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Posted May 7, 2013
Posted February 10, 2013
Fantastic, compelling and just plain outright awesome!
There was just something about this book that I really loved. From the prologue onwards, Alecia Stone's 'Talisman of El' had me hooked. I think it was the pace of the story. I just didn't have the chance to get bored in the slightest. There was something about the writing style of this book that appealed to me strongly and I really hope there is a sequel to this, because I would definitely buy it.
This book felt real it dealt with the insecurities, resentments, fears and turmoils of the relationships between the characters. I think it had a touch of everything. I especially liked the relationship that developed between Charlie and Derkein. They were two of my most favorite characters.
The world-building of this novel was good too. I could see how our world worked in conjunction with the second world in this book. And, there were scenes that were totally unexpected and actually quite revealing. I never in a million years would have thought that this book would feature the kind of fantasy creature it did. I thought it was heading in a totally different direction. But, because of that unexpected element, it made me even more interested to see where this book was headed. And it definitely did not disappoint.
I like books with a sense of adventure and purpose and that was something this book had. The characters were always having something happen to them. Haha the number of times that a certain someone passed out because of something dangerous ended up being quite funny, even though it wasn't a humorous book. It's just that it happened so many times!
Overall, I loved this book. It was a quick, action-packed and fun read that had me turning the pages without wanting to put the book down. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy novels.
This book review was from Sandy at Magical Manuscripts.
Posted November 25, 2012
Talisman of El…where do I start. I wanted to like it, I really did. The concept is interesting, the characters seemed like they were going to be as well. But as the story went on, I found myself liking it less and less. I loved finding out more about Arcadia and the people of that world. A world within/underneath our own, a battle between good and evil, a male protagonist (which is starting to become rare in this female dominated genre)…what more could you want in a story, right? Well a lot actually.
There were two things that influenced my low rating: character development, and the time jumps. I don’t feel like there was any character development throughout the books, and part of that has to do with the time jumping. There were multiple places where the plot jumped days or weeks into the future with no warning. One minute Charlie’s in The Land of Dreams and the next scene opens up on him being back in the human world, eight weeks into the future. There’s no explanation on what happened in the eight weeks or how he got to the place he was at…at least not for three to four pages later.
You can really see the time jumps in certain dialog exchanges Ex: ‘Going somewhere, Dolittle?’ Ash asked. Charlie scowled. ‘Stop calling me that. I told you, I don’t talk to animals.’ Well Charlie might have told Ash before but we’re never informed of that. In fact this exchange was the first time we hear Ash call Charlie Dolittle. This exchange is small but it leaves you wondering if you missed a part in the book. The story jumps around so much that it’s not easy to keep track of what’s going on. And it honestly got annoying trying to decipher where they are or what’s happening.
As for character development, like I said, I think it suffered from the time jumps. We don’t get to see anyone’s growth because of it. Beside Charlie finding out what’s going on with him and starting to kind of rise to his destiny, there’s not much growth for anyone else. Alex stayed the same jealous girl, Charlie was clueless on why she was mad at him, Richmond was a sidekick, and Derkein kept trying to play protector to everyone. Nothing really changed as the book progressed.
The character development was even worse for the Arcadians. In fact, I think when they got to Arcadia, there were too many characters introduced. I couldn’t keep track of who was who, what their rank was, or what element they had control over. Again, this is a problem of the time jumps. The characters are introduced and they might have a few lines but we don’t get to know them. Then all of a sudden there’s a battle and all these characters come out and suddenly they’re supposed to be important. It got to the point where I stopped trying to figure out who these people were.
I don't know yet if I'll pick the next book up but either way, I'm hoping that the next two books in the trilogy work out these issues because the concept is great. It's a good start.
**This books was provided to me by Centrinian Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Posted September 17, 2012
Charlie and his friend Alex,Richmond and Derkein delve into a world of demons, creatures,some danger,mystery and angels.
