- "He was a normal high school sophomore, not too brilliant, but not stupid either. He played football, sang—badly—in his friend's band, had a few girls he was interested in, but no real girlfriend yet. He played the occasional computer game […] He loved The Simpsons and could quote chunks of episodes by heart, really liked Shrek, though he'd never admit it, thought the new Batman was all right, and that X-Men was excellent. He even liked the new Superman, despite what other people said. Josh was ordinary. "
- — - On the topic of Josh Newman, The Alchemyst
Josh Newman is the younger of a set of twins that are part of a prophecy that includes himself and his sister Sophie Newman. They were told that they were born on December 21, 1991, but Josh was actually born to a prehistoric human tribe around 30,000 B.C. He was moved to a Shadowrealm where time stops by Isis and Osiris and eventually joined by Sophie. They both have blonde hair and blue eyes. Their adoptive parents are Richard Newman and Sara Newman, who, at the end of The Warlock, turn out to be Osiris and Isis. Osiris and Isis later confirm that they didn't birth the twins and there wasn't a blood relation between them. Josh's aura is gold and has the scent of oranges and proves he is one of the Twins of Legend, posing as the sun.
After Dr. John Dee tries to take the Codex from Nicholas Flamel, Josh, who was working at the bookshop Flamel owned, rips the 2 pages of the Codex and goes with Flamel along with Sophie. They stay with Scathach until they are forced to flee to Hekate. When Sophie's aura is awakened by Hekate, there is no time for Josh's aura to also be awakened as an invading army led by Bastet, the Morrigan and Dr. John Dee freeze and shatter the world tree, Yggdrasil. Eventually, in Paris, Flamel gives him Clarent, the Sword of Fire, for him to use to protect himself. With it, he slays Nidhogg and sees its memories. Josh also has the memories and strategies of Mars Ultor, as it was he who awakened josh in The Catacombs of Paris, Josh is also taught the magic of Water from Gilgamesh The King.
After arriving back in San Francisco, Josh learns the Magic of Fire from the Elder Prometheus, in his Shadowrealm, Hades. After learning Fire Magic, Josh sides with Dee and is tricked into releasing Coatlicue. Then Josh goes to Alcatraz with Dee and his associate, Virginia Dare, to unleash monsters on San Francisco. Before they do, Virginia teaches Josh the Magic of Air. They release the Lotan and succeed in releasing the rest of the monsters from their cells, until Mars, Hel, and Odin race to Alcatraz to stop them.
Dee uses the Four Swords of Power to create a leygate to Danu Talis before it sinks, bringing along with him Josh, Dare, and Sophie. Josh and Sophie meet Isis and Osiris who take them in. Soon they are to be presented to the Elders as the successors of Aten. Sophie and Josh leave and go to the roof of The Pyramid of the Sun. They see Isis and Osiris and start to argue. During the battle, it is revealed that Josh and Sophie are not brother and sister. Isis and Osiris went looking for people with pure gold and silver auras, finding Josh at a prehistoric human camp with a gold aura. They stole him as a baby and raised him as their own alongside Sophie. Soon Isis and Osiris decide to kill the twins and reveal that they are Earthlords. Josh kills them and realizes that he is the twin to destroy Danu Talis. He fuses the four swords and becomes Marethyu, which, in the lost language of Danu Talis, translates to Death. He also created a Shadowrealm modelled after the Pleistocene Epoch, but with four moons and no snakes.
His hook/sickle is the four swords of power fused together.
"Today, I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds."
Josh Newman is protective at the beginning of the series and becomes more so during The Alchemyst. He grows jealous when he does not get Awakened and Sophie does. He was also stubborn and brave, more so that sometimes he didn't know what he was doing for example when he was finding Scathach in The Magician. He finds it getting harder to trust Nicholas Flamel as the series proceeds due to all the secrets the Alchemyst has been keeping from them. As the story continues, Josh is Awakened and is secretly jealous of the fact that Sophie can do more than him.
Powers & Abilities
- Awakened Senses: Josh Newman has been awakened, or has learned to harness the power of their aura. He has significantly sharper senses, better reflexes, and greater stamina than most humani.
- Aura Manipulation: Josh Newman has learned to control his aura to a certain extent. He is able to shape the aura around his body, and uses it to power his magic.
- Legendary swords: Has wielded a sword of power.
- Master Tactician & Strategist: After being Awakened by Mars Ultor, the Elder grants Josh all his skills as a tactician and strategist.
