Read Talisman Of El by Al Stone Online

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WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?One Planet.Two Worlds.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 oneWHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?One Planet.Two Worlds.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....

Title : Talisman Of El
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 13419125
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 398 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Talisman Of El Reviews

  • Katy
    2019-02-10 03:03

    Book Info: Genre: Fantasy/Magical Reality Reading Level: Young Adult Early Reviewer’s copy, book available 5/20/12My Thoughts: This book incorporates a number of world mythologies into a single narrative, including werewolves, the Mothman, a civilization in the middle of the Earth, angels, demons, the Garden of Eden and others. It could have been a real mess, but it wasn’t – Stone managed to work all of these ideas into a comprehensive whole. The characters were developed well and interesting. The only thing I didn’t much care for is that occasionally, the narrative would break off and pick up some time later, which tended toward the confusing. It would then slowly fill in the details of the missing time. I can see how that might save space if the writer were wanting to keep word count down, but it was difficult to follow at times. Not that it should turn you away from the book – it was a fun, fast-paced book, if somewhat tending toward some darker themes. Not quite dystopian dark, but this is definitely not a light-hearted story. I’ll be interested in seeing where this goes, and will be watching for future books in this series. Recommended for fans of YA fantasy.Disclosure: I received a free eBook ARC from NetGalley (after winning it in the Early Reviewer’s Giveaway from LibraryThing) in exchange for an honest review.Synopsis: WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?One Planet. Two Worlds. 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.

  • Mith
    2019-02-04 02:33

    3.5 stars out of 5The Talisman of El is a GOOD book but it could have been so much better. It's got an interesting plot and the writing style is pretty neat (witty one-liners throughout the book made me chuckle out loud in several places), but these two alone do not a great novel make.Where the books fell short for me was in -a) The character development :Or lack thereof. As in, there was none of it. At all. We start off by meeting Derkein who, we are given the impression, is not on good terms with his dad. Why? Something about him neglecting Derkein because he wants to bring Derkein's mom back from the dead. And that's it. No back-story there. (Also, Derkein's sullen and whiny behaviour in this scene made me think he was in his early teens, but it turns out later that he is, in fact, 27 :-/ )Cut to, immediately, to Charlie, who, somehow, has ended up in foster care (under Jacob, who is first shown to be a damaged but caring man who has taken in a kid to fill the void his dead wife left in his life, BUT THEN, OUT OF THE BLUE, we are told he is a mean and conniving thief with no heart and isn't above threatening and using kids to do his dirty job for him)Absolutely no background about Charlie's family or his childhood is given except for a couple of flashback scenes which don't reveal much about anything at all and are present for the sole reason of some very contrived foreshadowing. Charlie has strange dreams, hears things, can talk to animals, can see the future, can understand and speak several languages without having learnt any and is all-round awesome at everything (Is there anything he can't do!). Why? (view spoiler)[Because he is the re-incarnation of a superhuman being who was the King of the world (which his mom somehow knew BEFORE SHE GAVE BIRTH TO HIM), that's why. Wait, what? Why? HOW?Just accept it, don't ask questions!O....kay? (hide spoiler)]Then we meet Alex, who seems to be the only interesting character in the book.... until she is reduced to a touchy, lovelorn, jealous teen like every other garden-variety YA female character these days. Again, not much info is provided about her or her family apart from the fact that she is Spanish (half?) and her mom is bipolar.And WHERE do I begin with Richmond?? He was absolutely NOT necessary to the plot AT ALL except to round out the number of kids in the book to the YA norm of three. So, here's how it goes in the book - we meet Rich in, say, page 10 where we learn he's hiding in a shack in the woods because he's run away from foster care (Because you can't have kids with parents who are ALIVE for a change in YA books - it cramps their style, yo!), and by page 12, he's bunking with Charlie and nobody feels the need to even address how they agreed upon that arrangement and what happened in between. And for the rest of the book, he says and does pretty much nothing except to help Charlie show off his superhuman powers to everybody present. Who is Rich? What happened to him? How did he end up in the woods? What is his role in the book? I doubt even the author knows/cares.Same goes for the Arcadian characters as well. They are introduced, physically described and abandoned as minor background entities. All the characters come across as one-dimensional - there's no growth across the book whatsoever. b) The plot development :This was also a bit lacking and inconsistent as pretty much most of what happened in the book wasn't explained properly as well as the scenes kept jumping from Point A to Point Z, and back, unexpectedly, and it annoyed me to no end that we were just expected to go along with it. It's like the author just wanted to tell a story and wasn't too fussed about what story she wanted to tell.That saddened me as the book could have had so much potential.HOWEVER, the story was interesting enough that it kept me turning the pages and I am considering picking up the sequel(s) to see where things go because I KNOW this CAN get better! I just hope the author figures out who her characters are, and what she wants her book to be about, by then.ARC provided by NetGalley and Centrinian Publishing.