I think Ms. Stone has created a storyline that is familiar but also has a life of its own. The characters are well developed and completely likable. There are a few areas where you get more info than you handle about the mystical races. I would recommend this book to all ages.
Thanks to Net Galley and Centrinian Publishing.
Posted July 31, 2012
Free ARC provided by NetGalley
I cut my reading teeth on fantasy novels. Nothing cured my school angst better than escaping to different worlds filled with interesting characters and never before seen creatures. So when I read the synopsis for Talisman of El, I couldn’t wait to find some reading time and jump right in.
The idea of an orphaned young boy having trouble fitting into his new life—family, school, friends—is not new, but Ms. Stone found a way to create a story with her own twist.
Charlie is a young boy suffering from nightmares. He gets through the day by rationalizing his dreams. But when Charlie meets a man from his dreams in real life, he discovers nothing is as it seems. A different world exists, and he has a vital connection to it.
As Charlie journeys through this new land called Arcadia, searching for a way to save his new friend Derekin, he encounters allies and foes at every turn. Mythical creatures, people with the ability to shape shift, even demons and angels populate Arcadia.
Talisman of El is the first step in Charlie’s coming of age story. He must decide who his true friends are and how much he is willing to sacrifice for them.
Ms Stone has created a vivid fantasy world in Talisman of El. The creatures, the land they inhabit, and even the “other” beings are clear and detailed. I pictured every nuance described. Unfortunately, the fantasy elements were the best part of the story.
I wish I could say I loved this book, but I can’t. The characters are written younger than described. I felt I was reading a middle school book, not a young adult novel. The characters were not as dimensional as other aspects created by the author.
The plot was also a little difficult to follow. I had to reread several passages to ensure I had not missed a transition. I’m sure the world and its inhabitants are clear in the author’s mind. Regrettably, the story on the page does not reflect the same precision.
Will I read the rest of the series? No. But I do recommend the book to younger kids and tweens who enjoy fantasy. My issues with the book may not matter to them at all.
Posted June 28, 2012
Talisman of El by Alecia Stone is simply magical. It is marketed as a YA novel, but as an adult I thought it was fantastic. It is a nice mixture of fantasy and adventure as a teenage boy searches for who he is in not only this world, but another as well.
The plot was tight and the main character, Charlie, was very relatable. Some parts get a little dark, but it creates just the right amount of drama in the story. The only character that I felt fell a little flat was Derkein, the one from the U.S. He just never developed for me. The other two main characters, Alex and Richmond, were fantastic!
This is one of those great books that blurs genre lines. If you are looking for a fun fast read--pick this book up!
Posted June 5, 2012
I don't want to say to much about this book cause I think it would be best for readers to experience this first hand. So I'm gonna keep this short.
Talisman of El is part fantasy, part mythology and pure adventure.
Alecia Stone weaves a strong and passionate journey that follows Derkein, Charlie, Alex and Richmond on a whirlwind journey to the depths of earths-core, to a new dimension called, Arcadia, where Charlie will find out his true fate in this world. Filled with gripping imagination, animated characters and cunning creativity, this story will take you on a heart pounding and fascinating adventure.
I had so much fun reading this book. I felt truly invested with these characters right from minute one. I loved how easy it was to get lost with them and discover hidden truths along the way. I loved the spark these characters had with one another and that there was even a touch of romance to bring hope to future books.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It's a promising start to a bright new series that I can't wait to continue!
Fit for all ages. This is a story worth reading!
Posted June 5, 2012
If there was ever a book series to rival Harry Potter, then Talisman of EL is definitely the one.
Firstly, I would like to say thank you to Centrinian Publishing for giving me the chance to read an ARC of Talisman of EL. I didn’t really know what to expect with this one but from the minute I read the prologue, I was hooked. I literally flew through this book!
Talisman of EL follows 14 year old Charlie as he enters the world of Arcadia and discovers the truth about his life. He and his friends find themselves in the middle of an epic adventure in a world very different from the one they’re used to.