- Immortality: Josh Newman is Immortal and does not age. Though an immortal may be poisoned or slain in battle, they may live for thousands or millions of years.
Master of Air
- Aeromancy: Masters of air can greatly compress and decompress air. Air can be manipulated to form tornadoes, walls, and shields. Highly pressurized air can be shaped into blades, orbs, blasts, and explosions.
- Exnomophis: Masters of air can alter the balance of the components that make up air.
- Flight: Masters of air can fly by manipulating air currents.
- Manipulation of Weather: Masters of air can create powerful tornadoes, hurricanes, twisters, whirlwinds etc.
- Thermokinesis: Masters of air can change the temperature of air, either freezing it or heating it to extreme temperatures.
- Typhokinesis: Masters of air can manipulate air particulates, such as smoke, mist, and clouds.
Master of Fire
- Healing: Masters of fire can heal certain types of wounds with fire by fusing and reforming tissue.
- Pyromancy: Masters of fire can create, extinguish, manipulate, move, and throw fire. Fire can be formed into shapes.
- Thermokinesis: Masters of fire can greatly heat an object or enemy with a touch.
- Welding: Masters of fire can melt and fuse stone, metal, and many other substances.
Master of Water
- Hydromancy: Masters of water can create, move, and shape water into nearly any shape or form imaginable.
- Manipulation of Bodies of Water: Masters of water can manipulate rivers and oceans, such as impacting tidal currents, causing floods, and creating waves.
- Thermokinesis: Masters of water can manipulate the temperature of water, causing it to boil or freeze.
- Weather Manipulation: Masters of water can create rain, clouds, and storms.
Josh's Letter to Sophie
This letter is at the end of The Enchantress.
My Dearest Sister,
I can not promise you too many letters -- you know how bad I am at writing, and there aren't really phones where I've been.
I wanted you to know that I am safe and well and getting used to the hook. I did scratch my head with it, but that's a mistake you only make once. I've had a couple of offers to turn it into a proper silver hand or a golden glove, but to be honest, I've grown rather fond of it. And of course, it does have some wonderful advantages. I used it to make this most amazing Shadowrealm only last month. I put some great prehistoric animals in it and added two moons -- and of course, there are no snakes.
I believe you are off to London shortly with Aunt Agnes. Give my regards to Gilgamesh. It's probably best not to tell him who I was/am/will be. He's confused enough as it is.
Please do not worry about me.
I know that is like telling you not to breathe, but I do need you to know that I am fine. More than fine. I am discovering more and more of my powers every day. I am immortal and eternal and I regret nothing. We did the right thing: one to save the world, one to destroy it.
You know that if you ever need me, all you have to do is look into a mirror and call my name three times. (Use the new name; I'm not sure calling Josh would have any impact.)
If you ever call me, I will come to you.
But even if you do not call, Sophie, know that I will watch over you all the days of your life.
It's what a brother is supposed to do, isn't it?
Writ this day, the 10th of Imbolc, On the Shadowrealm Isle of Tír na nÓg.
P.S. The Flamels send their love.
P.P.S. We were at Aoife and Niten's wedding last month. Scathach was her bridesmaid. Everyone cried.
- Josh is awakened by Mars Ultor, an Elder known in most cultures as a god of war, whereas Sophie is awakened by Hekate, an Elder known as a goddess of magic. Ironically, the siblings' skillsets throughout the series seems to mirror this, with Sophie gaining quicker access to the Elemental Magics and Josh gaining Mars' tactical knowledge and being better at combat.
- Josh and Sophie were awakened by a brother and a sister, respectively.
- There seems to be a paradox in the fact that Josh becomes Marethyu: at certain moments in time both Josh and Marethyu exist, while they are the same person (as revealed at the end of The Enchantress). The most probable explanation for this is that they are in fact both Josh Newman, yet not the same person because the story assumes different timelines. As stated, one of Marethyu's powers is travelling between timelines. It is therefore not unthinkable that Josh becomes Marethyu in timeline A, Marethyu works his schemes in another timeline B, and when Josh becomes Marethyu after forging the four swords in timeline B, Marethyu returns to his original timeline (A) where he already sunk Danu Talis.
- Josh doesn't appear to be humani. Prometheus created humani out of clay roughly 10,000 years ago, but Josh was born in a Neanderthal camp 30,000 years ago.
SPOILER ENDS HERE