  • Nicole
    2019-01-26 00:38

    I really enjoyed this book. It was super cute especially the ending. Through the whole book I kept getting this Alex Cross vibe which was great because I loved that book. It was a little slow to get through, but that isn't really saying much since it took me about three days to read while dealing with that graduation business.I thought that the mythology part of the book was really fascinating but also confusing. It didn't make sense to me that they were an advanced magical people but at the same time they had street lights and out types of power. There were a lot of confusing names that I wasn't sure about but that wasn't that big a deal. I liked to watch the romance bud between Alex and Charlie. I kinda miss that young teen budding romance that they had together. It wasn't that predictable when trying to figure out what would happen next, but at the same time there were moments that seemed to catch me unawares.I thought that this book fit in well for the middle grades, because it seemed to have all of the staples of that age group I felt the sort of moral about fitting in and being an individual and standing up to bullies were strong lessons. I felt that Derekin was the most out of place character in the book. For him to be characterized in his own words as a spoiled rich kid with a passion for photography, he felt more like a children's psychologist in training. He was constantly on Charlie about how he was feeling and how he shouldn't feel pressure or take any of this to heart and it just didn't seem to fit with his characterization.For that to be my biggest problem, this book was pretty great. It hit stores on Sunday, May 20th, which means that you can go get your copy now. And I suggest that you pick it up for any young teen in your life that loves fantasy.

  • ~Tina~
    2019-02-12 23:43

    4.5starsBrilliant!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!(Arc provided by Netgalley and Centrinian Publishing )

  • Melanie
    2019-02-05 02:41

    See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads Actual rating: 3.5 stars This book is one of a kind. So different, action packed, and damn right awesome in terms of romance and the story background. WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?One Planet.Two Worlds.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 any one. 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 any thing to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home. He belongs with the others. Immediately, I was determined to read this, it had a unique sypnosis and already put me into this kind of thought that this was going to be full of suspense, mystery and a whole different world that had not been painted before. And I, was not disappointed. I got such a beautifully written book that kept be up straining my eyes to read faster as this book had such a quickening pace in the second half. The first half seemed a bit 'in-the-dark' where Charlie, Alex and Richmond a.k.a. the 'trio' where just venturing in the center of the earth yadidadida. Soon enough, action eroded filling this book, and filling me with satifacation. Stone's world is so mesmerising and well depicted that it made this book come to life. When the trio fall into the center of the earth, I could not feel much sense in this story, to be honest boring and misleading but soon, after the mystical creature that on Charlie can see appears I was full with alert. This is where the characters come to life and become more realistic. They seem more lovable and also opt in subtle humour which really lightens this book with dazzling lights. My, my this romance is so little compared to other books yet...it is just as great as other books and even better. Like they say, less is more. This saying really is to the fact in this Stone's novel, the tension between Charlie, Alex and Oren? I loved it, this sort of mini love triangle was well depicted unlike others. And everyone hates bad love triangles. Overall, the journey that Charlie takes is unlike many others that I'm sure will become a great hit soon. I recommend this book to YA lovers and fantasy lovers as it will definately not be a let down.Love it! ~Thank you Centrinian Publishing for sending me this copy!~

  • Sarah
    2019-02-19 06:49

    Charlie Blake has had a rough life. After losing both parents, moving from foster home to foster home, 10 year old Charlie comes to stay with Jacob. Living with Jacob, brings nightmares. Charlie's first day at school is not much better, until he meets Alex, an outspoken girl he befriends. The prologue was what made me want to read this book it sounded so awesome and it was! This fast-paced novel had fantasy, mythology, action and adventure. It was a unique story. The characters were enjoyable and relatable. I liked Alex a lot, she stands up to the kid that bullied Charlie. Alecia Stone did an fantastic job! I got into the story. It was a quick fun read. I'm excited to see what happens in the next book. This is a must read! Thank you to Centrinian Publishing and NetGalley for providing me the copy!

  • Christina Boulard
    2019-02-01 23:59

    Charlie is a 14 year old boy who's had a rough life. He's lost his mother, then his father, and now his adoptive dad turns out to be a criminal.But things are about to get even more difficult...Alecia Stone paints a beautiful picture of Arcadia, a heaven below the earth.Charlie and his gang go through turmoil and conflict that will test even the bravest among them in a world full of fantasy, angels and demons.I really enjoyed the world of Arcadia. It's often described so perfectly that it was very easy to imagine the world as I read this book.The people and creatures of Arcadia are also fun to experience.This book is a YA novel, but even so, I felt the plot was somewhat muddied at times. I often found myself confused when transitioning from one scene to the next, and keeping the hirearchy of Arcardia straight was difficult.That being said, this is a fun little book. It would be a perfect starter book for your not-into-reading preteens/young teens between 11 and 14 or so, and this would definitely be a great starter book for boys.This is only the first in a trilogy, and I expect many more great adventures are in store for Charlie and his gang in the next two books.

  • Leticia
    2019-02-17 05:42

    Brilliant, greatly written, can't wait for it to come out!

  • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)
    2019-01-20 05:39

    Originally on my blog: http://readingandwritingurbanfantasy....The GoodI was sucked into this story from the get-go. I may not have stayed that way, but I can't deny how absorbed I was for the first 100 pages of this novel. I knew big things were going to happen and the build-up was maddening. I love when a book heightens the suspense like that. My Recap...Charlie has been having horrible dreams. Dreams he has chalked up to the loss of both his parents. But when he meets Derkein, the man from his dreams, in real life, he realizes his dreams are actually visions of the past. While trying to save Derkein from an inevitable death, Charlie falls into a land of fantasy. A place that has unimaginable creatures and monsters. But what's even scarier is that some of these creatures believe Charlie is vital to saving not only his friends, but the whole world. Cheer Up, Charlie...I really enjoyed reading about Charlie and his life in the beginning of this book. Him being an orphan, trying to fit in with his new family, friends, and schoolmates. I was genuinely shocked with the direction the plot took and couldn't wait to see how it would all end Charlie is such a good kid that I couldn't help but hope he would somehow survive his adventures and all his wishes would come true. His life hasn't been easy, but he tries to take everything in stride. His connection with his few friends, Alex and Richmond, seemed very authentic. As Charlie grew into what he was meant to become, I was excited to see what would come next for him and his friends. The Fantasy...I also really liked the vividness of the world Stone created. The fantasy elements were extremely intriguing. I think that's the best part of fantasy; there are few limits, so the author has free rein to create anything. And Stone took full advantage of that. I could actually picture the creatures, forests, buildings, pretty much everything in great detail. The BadI really wanted to like this book. It seemed so promising at the start, but it lost me in the middle and never really caught my attention again. I actually had to force myself to read this book to the end. I was tempted not to finish it. Skip to My Lou...It frustrated me when the characters kept doing things with little explanation or reason. The description, though well done, was too long and I went on skim mode for half the book. Same with the backstory and inner thoughts, I just wanted to get back to the story so I jumped sentences and sometimes paragraphs to get to the good parts. Keeping Track of Arcadia...It was very difficult to keep track of the hierarchy and history of Arcadia (the fantasy land). I gave up trying to remember everything and found myself confused when I actually needed that information to make sense of references farther in the book. Not Up to Snuff...I found the action the most boring. I think Stone is good at story telling, but action is not her forte. Also, it mostly seemed unnecessary. Not that I wanted less action, it's just that it felt forced. Like she added action scenes here and there to fill a quota. A lot of the book felt forced; it didn't flow or make much sense when it came to plot. I didn't understand the reasoning behind some of the character's actions either. I wanted to mention that this book takes place in England and has many British type words that can be confusing. The SnugglyThere is not much romance in this book. I actually felt like Talisman of El was more Middle School than YA. It was very clean. The only controversial parts were the scenes with child abuse, which are not overly disturbing or anything. OverallI do think that some people will enjoy this book. It just wasn't for me. I wanted to put it down and keep it down, but I forced myself to finish it because I hate giving up on a book. I think this book should be marketed toward middle schoolers who like fantasy. There is nothing special enough about Talisman of El to make me like it. But I did give if two stars because it's not a badly written book at all, it just couldn't hold my attention. I will not be continuing this trilogy. Recommend for middle schoolers/young teens who like fantasy. ExcerptAn ear-piercing scream ripped through the building. Derkein froze, his eyes the only things that moved. His gaze fixed on his father, who was rummaging through his bag. He took out a black pistol and turned to Derkein, a tortured expression on his face as he placed the weapon in his son's trembling hand. "Shoot anything that moves," his father instructed. He placed the talisman around Derkein's neck, tucking it inside his shirt. "Don't let it out of your sight." Cupping Derkein's face in his hands, he made him meet his gaze. "I'm sorry I got you involved in this." He grabbed another gun from the bag. "What exactly have you got yourself into, Dad?"His father looked at him with a solemn expression. "If anything happens to me, you find Thomas. Tell him...tell him he was right." He headed towards the door. "Dad, wait." Derkein went after him. "Dad--"The double doors burst open with a bang.

  • Jewels ♥ My Devastating Reads
    2019-02-05 02:39

    I didn't like I like Talisman of El. At first. Suddenly this novel really came together for me in unexpected ways. I liked the originality of the fantasy world built by Stone, I liked how everything and everyone in the story becomes interconnected with the overall plot, I like the subtle humour, and I liked the characters. The story started off a bit slow for me and for a while, I wondered where it was going. But then, it really picked up the pace and the plot began to really move forward. An interesting thing I noticed about this novel was that the plot was largely driven by dialogue. Once Charlie gets to Arcadia and meets the Arcadians, we start getting answers to a lot of questions about what is going on, what the talisman is, and why Charlie is so different from everyone else. It's not easy to drive forward a plot using largely dialogue, and it gave this novel a very different sort of feel. I felt like I was figuring it all out along with Charlie, thinking through all the information with him, and sometimes I was just as confused as Charlie because there always seemed to be more questions. Now, some readers might find that frustrating, but I found that it allowed me to get to know to Charlie better. So suddenly, this was one of the ways I found myself liking the book. It made me think a heck a lot of more than I thought it would.Now, anyone who reads my reviews regularly knows that I'm all about character development. If I can get into characters, chances are I'm going to fall in love with the book. And at first, the development of these characters was so not working for me. Because Charlie and the rest of these characters are very subtly developed, and I found we largely know them by what they say, but it did take me some time to really get under their skin. Richmond, for instance, is a sweet boy, but his attention rather lacks focus. He thinks without speaking at times. But we get to know that because he does speak so much, and over time, what he says establishes his character more firmly than what he does. It's interesting to note that with Alex however, it's what she doesn't say, and her actions that establish her character. With her, it's all about what's left unsaid. With Charlie on the other hand, we get a fuller package of thoughts, feelings, emotions and so we know what motivates his actions. I was impressed that all of these characters, while subtly defined, are well defined. Besides all the fantasy, exciting action, world building and character development, this novel also struck me as interesting because it was also a story about family, the family that we chose for ourselves. For Charlie, that is especially important, and I was very happy that in the end, he reconnects with everyone he has learned to care about and who shared the Arcadian adventure with him. Young readers will relate to the friendships in this novel, and I found that these relationships kept me invested in this read as much as my curiosity which was constantly whispering, "and now what's going to happen?"The writing was clean, easy to read and the dialogue was especially well done. In some parts, the pacing was gripping, but at other times I found it a bit choppy, especially at breaking points. I would like to see a greater degree of control in terms of pacing for the next novel. I also wouldn't mind seeing the relationships deepen a bit more, now that the characters are all well developed. A Talisman of El proved to be a great fantasy read and is a wonderful debut novel. Young readers will be gripped by the imagination and action, but ultimately will love it for the enduring friendships and themes. I'd like to thank Netgalley.com and Centrintian Publishing for the eARC of this novel. 4 glittering starsMore reviews at www.devastatingreads.blogspot.com

