The idea sounds really cool. Ancient book (Book of Abraham the Mage), immortal dude (Nicholas Flamel), modern day San Francisco, Ojai, Paris, and others, and a whole bunch of magic and alchemy. Sweet!
Bitter! Man was this book a disappointment. Sometimes, when you're going somewhere, and you know what's going to happen, it gets old. You fall asleep. I'm just glad the drive was short because it really could have been dangerous.
It's not all bad, and I have to give credit where credit is due. Michael Scott does a great job of weaving actual events, Gods, and historical people into the story. Nicholas Flamel was an actual person, Perenelle was his wife, Dr. John Dee was a famous everyman, etc. So on that level, the book is an exciting read, and the points it brings up could send you on a weeks long search through the occult on wikipedia. For that, I am grateful, because hearing about obscure things that could be real always excites the imagination, and The Alchemyst certainly does that.
I don't really need to delve into the plot too much (if you're interested, go here), but essentially two twins with perfect silver and gold auras get mistakenly wrapped up in an immortal battle that will decide the fate of the human race. Everything will depend on them, but you'll have to wait for the following books to come out because this is a series!
Constructive criticism: too much fighting against dead things, not enough focus on character. I didn't believe or care about any of the characters, and not once was I wondering what was going to happen. It's a shame too because the idea is a solid one.
Great cover, bad insides. Next!