The Warlock: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 5

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
The Warlock: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 5 Book Poster Image
Penultimate in edu-taining fantasy series harder to love.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Consistent with the series, historical and mythological figures play significant roles in the plot and often discuss their past importance. Look for Shakespeare, Palamedes, Gilgamesh, Abraham the Mage, Scathach, Joan of Arc, Prometheus, Billy the Kid, Virginia Dare, Dr. John Dee ... the list goes on. Mythological creatures also get high billing, especially the Lotan, a sphinx, and anpu. An afterword discusses the vimanas (flying saucer-like ships) and how flying machines have appeared far back in various mythologies.

Positive Messages

Lots of talk about what characters would do to save the ones they love -- the answer is always "anything and everything." Broad concepts are also explored by the wise character Tsagaglalal, like the fact that knowledge in itself isn't dangerous, but how it's used can be. Virginia Dare discusses Einstein's assertion that imagination is more important than knowledge.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Twins Sophie and Josh are split up here. While Sophie still seems to side with the "good guys," she's a reluctant hero. Josh is easily swayed by the "bad guys," but a cursed sword confuses his thinking. Both feel betrayed by the other but would still do anything to protect their twin. Other characters make tough choices to protect the human race.

Violence

Scary monsters abound, including vicious dog-like creatures called anpu, a many-headed Lotan that sucks blood and auras, and some pretty nasty mermaids. Some sword- and fist-fighting and a big battle with flying saucer-like ships. Some main characters are incarcerated in an active volcano. Lots of talk of the imminent destruction of Earth and past civilizations. Two beloved characters only have a day left to live.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is the second-to-last book in the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel fantasy series. Numerous mythological traditions and characters, historical figures, and time periods meld together here, which may turn inquisitive kids into frequent visitors to Wikipedia, Bulfinch's Mythology, and other sources for background info. Expect middle-of-the-road violence for a fantasy novel, including a giant many-headed snake and nasty mermaids set to do the most damage. A high-speed chase in flying saucers also puts characters at risk, and two central characters only have a day left to live. All this set against the backdrop of the imminent destruction of our world and others.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byunknown person June 1, 2011

Unknownperson

This book series is totally awesome! I was so hooked in it, I couldn't wait for The Warlock to come out!
Parent of a 15 year old Written bymamma bear reader May 19, 2011
I absolutely loved this book....It was a history lesson as well as an action packed adventure. My children and I have read all of the books in this series and w... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byjjjones20 May 26, 2011

spectacular

i think the book was fantastic i was only irritated with the suspense
Teen, 16 years old Written byaugey July 7, 2018

The warlock

This fifth book in the Nicholas Flamel series is probably my least favorite in the series but it is still interesting enough that I would recommend reading it.... Continue reading

What's the story?

When Josh Newman follows Dr. John Dee out of his burning high-rise, his sister Sophie feels betrayed. But she sticks with the Flamels, who, without the Codex that Dee stole, will die in days. She intends to slip into her Aunt Agnes' for a change of clothes (and as few explanations as possible) when she's hit with a big surprise: Aunt Agnes is really one of the oldest humani alive and has special messages for Sophie and Josh for when the end is near. Meanwhile, Scathach, Joan of Arc, Saint Germain, Shakespeare, Palamedes, and a mysterious hook-handed man travel through shadowrealms to finally arrive in Danu Talis (aka Atlantis) right before its fall. If it doesn't fall, the humani will never exist. But how can the immortals ensure its destruction when they're captured and hauled into an active volcano?

Is it any good?

We're on book five now, and watching the author's ambitious melding of many myths, eras, cultures, belief systems, and crazy creatures has been extremely edu-taining. And at this point, readers are quite invested (it's practically guaranteed that they've spent some time on Wikipedia looking up Scathach, the sphinx, the world tree, Gilgamesh, and many other pieces of and characters in the story). 

But the heart of the story is the twins and their awakening. Or at least it was. In THE WARLOCK, they never get to show off their powers or save the day in any way. They're in mopey "how'd I get myself into this end of the world stuff?" mode. And Josh, his every thought tainted by a cursed sword, is barely there at all. Readers will miss having the siblings anchor this volume and may find the split story and myriad characters recalling myriad moments in the past even more distracting and muddled this time around. Warlock's saving grace? The very last page. Yup. It'll really get readers wondering how the series will all end. Let's hope the last book will hold together better than this one did.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about this series and others like it that combine myth with the modern world. Did the mythology draw you to the series? Those who have read Percy Jackson and The Kane Chronicles may want to compare and contrast them with this series.

  • Are you just as excited for the final book in the series as you were when the series began? Have you noticed anything changing about the books with each installment?

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