  • Erica (daydreamer)
    2019-02-16 07:37

    Talisman of El by Alecia Stone was a fun, engaging story that was part fantasy, part supernatural, part mythology, all blended into one fantastical adventure with a wonderful cast of characters. I have to be honest here. Before I read it, I was never really interested in it. I saw it floating around a little bit, but it just didn’t catch my interest. The cover is, I’m sorry, so bad (at least to me). Then I saw it on Netgalley and thought, why not? So I read it, and I’m glad I did. The cover does not do the story justice. Seriously, if there was a really cool cover with more color and creatures from the book on it, or something like that, I think a lot more people would be drawn to the book. I probably would have. I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but when there are so many books, and you’re browsing through them, mainly looking at the covers, Talisman of El isn’t one that jumps out at you.I really enjoyed the story. It was pretty well thought out, and had some great action, and well-rounded characters. I became really interested in the characters’ lives, and kept wondering what was going to happen, and how things would end. I think Charlie was a great hero, and Stone wrote his perspective with tact and realism. He felt like a normal teenage boy who is beginning to learn about the world, and feeling trust or mistrust for adults, and feeling the budding, strange feelings for the opposite sex. Here is a promising relationship that I hope Stone will explore more in depth in the sequel. There’s no love story in the Talisman of El, but there’s the promise of one. A seed is being planted, and I’m excited to see where it could go.I was a little reminded of Harry Potter as I read. The relationship that Charlie formed with Derkein reminded me of Harry and Sirius. And Charlie’s friendships with Richmond and Alex, was kind of like Harry’s, Ron’s and Hermione’s early friendship. I’m not saying that Stone got her ideas from Harry Potter, because her book is original, and has an intrigue of its own. I could just see her imaginative wheels turning as she planned the story. Talisman of El falls into that fantastical category where we see kids getting swept away from their real world into a whole new world. Stories like Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, Harry Potter, and Narnia. And I think Talisman of El fits quite nicely into this group. It’s not as epic as those other stories, but it holds its own, and I see great potential in the story as it keeps going, and as Stone grows in her storytelling and writing. One thing that I would like to see improvement on is having tighter writing, and having more connection between scenes. Sometimes I felt like I wasn’t able to see some things happen, I was just told about it after it had already happened. And it wasn’t anything big, just things like seeing the characters get from Point A to Point B. Not a big deal, but certainly something that could be worked on. I also felt like some parts of the novel were a little slow. Like After Charlie gets to Arcadia and is learning about it, and the Arcadians are telling him who he is. Necessary information, but it was just a little slow, and maybe a little to telling and not enough showing.After finishing Talisman of El, I found that I really did like it, despite some minor flaws, and was excited to read the sequel. Stone wrote an intriguing, fun, adventurous story that managed to capture my interest (when the cover failed to do that), and showed me what she can do, and what her future novels can be. I’m interested to see where she can take us next. Thank you to Centrinian Publishing and Netgalley for the arc.

  • Sarah Hulcy
    2019-01-30 23:33

    August 19, 2012: Talisman of El ReviewI received a free copy of Talisman of El by Alecia Stone in return for a review on netgalley.com and I will be posting this review to Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. This is a good, solid beginning to a series with an interesting series arc, unique characters both human and otherwise and is quite well-done for a first-time author. I will be looking for future books in this series because it does what a series is supposed to do: make the reader want to find out what else happens to the characters and the story. The pacing of the story overall is good because it moves right along without rushing or dragging. The main characters are very consistent in their behavior and are described well, with the reader learning more about each character as the story continues. The characters are pre-teen/teen in age and it appears that we will stay with them as they grow up some and grow into their abilities, especially Charlie, the main character. It is also nice to see a book without incorrect homophones (bear, bare, etc.) and with proper sentence structure. The author obviously put a great deal of work into this book and it shows.There are some first-time author issues that should be addressed such as getting to a character's back story a little sooner in more detail because it would answer questions the reader has that really are not major parts of the story arc but are waiting to be answered a bit too long. It is obvious very early in the story that the protagonist is an orphan who has been placed with a foster father in a small village away from London, where Charlie grew up with his dad until the father died. However, the manner in which it was decided that Charlie be placed with this widower so far from his home and why with this particular man stays a mystery for almost the entire book. There seems to be no reason to wait until almost the end of the book to find out why Charlie ended up with Jacob. Not only would it help for the reader to know why Charlie ended up where and with whom he did, but some of the foster father's behavior is completely at odds with someone who would volunteer to be a foster father to orphans from as far away as London. We would not need to know absolutely everything about Jacob, but it would help to understand why Charlie is sent to him instead of being placed closer to where he grew up.The story is a bit choppy in places and could use fuller descriptions of some of the characters (like Richmond), their motivations and the reasons for some of the activities, but overall it is well-plotted and a fun read.There is a problem with the Kindle formatting that makes it a bit difficult to follow the story, but those can be dealt with and the file re-uploaded. Where a scene change occurs or when the action jumps forward in time, there is no indication of any change in the text -- the paragraph that starts the new scene or time frame is directly after the last paragraph of the prior action, so it is a bit confusing and causes the reader to have to stop and check back to figure out what has just happened. A division or extra spacing would help very much so the story moves more smoothly in those situations. Having formatted a fair number of Kindle books, I completely understand there being problems with the initial formatting.I give Talisman of El four stars and will be watching for more from this author.

