When we are immersed in the world of a story through reading fiction, our heart rates slow down and our muscles relax. Actually, reading any genre you love is a stress reducer, but according to research, there is an added something about fiction and the draw of a story that helps our brains and bodies relax as we enter a “new world.” Years ago, I encountered a term I love: “literary space,” where we know we are in the room or setting where we are reading, but we also encounter an almost dream-state of watching the story unfold in our mind’s eye.
With an intention to enter that literary space myself, I decided to try out a new YA series that I’ve heard is addictive, and draws readers into a believable fantasy story world: The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott. The Alchemist, Nicholas Flamel, is a fascinating real person from history. If the name sounds familiar, you’ve likely read another fictional world that includes him: the Harry Potter series. The actual Flamel died in 1418, but the premise of this fantasy series is that he actually discovered an elixir for immortality that he and his wife have been making–and using–for centuries. The secrets for eternal life are carefully and secretly recorded in a powerful and dangerous book which Nicholas protects: the Book of Abraham the Mage. Contemporary (21st century) twins Sophie and Josh become the potential saviors of the Earth when the book threatens to get into the hands of the evil Dr. John Dee and their charge is to rescue it. Michael Scott is a masterful writer and draws readers into his fantasy world of mystery and magic, with a healthy dose of Good Versus Evil. It’s a six-book series that has worked its magic on me, and I imagine other readers will delight in a gripping novel that takes you away. Happy Reading!