Jen Robinson's review of this book made me want to pick it up. She also said if you liked The Eight, you probably would like this one. Well, not much else she would have to say to get me hooked. :-)
This young adult novel starts off in present day when twins Sophie and Josh (whose parents are off on an archaeological dig--they are staying with an aunt) happen upon a magical fight between book store owner Nick Fleming (aka Nicholas Flamel) and bad guy Dr. John Dee. Dee is trying to steal an antique book from Fleming. The twins intervene and end up getting themselves mixed up in an ageless battle full of mythological creatures, magical powers, auras, and a plethora of other supernatural things. Sophie and Josh find themselves visiting shadowrealms and learning about dangerous creatures. Flamel thinks the twins fulfill an ancient prophecy and he sets about awakening their unknown powers. Unfortunately, Sophie is given power, but the group is interrupted before Josh can attain his. This leads to a bit of sibling rivalry and we are left with the question of whether Josh will turn to the "dark side" or stick with his sister and their newfound guardians.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is filled with historical references and many of the characters including Nick Fleming/Flamel were real figures, all of which I truly enjoyed. Some parts of it were long and and a bit dull. Even though there was a small battle in this book, it seems to be building toward a greater battle in the future. I'm basing this next comment off the movies and not the books (*gasp* I've never read the Lord of the Rings trilogy); This sort of reminded me a tiny bit of Lord of the Rings. Granted, it is quite different in terms of the specifics of the stories and the characters. And maybe its just the good vs. evil thing and the idea of an epic battle that reminds me of Tolkien's series. I suppose there are many good vs. evil books out there. This was about a 3.75 out of 5 for me. But I will definitely be reading The Magician to find out how the story continues. The Sorceress, the third book in the series comes out May 29, 2009.