems to show odd flashes of almost encyclopedic knowledge of some things. We are told (again over and over) about the electronic devices they "depend" on (especially the young man). They apparently learned everything they know from movies, video games, and maybe their downloaded music. Maybe had they bothered to download a couple of books? These two drove me crazy... they couldn't find electrical outlets in the world tree, and it flummoxed them... okay.

There's more and we've all played with mythology I suppose but I'm not really taken with this book. No that's a polite understatement, I'm annoyed with this book and approaching dislike. I'll go with 2 stars, but "just" or barely. Will I read the next book? Haven't decided yet.

Oh, one more thing, the book doesn't "conclude" or "end" so much as "stop". Lots I didn't care for... sorry if you liked it.

By the way..the fact that Michael Scott is a mythology scholar simply bothers me more. He is of course free to treat these figures as he wishes... I make no complaint about that. But I'm free not to enjoy the given treatment, and I don't. As I say in many cases, if you do enjoy the book then that's good for you...enjoy, not my cup of tea.

UPDATE: I'm not planning on following the book up...just letting you know

Grace: To be honest I would never have read this book had I not been given it for my birthday. It was obviously one of those books that was cranked out immediately after the Harry Potter phenomenon and was unabashedly aimed toward that audience. Now don't get me wrong, I adore Harry Potter and that's probably why this sort of book irritates me. I've picked it up in the bookstore before, interested by the title and catchy cover, but after flipping through it I always put it back.

It is very similar to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series in that it uses old mythology and mythical figures for it's main plot. I wasn't enchanted with either of the authors approaches. The characters in The Alchemyst are flat and one dimensional and where he could have gone all out with the 700-10,000 year old beings he stuck with boring, flat interpretations. The twins were just as flat and uninteresting. After an entire book there isn't more one could say about them than: The girl is the thoughtful one who looks out for her brother and makes sure he doesn't get into trouble and the boy is the reckless one. They are also not that likable and at times irritating. I wanted to reach through and smack them when, halfway through the book, they were still insisting that they must be on Candid Camera and the whole thing was a big hoax.

The plot wasn't particularly engaging either and it seemed that every other page there had to be a big, magical battle, as if he felt the only way to keep the reader going was to put in action. Personally, I think that is a mark of an adult author who is trying to write for kids. Obviously kids can't read anything deep and are too uninterested and the only way to keep them reading is to pack the entire book with pointless battle scenes. Who needs engaging, round characters and character development? *rolls eyes* It was also very predictable and linear, with no risks or surprises.
I'm glad that I decided to read this book on an eleven hour plane ride because that way I could get it over with in a day, without having to drag it out for several. I probably won't read the rest of the series as I was, obviously, far from enchanted by the first one.

Bunga: Buku tebal tercepat yang pernah saya baca.
Bagaikan Nick Fleming, eh, Flamel bersama Josh dan Sophie Newman yang dikejar-kejar John Dee, Morrigan hingga Bastet karena menyimpan dua lembar terakhir dari Codex, buku Abraham Sang Magus, saat The Alchemyst ini saya kuasai banyak orang di luar sana yang mengejar-ngejar saya. Ini karena saya ambil dari Mahbubi (kelas 5) yang belum selesai membacanya pada Jumat siang lalu. Padahal Mahbubi juga meminjamnya dari Faisal (kelas 2) yang telah mendaftarkannya di perpustakaan untuk masa pinjaman kedua karena dia belum selesai membacanya. Padahal lagi, Iyas (kelas 2) sudah mengantri untuk meminjamnya setelah Faisal, belum lagi Bu Latifah (Kepala SMA) nampaknya sudah berminat membacanya setelah saya. Apa boleh buat, sambil menanti kereta menuju Jakarta kemarin malam, buku ini saya kebut karena Senin besok saya sudah berjanji mengembalikannya untuk dibaca oleh Iyas. Sampai di rumah, hanya terkejar sekian halaman karena lelah dan tertidur, maka baru tadi pagi buku ini akhirnya kelar. Huuuuffff... petualangan mengejar buku perpustakaan paling dramatis... :)

Oh ya, cerita bukunya sendiri tentang apa yah? Semata sebuah petualangan berbau "magic" atau sihir kuno karena:
1) melibatkan tokoh-tokoh yang immortal, berusia ratusan hingga puluhan ribu tahun 2) mencampur berbagai mitologi,dongeng, legenda dan sejarah dalam untaian peristiwa yang konon saling berkaitan (contoh: ada sphinx dan pterodactyl "hidup" di San Fransisco. loh!) 3) selain itu, tokoh-tokoh di buku ini mampu menciptakan mahkluk tak bernyawa namun mampu dikendalikan. Dalam bahasa zaman sekarang, mereka disebut "robot", namun karena setting cerita sudah dibangun lintas waktu dan tempat, maka mahkluk2 ini disebut "golem", "lacra", "torc" dan lain-lain.

Seperti banyak cerita lain, terlalu banyak unsur kebetulan (buat saya) yang menjadikan si kembar Sophie dan Josh Newman sebagai pelaku utama cerita. Jalan ceritanya sudah cukup ramai dan seharusnya mendebarkan. Tapi entahlah, unsur mendebarkan dan emosi-emosi lainnya tidak terasa di sini. Kita seperti mendengarkan saja peristiwa demi peristiwa yang disaksikan pengarang; sangat detil dan membuat kita seperti melihatnya sendiri. Sayangnya saksi tersebut kurang berempati pada kejadian, jadi kita bisa menganggapnya sebagai peristiwa biasa.

Bukan berarti lantas saya percaya bahwa Nicholas Flamel atau John Dee benar-benar kenal William Shakespeare, yah. Sebagai sebuah kemungkinan, hal itu masuk akal, sama seperti masuk akalnya bahwa di masa Babilonia, seorang gadis pernah dijodohkan untuk menjadi permaisuri Nebukadnezar (tapi gadis itu tak harus Scathach, kan?). Kalau buku ini saya kebut, selain alasan yang sudah saya tulis di atas, alasan lainnya adalah saya menunggu kemunculan banshee yang pastinya dikenal oleh pengarang, dan Kaisar Zhu Di yang mengirim armada penjelajah dunia, hehehe...

Ternyata tidak ada di buku ini. Di buku kedua, mungkin ada tidak? :D