By Maile Meloy
Art by Ian Schoenherr
Published Date: October 4th, 2011
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Book One in the Apothecary Series
It’s 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows—a fascinating boy who’s not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary’s sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies—Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.
Because I have been watching Fullmetal Alchemist I have been trying to find some good books that include alchemy. So I picked up the Apothecary which said included some alchemical like action. After reading it found that the book was geared towards younger readers. The story also takes place around the cold war and the races to build atomic bombs. Other than that there was really no historical element that I found. I would say the alchemical magic was interesting and was the only thing that kept me interested.