Talisman of El by Alecia Stone
WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?
Population: Human … 7 billion.
Others … unknown.
When 14-year-old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again. This time he witnesses a brutal murder. He’s afraid to tell anyone. No one would believe him … because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago – the day before his dad died.
Charlie doesn’t know why this is happening. He would give anything to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn’t belong in the world he knows as home.
He belongs with the others.
Author Alecia Stone
Alecia Stone is the author of Talisman Of El (Centrinian, 2012), the first book in the Talisman Of El trilogy. She graduated with a BA in Film & TV and has worked in television for a short period of time before branching out into storytelling. Alecia loves anything and everything paranormal. Her fascination with all things supernatural sparked her obsession with books, particularly young adult fantasy fiction, which she has never grown out of. She was inspired to become an author after reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen at the age of fourteen.
In 2008, Alecia started working on Talisman Of El, a contemporary young adult fantasy fiction inspired by people who disappeared mysteriously, including, but not limited to, Amelia Earhart and Percy Harrison Fawcett, who went on an expedition in search of an ancient lost city. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys going to the movies, listening to music, and travelling.
Talisman Of El is her first novel. At present, Alecia lives in England, United Kingdom with her family.
In a word: action-packed, creative, engaging, but needs editing
Independently published books are always a gamble. It’s one reason I’m reading less of them these days. You just never know whether or not the hours you spend reading them will be worth it. I had read really good reviews of Talisman of El and I was excited to dive into this book. And while it has amazing potential, for me that potential was never quite realized. I wanted to like it more, especially since this review is for a blog tour, but overall it just didn’t quite gel for me.
This is the first novel in a trilogy, the epic fantasy adventure of a young boy named Charlie and his friends as they journey to the land of Arcadia, a hidden realm beneath the earth where angels and demons and mythical creatures like dragons and werewolves live. When I started reading Talisman of El, I was expecting a young adult story, but both the ages of the main characters and the simplistic writing style make this feel like it was written for the middle grade crowd. The author has creative ideas to spare, and the sweeping story line will be appreciated by fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Stone’s description of the mysterious land of Arcadia was truly engaging, and the idea of a world in the center of the Earth was a great idea to build a plot around. Stone has a talent for vivid description that brought the world to life for me. But my problem with this story is that there is just too much—too many plot lines, too many characters, too many magical creatures, too many fantasy elements—and the story therefore becomes over-crowded and confusing. I had a hard time keeping track of everything that was going on, and the story often veered off in new directions, leaving me in the dust.
I did love several of the characters, but I could have done without others, just so I could spend more time with the ones that interested me, like Charlie, Derkein and a wonderful girl named Oren who, in my opinion, should have a whole book to herself. Charlie’s friend Alex, a girl his age who becomes jealous when Charlie speaks to some of the other female characters, was one of my least favorites, and unfortunately she plays a leading role in Talisman of El and therefore makes an appearance in every chapter. A horrible man named Jacob, Charlie’s foster father in the beginning of the story, had the potential to be interesting; but although the author leads you to believe he’s connected to the magical Talisman in some way and will play an important part in the story, she completely drops his story line mid-way through the book and doesn’t adequately explain his purpose.
I found the writing itself to be solid for the most part, but full of awkward phrases and words in some parts of the book. This story needs a good polish, in my opinion. The raw material is there, but the shine is buried underneath a gritty surface. A professional editor would be able to take out the elements that slow down the pace of the story and really make it shine. The heart of the story, Charlie’s search for the Garden of Eden so that he can save his friend Derkein, has so much emotional potential, but somewhere along the way it gets lost in a confusing shuffle of extraneous characters and events.
Despite my review, I would like to read more about Charlie’s adventures and get to know the characters better, especially the fascinating Arcadians. Thanks to the author for supplying a review copy.
Blog Tour Giveaway
3 Print copies of Talisman of El