The story is told tremendously well and I completely fell in love with the characters! They are extremely likable and I love that there was even a hint of romance amongst all the action and adventure. I also loved the relationship between Charlie and Derkein, it adds to the story fantastically.
It’s a fast paced story that definitely captures the imagination and can easily be enjoyed by readers of any age.
This is an amazing start to what is sure to be a truly fantastic series and I can’t wait to find out what adventures Arcadia has in store for Charlie and the gang next.
Posted June 4, 2012
Honestly, I don't know what to say about this book. I keep walking around and thinking about what to say. This book was different in so many ways that I just could not keep my thoughts together to form a good review for it.
When I was first approached to review this book I wasn't sure what to expect, in fact, I was even thinking that this was about aliens. And honestly, if it were left up to me, I probably would not have picked up this book based on just what I know from the little details. So, when I was asked to read it I thought, Why not? This could be interested.
And was I right!
Stone weaved together a complex story revolving around the main character, Charlie, who's destiny is not something that would be expected. And let me just make this disclaimer now: There are no aliens in this story! But honestly, the cover looks like something of a spaceship, or is it just me that sees that? When really looking at it, though, the snake and the Earth show up.
Anyways, the character's I enjoyed. They were going through some serious development, and I liked how Stone wrote the book in such a way that there was something happening all the time, yet it wasn't moving extremely fast. And the character's came to life for me. That was a big one. I had to feel like I would know them and for the most part I did.
The entire plot line took me by surprised and I was swept away from the first page to the last. I can't wait for the rest of the books. This is one that I would have to tell people to put on their summer reading list. It'll be worth it, trust me!
Posted June 3, 2012
Talisman of El
By Alecia Stone
Charlie has had a rough life his mother died when he was born and when he was ten years old a tornado claimed the life of his father. Now four years later he has been placed with a thief and murderer. Even though things may seem at their worst it is only the beginning of a set of events that will make all the hardships worth it. Charlie meets a set of people who will accompany him on a journey that will lead him to the center of the earth where he will find a magical world full of angels, demons, phoenixes, werewolves and even a ride on a Pegasus. Along the way his friends become his family and he learns the true meaning of destiny.
This was an absolutely riveting novel not only was it full of action and adventure but it was a heartwarming story of self-discovery and sometimes how we get to choose our families. Alecia Stone did an amazing job setting the scene and drawing us into the story, the world she created was thoroughly planned and executed so vividly you will have no problems imagining the perils her characters face. This is a one of a kind novel blending religion with mythology and introducing an idea that is surely original “The Garden of Eden is at the center of the Earth.” I can’t wait until we can follow Charlie on another adventure as he searches for the missing pieces of the Talisman of EL, and we can see what other powers it harnesses.
Posted June 3, 2012
Read my review before you read the prolog. Fourteen-year-old Charlie Blake has been hoping for a foster home for four years. Now that he has one with Jacob Willoughby, he is not so sure he has landed in the right place. Charlie still has nightmares about some future event happening over in America. Then he has to participate in a robbery and meets homeless Richmond, and Candra a mysterious woman who looks like a movie star.<br/><br/>Charlie, Alex (girl), Richmond and Derkein Odessa who Charlie dreamed about in the prolog go an adventure to the center of the earth in another deminsion. You will not want to come up for air or anything else until you finish this book.<br/><br/>Read my review before you read the prolog. Fourteen-year-old Charlie Blake has been hoping for a foster home for four years. Now that he has one with Jacob Willoughby, he is not so sure he has landed in the right place. Charlie still has nightmares about some future event happening over in America. Then he has to participate in a robbery and meets homeless Richmond, and Candra a mysterious woman who looks like a movie star.
Charlie, Alex (girl), Richmond and Derkein Odessa who Charlie dreamed about in the prolog go an adventure to the center of the earth in another deminsion. You will not want to come up for air or anything else until you finish this book
Posted June 3, 2012
The thing that I noticed immediately was how much dialogue was in the story. I do not know why this stood out for me. I normally pay attention to the dialogue as it brings through most of the humor and a way for me to really get to know the characters. But I noticed that this particular story is told more in dialogue than anything else. Which is not a bad thing.
