Alchemyst by Michael Scott

I read the first couple of chapters and then went and got the next two books (The Magician and the Sorceress- there is one more I don't have and 6 are planned.) What I liked best was the way the author wove in mythologies and historical characters from all over the world and throughout history. Flamel was a real person who was reputed to have created the sorcerer's stone (as in Harry Potter). When he "died", grave robbers broke into his tomb, only to find it empty. Other historical characters include John Dee who was a physician during Queen Elizabeth the First's reign, Joan of Arc and Niccolo Machiavelli. I also like the way it isn't always clear who is a good guy and who is a bad guy. Can't wait to see how it all turns out!

1/1/14 update: I read four of these books and found myself running out of steam. It was starting to get depressing with the negative relationships between characters and I didn't see it getting better soon. I will go back and give it another shot at some point. That being said, they are still good books!