  • Tracy
    2019-02-03 23:53

    First off, thank you to Alecia Stone for the opportunity to read and review her book, Talisman of El. I knew as soon as I read the synopsis I would enjoy this one. And enjoy it I did. Talisman of El is quite the adventure! I loved this new take on Heaven and Angels. We have all grown up with this idea of Heaven being...well, up in the Heavens. But what if Heaven was actually in another dimension at the center of the Earth? What if Angels were actually warriors? Warriors who hold the powers of the 4 elements...Earth, Air, Water and Fire. This was a very cool combination of Supernatural, Fantasy and Mythology. My only negative comment would be that there was so much going on, at times I felt a bit confused and over whelmed. This is one of those books that I could have used a map and perhaps a character listing to keep track of the hierarchy within Arcadia. But really, it was not too much of a distraction that it took away from the story.One of the biggest deal breakers for me is believable characters and a real connection to at least the main character of a story. This book was filled with some great and memorable characters for me. Author, Alicia Stone, did a fantastic job. Right from the beginning I felt connected to Charlie...and of course Alex and Richmond. What I love so much is the relationship that develops between these 3 and also the growth that we see within each of them. And of course the adventure/journey that they take on in Arcadia. Of course the true story really takes place in Arcadia and we are introduced to more great characters. One of my favorites has to be Ash. As I have said before, I love strong sarcastic characters and Ash was all of that and more. Ash is front and centre for many of the humorous moments in this book. Okay...and being able to shapeshift into a dragon...how cool is that?!As I was reading this book, I kept picturing this one on the big screen. This is only book one in a new trilogy, but I can see this being easily adapted to film and doing quite well. Again, this is just such a fun, fun adventure and filled with so many wonderful and colorful characters.In the end, I definitely recommend this one. If you are a lover of Fantasy, Mythology, Adventure, Supernatural and perhaps something with a slight Spiritual/Religious undertone? You will definitely enjoy this book. I for one, am looking forward to the next instalment. Oh and a note to Alicia? Loved the ending!! Nope, no huge cliffhanger, but it was brilliant. It put a huge smile on my face and left me filled with great anticipation for book 2!

  • Alison
    2019-02-19 06:43

    THERE WILL BE NO STONE LEFT UN-TURNED!When first reading this title, I was sceptical, as I am not an avid reader of young adult books. The title, Talisman Of El, created several initial ideas in my mind. I imagined a very stuffy, old-fashioned story with a complicated plot. Instead, I got Action! Personality! Humour! Mythology ... answers with no question, beautiful imagery and finally a competent writer with something new and exciting to bring to the table. With the additional enjoyment of not being able to compare the actual story to anything I’ve ever heard or read, the concept of this story blew my mind.The story is portrayed through the eyes of Charlie Blake, who, with a trio of friends, embark on an intense and vividly beautiful adventure to Arcadia, changing their lives and in turn changing the lives of all. I found my imagination working in overdrive as I went from one dimension to the next. After the vivid descriptions of the first few chapters, I made it a point to read this book at night before going to bed, and all I can say is my imagination has well and truly been unlocked. Imperative? Yes... With brilliant and realistic characters, the world of Arcadia remained quite comfortably in my subconscious, luring me back into its pages even when making a conscious effort to put the book down. This book is nothing less than powerful.The prologue to this book was excellent. I say this because it usually takes several chapters for me to be enticed by either the characters or plot. With the addition of Stone's refreshing writing style (which I must add is overly suitable for its intended audience) as well as relatable characters and believable plot, this book is a definite Must Have - Must Read.I found no omissions within this book to put any doubt in my mind behind the logics of the story itself. You cannot help but ask yourself ‘What if?’ For me that in itself was incredible. Never have I read a book that has left me thinking long after finishing the book. This being said, Talisman of El is the first of a trilogy, leaving space for two more books which I have no doubt in my mind Stone will cram full of Original wonder.Finally, I rest my attention to the book cover. What do I see? An eye formed out of a snake consuming itself, a blazing world surrounded by orbs of light ... Failure is not an option? The cover in itself creates a story, hinting at what is and perhaps what is to come. I find myself re-reading this book repeatedly through new metaphorical eyes. Nothing less than perfect, it is an original in its own right.

  • Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
    2019-02-02 01:56

    The Talisman of El is a mix of fantasy, paranormal lore, and adventure. It's a story that brings angel and demon mythology to a whole different level, takes readers to a unique world at the core of the earth, and introduces readers to some fascinating characters. The story focuses on it's main character, fourteen year old Charlie. Charlie's a kid who's been through some not so great things in his young life. As soon as you find find out what he is, where he came from, what he can do and who he really is you won't feel so bad for him. This kid can definitely hold his own. I really liked Charlie. He's a fun character to read about, despite some of the stuff he has to put up with during the first part of the book. It was easy for me to cheer him on through out the course of his story. He definitely grows a lot through out the story as he learns to embrace what his task is and accept the destiny that awaits him. I enjoyed getting to know the others characters I was introduced to, and the role they play in Charlie's story. They're all well written characters. Each one is strong in their own rights, which given all that happens and all they uncover in this story, they need to be. I liked that they all had a specific role in Charlie's story.There's plenty of adventure in this story. Charlie and his friends discover a whole another world at the heart of the earth's core called Arcadia, also known as Heaven. I kind of like the fact that Alecia went against the norm and created a world that normal is talked as a place above earth, or else where and placed inside the heart of the earth. She also created an interesting paranormal lore with her angels and demons in this book. Though the adventure and fantasy elements are the biggest factors in this book, I liked the role the paranormal aspect in the story as well. Without giveaway spoilers, I found her world building and lore intriguing. This was definitely a unique lore and different from your classic angel/demon mythology. I think Alecia has done a great job at setting up her series with this debut. She gives readers just enough of her world to hook them and will leave them wanting more when they're done. This is a book I think MG (middle grade) and YA readers will enjoy, though I think MG readers might enjoy this one a bit more than older teen readers. The simple dialogue, good character development and well paced plot is one that will keep readers engaged. I'd definitely recommend this book to fans who enjoy fantasy and adventure!

  • Margaret
    2019-02-10 23:47

    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.

  • Tsana Dolichva
    2019-02-16 04:45

    Talisman of El is Alecia Stone’s first novel and the first book published by Centrinian Press. It’s marketed as YA, but the protagonists are on the younger side for YA (14 years old), so I expect a younger reader would enjoy it more than a 16-18 year old.Plot-wise, I was hoping for a fun read with some adventure thrown in. It started promisingly with Charlie, an orphan, living with his new foster-father. At the start he’s mostly concerned with fitting in at school and the adoption going well. That is until the social worker’s back is turned and his new guardian abruptly turns nasty. Then confusing dreams and mysterious strangers lead Charlie and his friends on a quest to find a mysterious world hidden inside the Earth (a la Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne but with more magic).The writing is clunky and unpolished. At times there were completely wrong word choices (more than just typos, I mean), but the main thing was the lack of flow in the prose, sometimes within individual sentences. Also, the dialogue was unnatural and at times awkward. In the middle, large chunks of dialogue were info-dumps. A stronger editorial hand might have improved the writing, but on the other hand, a crit group might also have helped. As it was, I wanted to get a red pen and start scribbling on my Kobo. Your mileage and sensitivity to language may vary.The plot started out all right, and I liked Charlie’s grungy friend Alex. She added contrast to both the school bullies and the other girls who liked Charlie (but of whom he was oblivious).Once the weird things started happening, I didn’t feel that the story hung together as well, most notably the section set in the other world. I liked the way in which Charlie’s abandonment issues are explored in relation to Derkein, an adult that gets involved in the magic quest.Overall, the book started all right, flagged in the middle and the ending was nice. It had potential but didn’t quite reach it.2.5 / 5 starsYou can read more of my reviews on my blog, Tsana's Reads.

  • Maria
    2019-02-04 00:46

    It’s hard enough being a 14-year-old boy nowadays! For Charlie, that is an understatement. The problems he has faced so far in his life: the death of his mother, witnessing the death of his father, being placed into a orphanage, and almost being adopted by an insane serial robber won’t compare to what he finds out in Alecia Stone’s first novel, Talisman of El. When we think of Heaven we usually imagine a world floating above us, full of clouds, the color white, and bright lights. What if that wasn’t the case at all? What if Heaven existed, but it was located deep within the Earth’s core? In Stone’s novel, we learn that Heaven and Angels exist, but not in the ways we normally think. The Angels are warriors who embody powers of the 4 elements: water, earth, fire, and wind. They do not live in the clouds above us, but instead reside deep within the Earth’s core in a place known only as Arcadia. Alecia Stone takes her readers on a wondrous trip into the world of Arcadia. There we find that demons are once more attempting to wreak havoc on the human world as we know it. Charlie finds himself in a very unusual situation; somehow it is up to him to stop this plan from coming to fruition. How will Charlie, a 14-yr-old boy stop demons from taking over the world? The first step is realizing that he may not be human at all. Talisman of El is well written and keeps the reader engaged throughout. As the first chapter in an upcoming trilogy, the book does the job of keeping you waiting for the next installment. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Jason @ GoodChoiceReading.com

