Sunday, November 29, 2009

Progress Report: The Alchemyst (page 50)

Chapter 6 ends conveniently on page 50, so I figured this would be a good time to post a quick update. I've been in and out of town for the last five weeks for both work and vacation, so today has been a bit of a "catch up" day on housework and friends, so I haven't has nearly as much time to delve into this book as I had hoped. Ah well, c'est la vie...

So far, Michael Scott's book is compelling. The plot is fast-paced, and you are almost instantly thrust into the action, with the necessary explanations interwoven with progressions of the main story. I promise to not post spoilers without ample warning on this blog, and I'll avoid doing so tonight. I'll just say that I'm very much enjoying the story and its cast of characters, thus far.

Three things that stick out most in my mind, from what I've read:

1.) I'm in love with Scott's writing style. It's easy to read, yet eloquent in its execution. Simple, straightforward sentences with elegant embellishment. Younger readers shouldn't have much trouble getting through the pages, while adults can read on with the confidence that this is not just kid stuff.

2.) Scott plays with history, putting his own mystical spin on some of the great catastrophes that have occurred in the last half-millenium. I'm not meticulous enough to wiki all of the events I've read about so far in The Alchemyst, but it's kind of fun to see this playful stretch of the term "historical fiction."

3.) The nods to modern customs and references to pop culture have made me smile. Scott mentions well-known books, movies, music, video games, and tech gadgets of our time. This book was originally published in 2007, so for now, the references are contemporary. I'll be interested to see how readers will view those same references a generation or two from now.

Well, 50 out of 370+ pages in less than an hour. I should be through this by week's end, hopefully much sooner. Sadly, being gone a week from work and having some deadlines tomorrow means I may have to break a couple days from The Alchemyst after tonight. I'm going to try to revisit my book again tonight, after finishing up the last couple loads of laundry. Don't you wish clothes would clean and fold themselves sometimes?

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