The reader is introduced to Charlie and how he does not feel like he fits in. He knows there is something different about him and possibly more out there. He suffers from nightmares and living with his adoptive family, he is bullied inside and outside of his home by his new family members and schoolmates. Eventually through different events that take place, he ends up bonding with a group of friends, together gaining the knowledge of a place called Arcadia, deep within the Earth's core.
They decide that they must go on this adventure together.
All of these events I could see building up and was expecting something more to happen next, but never in my life after reading the blurb and beginning this book did I imagine it would become a battle between Angels and Demons. The idea that part of the story takes place in the hidden lands beneath our feet was a very unique spin. One of the boys that Charlie befriends, Derkein is also an unusual guy, he is 26 but looks 60 and continuing to age faster than others every day.
I though that the world that they discover and the creatures and myths and rules that come along with this story was an amazing read. I loved reading as they had to overcome some of these weird animals, and finding Eden. Everything has to be done in a certain time frame and with all of these distractions it becomes a very intense and fantastical adventure. I wish that I could have stayed longer in the world of Arcadia.
I cannot say that I really had a favorite character in the story. I think that was partially because of the writing style, all of the characters showed an equal role to the story. Although their tasks could not be completed without Charlie and what he finds out he is, each and every character is just as unique and an integral part of the story that I had a hard time liking any of them over another.
At 364 pages, and once I got into the story I was hoping for more of it to be focused on Charlie's big task, but I find that I feel this way a lot in the first book in series, that of course we need to get introduced to the characters, the world and the plot before more of the adventures can take place. I struggled with whether I wanted to rate it 3 or 4 stars, it was an enjoyable read and I am going to continue to see where the next story goes.
Posted June 3, 2012
“Talisman of El” is Book One in the “Talisman of El” series, and is a totally absorbing YA page turner, of mystery, magic, fantasy, otherworldliness, with a gentle dose of conspiracy theory as well. The writing is so smooth, it’s fascinating, and readers will race through the novel gripped by the multiple plot lines and empathetic of the characters. Protagonist Charlie is an orphan, who’s had trouble finding a long-term home situation. Finally, he is placed with funeral director Jacob, a widower who lives in the woods near the small village of Capeton in West Sussex, England. Little does Charlie realize at first that he has been fostered for a purpose, not out of the goodness of Jacob’s heart-not at all.
Charlie is also apparently psychic-he dreamed his father’s death, the day before it happened on Charlie’s tenth birthday. Now he has dreamed of a father and his adult son in Manhattan, and of the father’s mysterious and inexplicable disappearance-and it all surrounds a magical talisman…
Posted June 3, 2012
Lions, tigers and bears?...Nah!! How about dragons, a fire phoenix and even Pegasus! Then there's the werewolves, a sabre-tooth and dasaga's!!
Wow!...and that's just a glimpse into the world of Arcadia. I can only simply say this is a must read. Alecia Stone has taken a quartet of four friends on a magical journey to the ends of the earth.
Any YA reader will love to escape into the pages of this book. It is a fantastical adventure; a quest that hooks you from the beginning. Stone's imagination is endless. The beauty of nature, the glory of good, and the creatures that come out and grab you to let you know evil lurks right around the next page.
Alecia Stone also inspires readers of any age with a myriad of themes.
Heaven and Hell. The supernatural. The "myths'" of mythology. The power of friendship and ultimately, looking into your heart and knowing where you belong and the strength of who you are.
Or, should I say who you were...?? I can't wait for the next book!!
Posted May 31, 2012
ARC provided by Centrinian Publishing via NetGalley
I really enjoyed this wonderful new story. We follow Charlie as he meets a few friends (Derkein, Alex and Richmond) who help him to unravel a world full of mystical creatures, angels, demons, action, danger and intrigue.
