This book takes place immediately after the end of The Alchemyst, and once again finds Josh, Sophie, Flamel and Scatty on the run for their lives. Admittedly, some of the details about the first half of this book have escaped me, because I started reading it in May 2011 and just now picked it up again a week or so ago. This should probably tell you that I wasn't completely enamored with it.Personally speaking, I didn't find this book quite as enjoyable as the first one. Much of this had to do with the constant non-stop action (which is to be expected, considering that each of these books takes place in one to two days) and also Josh's feelings towards Flamel and his jealousy over Sophie's abilities. I did like the introduction of Joan and absolutely loved Saint-Germain, but am finding myself getting really tired of Josh's constant sureness that Flamel isn't to be trusted regardless of what others' opinions are of him. I also cannot understand why on earth he'd think that Dee is to be trusted. I am not sure what to think about Machiavelli; I like that he doesn't like Dee, but he's also not exactly a great guy himself, especially at the end of the book. I will be interested to see what ultimately becomes of him and his decisions, especially since the Elder we meet in this book (no names to avoid spoilers) also cannot decide what to think of him. I fear for Josh and the debt he's going to have to pay, and also the fact that I am fairly certain he's going to end up siding with Dee. I did like that we got to see more of Perenelle, though. Talk about a fierce female character!I am going to continue on with this series only because I own the other books in the series (of which six have been released). I fear that I am not going to like how many of them turn out, though, which is a shame since I really enjoyed the first one a lot.