  • Tana
    2019-01-22 01:56

    Talisman of El (Talisman of El #1) by Alecia StoneThe Talisman of El is a beautifully written YA Fantasy/Adventure novel, Alecia Stone’s writing is fantastic, the character development, the plot are well written, her words flow easily and once you start reading the Talisman of El you are hooked. Charlie is a 14 year old boy, who has experienced many traumatic events in his young life, his parent’s death, living in an orphanage, and then finally getting adopted. Thinking now he is finally going to be able to live a normal life and be happy. Finding out his adoptive dad Jacob is a criminal and wants to use Charlie to help him is not something Charlie expected. Then to make matters worse when Charlie enters his new school he makes some enemies pretty fast, thank god for Alex who ends up one of his closest friends. Because of Jacob and his illegal activities Charlie ends up meeting some more friends and we are introduced to Richmond and Derkein. Together Charlie and his friends set out to find the world of Arcadia and the adventure begins. This is one of those books when you put it down you know you have to get back to it to see what happens next. True adventure novel.The Talisman of El is a great read, and I would recommend to any of my friends who love fantasy and adventure this is the novel for them. Alecia Stone has done a terrific job introducing us to the world of Arcadia, and I cannot wait to read book 2 in this new series.

  • Flora Smith
    2019-02-01 01:48

    The Talisman of El was a truly enjoyable story even tho I can't say that it was original. Alecia Stone did a wonderful job of taking thread from fantasy and mythology and religion as well as other stories and weaving them together to create something that stands as its own story. We meet Charlie who is an orphan that has been moved around alot with different homes who finds out that there is another world that he is a part of (reminiscent of Harry Potter) He finds some wonderful friends and an end of the world mystery that is left to him to solve. Charlie and his friends find themselves at the center of the world meeting up with angels and demons and other mythological creatures. Charlie finds that life is not as he thinks.This is an awesome adventure, fantasy, coming of age story that will appeal to readers of all ages but particulary those of middle school age to young adult. If you enjoyed the Harry Potter series I would suggest that you give this one a try. There's alot of similarities but it is a story all its own. This is definitely a series that I will continue and I am looking forward to the next book.

  • Plethora
    2019-01-20 07:45

    I felt this was a strong start to a series. Others will likely complain that it has too many shared elements with other popular books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and The Lightning Thief for example, and even a mix of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, but it had enough differences to keep me reading. There is a mix of real world and mythology as Charlie journeys though his past, present and future to discover the meaning of his life.This was a strong 3.5 so I'm giving it the benefit and bumping it to a 4-star rating. Too bad I let this sit on my shelf for three years before I finally opened it up and got lost in Charlie's life. Can't wait to see how is journey continues in Blackout, i suspect it will have even more action-packed adventures and give us more glimpses into the other world.

  • PopcornReads
    2019-02-15 03:02

    Autographed Book Giveaway & Review: I had seen the book cover for Talisman of El and was fascinated by it so, when the author approached me about reading and possibly reviewing it, I couldn’t resist. When I saw the trailer (see below), I got even more excited about reading it. This is Book #1 of a YA scifi/fantasy trilogy that, like many YA novels, will also appeal to adult readers. Last but not least – Alecia has provided an autographed copy of Talisman of El for one lucky reader to win! Read the rest of my review & enter to win at http://popcornreads.com/?p=3945.