I couldn’t help but feel a strong familiarity as I read the book. The sensations I felt were the same as when I read parts of Harry Potter. With that said, Alecia Stone has managed to create a really unique tale with its own voice in spite of that familiarity. All of the characters in this book are strong and well developed. They are likable and full of passion. They are the kind of characters you want to know more about, be friends with, and help out along the way while rooting for their success.
There were a few wonky transitions and the reader is given a lot of information at once about the mystical races that might be hard to follow.
All in all it was a great read that people of all ages can enjoy. I can’t wait to introduce this new series to my son. I really can’t wait to read the next book as I am sure it will be full of adventure and intrigue!
Posted May 29, 2012
An adventure towards your destiny.
Talisman of El by Alicia Stone took me by surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading it, and am so glad that I enjoyed it so much. It was like Harry Potter meets Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Author, Alicia Stone, introduces us to a world where angels exist, and where the Garden of Eden is not just a myth. We follow the life of main character, Charlie, whose life has been one big tragedy. Losing his mom at childbirth then losing his father at age ten, Charlie has been bouncing from foster home to foster home. Plagued by nightmares, Charlie thinks his life is finally on the right track when he is adopted by Jacob. Little does he know that Jacob is not at all who he thinks he is, which ends up thrusting him into an adventure that will change his life forever.
The characters that we are introduced to in Talisman of El are ones that we won’t soon forget. Not only do we see the true meaning of friendship, we are also treated to the innocence of youth when it comes to love and dealing with feelings. As the story progresses, we are treated to a story which involves a unique take on angels and what exactly the importance of the Talisman of El is. It is because of this Talisman that Charlie must dig deep within himself and find the strength and courage to start this journey, and begin his quest to save mankind.
With the many different twists and turns that Alicia Stone weaves into this story, readers will find themselves completely engrossed in Talisman of El. With the many different appealing aspects in this book, readers will find something that will hook them in, and keep their attention.
Fans of adventure, angels, and destiny are in for a treat with Talisman of El. With an ending that leaves room for a sequel, I know I can’t wait to see what Alicia Stone has in store for us next, expected to be released sometime in 2013.
Posted May 20, 2012
What if your whole life was a lie?
14 year old Charlie Blake knows he's different, but just how different he is, he has no idea. His mother died after his birth, his father died when Charlie was just 10 years old. Being orphaned, Charlie is sent to live with a foster father who wants to lead him down the path of thievery that he follows himself. Charlie, however, isn't an ordinary boy by any stretch. He has dreams. Prophetic dreams. He dreams of events that he could not know about, he dreams about places that don't exist, he dreams of events that are yet to come.
When we meet Charlie, he's starting school after having moved in with Jacob Willoughby. He gets bullied almost immediately and a girl named Alex comes to his aid. She quickly becomes his best friend and they are practically inseparable. When Jacob forces Charlie to participate in a robbery, he meets a homeless boy named Richmond, then decides to follow him the following day where the three of them meet up with Derkein.
This is where things start to get interesting, especially when Charlie realizes that Derkein was someone that he dreamt about just days earlier. The four of them begin their adventure into Arcadia where Charlie learns his destiny.
This is one story that will make you really think about the things that you know about the world. Stone gives a great perspective that will make a reader take a second look at all the mythology that they've learned. The characters are intriguing, compelling and really well developed and the way the story came together at the end was just right to keep a reader wanting more. This is the first book in the planned trilogy and I'm already looking forward to the next installment to continue to learn about Charlie and his life.
Normally, this would not have been my cup of tea, but I'd heard so many great things from the book industry on Twitter that I wanted to be one of the lucky reviewers. That says a lot, really, since I don't often go out looking for something to review.
This book was provided by Netgalley and Centrinian Publishing in exchange for my honest review All opinions are mine and have not been swayed by the author or publisher.
Posted September 25, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted June 23, 2012
No text was provided for this review.