The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Here's a little synopsis of the book from Publisher's Weekly (Via Amazon.com): Twin 15-year-old siblings Sophie and Josh Newman take summer jobs in San Francisco across the street from one another: she at a coffee shop, he at a bookstore owned by Nick and Perry Fleming. In the vey first chapter, armed goons garbed in black with "dead-looking skin and... marble eyes" (actually Golems) storm the bookshop, take Perry hostage and swipe a rare Book (but not before Josh snatches its two most important pages). The stolen volume is the Codex, an ancient text of magical wisdom. Nick Fleming is really Nicholas Flamel, the 14th-century alchemist who could turn base metal into gold, and make a potion that ensures immortality. Sophie and Josh learn that they are mentioned in the Codex's prophecies: "The two that are one will come either to save or to destroy the world." Mayhem ensues, as Irish author Scott draws on a wide knowledge of world mythology to stage a battle between the Dark Elders and their hired gun—Dr. John Dee—against the forces of good, led by Flamel and the twins (Sophie's powers are "awakened" by the goddess Hekate, who'd been living in an elaborate treehouse north of San Francisco). Not only do they need the Codex back to stop Dee and company, but the immortality potion must be brewed afresh every month. Time is running out, literally, for the Flamels. Proceeding at a breakneck pace, and populated by the likes of werewolves and vampires, the novel ends on a precipice, presumably to be picked up in volume two.
I LOVE that Mr. Scott has used actual characters from Mythology and History to punctuate his magical stories. You'll be clamboring to learn which characters were real and which characters are from Mythology! I know I was intrigued by Dr. John Dee and looked up his history numerous times while reading this story! Nicholas Flamel and his wife, Perenelle, are characters that you will love and root for. I love the twins as well, though I do find myself growing aggravated with Josh at times, much as I did with Harry in Order of the Phoenix!
The sequel, The Magician, is already available on our shelves! Mr. Scott has planned for there to be six volumes in the series. The first book has already been optioned to be made into a movie! The third book, The Sorceress, will be released in May 2009. Keep an eye on this series. If Mr. Scott keeps writing such wonderful books, he's sure to be on everyone's To-Read list!
I hope you enjoy Mr. Scott's work as much as I have!