  • Nitzan Schwarz
    2019-02-16 05:36

    For this review and more, pop by my blog - Drugs Called BooksWhile I did enjoy Talisman of El, It didn't even come close to blowing my mind. I had a hard time getting into it, despite the intriguing ideas, and the reading took much longer than it should. Even so, I do think this is a book many will enjoy. This story has some very interesting points, most have to do with the "Other World" called "Arcadia" that resides in the middle of the earth (i.e somewhere near the Earth's core). I enjoyed the usage of mythology and the mingling of it with the "real truth" of Arcadia. It was interesting.But before Arcadia, I really couldn't get into the book. Even after Arcadia, reading was more forced than I'd like. I had to tell myself to read it. I can't really pinpoint what went wrong with this book and me, because it's a pretty decent book. So I'll try to break it down to sections.CHARACTERSCharlie is the main character of the book, and it mostly revolves around him. Charlie's... a good kid, I guess is the only way to describe him. I kind of pity him, too; he lost both his parents when he was young (not to mention he actually dreamed of his father's death beforehand, and still he couldn't save him, which makes for issues), has been bouncing around between a sort-of-orphanage and houses that never quite work out, and all he really wants is a family and stability. Both which don't quite works out the way he wanted them too. Also, apparently he's hot or something, which came as quite a surprise to me at the end of the book, where someone calls him 'chick magnet'. Alex is Charlie's best friend, and she's also *gasp* a girl. I quite liked her, even when she was getting jealous over Charlie and messed with the poor guy's head (I mean, how's he supposed to know what you want from him? He's a 14 years old boy. Don't expect that much...) She's funny, smart, a bit tomboyish, and doesn't really give a damn about her classmates and schoolmates. Really, at a point, I realized she was quite happy with Charlie and Richmond.Which brings us to Richmond. I loved the little guy! He's a little boy Alex and Charlie find camping in a rickety shack in the woods. A run-away, and a constantly hungry little guy. I thought he added to the book, both as a comic-relief, and he's sort of the first person Charlie needs to defend. I like the sibling-like feeling that develops between them, and I loved when Charlie called him his brother.Then we have Derkein. I have no idea if I'm saying the name correctly. Anyway, I liked the guy--old, young or otherwise. I had a fantasy about him taking the boys under his wings from about the first day they stumbled upon him, cursed to age years everyday. I really liked him - he took up the rule of the "father" and "adult" in the group quite nicely. Then we had Jacob, Charlie's guardian, which I mention because he was a total surprise. Jacob started of as a concerned adopted father. Sure, there were some stuff about him that were a little... suspicious but it was really hard to reconcile the concerned figure we saw the first few chapters to what he later become. His sudden character change felt really... weird, to me at least.Now, here comes the problem with the characters, which was mostly that I felt the book lacked character development. The characters ended where they started, and sometimes feelings were suddenly added into the mix, and I just couldn't where they came from, mostly because the book jumps in time. We really don't get to see much between major events, which made everything feel much shorter than it was. We also didn't get to see all the relationships being formed, in their "normal", usual routine. I also felt that sometimes, the kids acted really strange. Arcadia time is 1 Arcadian day = 17 surface days. The group goes into Arcadia for 5 days (roughly 3 months) without a second thought, which felt completely weird to me. You think about these stuff before, even if you're 14. Especially if you actually have a family, like Alex does. As for the romance...We did have a hint of it. Or, rather, lots of hints. It's pretty obvious who likes whom, but considering they're all around 14 we don't get to see much more. I've a feeling this will take a bigger rule in the next books, as even here the jealousy game was pretty strong. There was a lot of action in the book. Even when we were in the "normal world" a lot of things happened. Sometimes, I didn't like the action. It was just out of nowhere, and the bad guys almost caught them in surprise--but of course we somehow won. But, there really isn't a dull moment.There were a lot of "twists" in the book. I put on the " " because for me, at least, I saw them all coming from a mile away. I think people who read a lot will not be surprised in the book. I'm trying to think of one thing that was surprising in the book... and come up with zip. As for the ending... there were it's good and bad parts. I really disliked Charlie's decision to do what he did without letting Derkein chose. I really wanted him to give Derkein a chance to decide his own fate.Also, it seemed like there was no consequences to their disappearance. They were gone for months, but aside for overprotective parents, I did see how they were received They were gone for months... what happened when they came back???However, I really liked the actual last lines of the book. I loved where it ended, and it made me smile and think "good ending".Now, one thing that really bothered me throughout the book was the writing. Sadly, I really didn't connect to it. At first there was an excessive usage of the word "For". Then it kind of vanished, but I still didn't feel it. However, this is a completely subjective issue. you might love it. For this review and more, pop by my blog - Drugs Called Books

  • Book Whales
    2019-02-06 23:55

    Originally posted @ Book WhalesThis is the first time I heard an author named Alecia Stone (I know Alicia Keys hehe) so as like with any other new books I am hesitant to read it. It was sort of an assignment given to me by UnseelieNerd. I would've not taken this book if it was not rated good at Goodreads. Also there are a lot of positive comments so maybe that's why I pushed myself to read it.How do I start this. It's a book with a lots of positive and also some negative parts. But I think the positives outweigh the negatives.Let's start with the faults I saw in this books. I have read a lot of adventure type young adult books and the first thing this book lacks is a map. :D If you are gonna situate the story to a new world it is a big plus plus for me as a reader if there is a map so that I can fully imagine myself the places the protagonist travelled. It also did not help that at the start of their adventure there wasn't a lot of good description of the place. That was my biggest problem on the first half of the book. I felt that it lacks the proper description of the places and also the situation. It could've used some more elaboration on the surrounding, the feelings of the characters and also the mood of the scene. But I am glad this was not the situation on the latter half of the book.And then my last problem is that there are some scenes which are fast-paced but needs to be elaborated more and then there are some scenes which have too much elaboration but it is not needed to the story. (did I make any sense?) But it is just my point of view, maybe there is a bigger purpose and that is why the author needed to make it that way.What I like about this book is that it managed to integrate "Elements" and "Angel into one concept. Elements like Fire, Water, Wind and Earth is present in the story as this is what divides the Angels. When I read about the element part I immediately thought of Avatar!! :D (specially now that Legend of Korra started to air this Saturday) And then much to my surprise the term avatar is also used! haha. I said to the book, now were talking! This is getting interesting.And then I think the other world created by Alecia is very unique and very interesting. The other earth via here description is a mixture of Earth, Heaven plus some sort of magical aura that is very enticing to the mind. I really like how she mixed this parts together. And then the magical Angels with their transformation to animals like Phoenix very cool! Just like an anime or manga.In terms of the characters, the Protagonist Charlie is a good character with also a good personality. His buildup is good within the story and leaves him with lots of room for improvement for the succeeding books. I like that he is not omnipotent. He also has his faults as a human being and as a main chacter (because some major characters seem to be to good to be true like he or she cannot be defeated)With that being said I think Alex and Richmond are throwaway character FOR NOW. I think they will have bigger parts in Book 2 but for now I think they don't have a standout and unique quality. Richmond is only there for comic relief and Alex is only their for love interest. As for Derkein the fact that he is the father figure of the group at such a young age makes him interesting.SPOILERS! sort ofJust maybe a suggestion. I just wish that maybe the consequence of saving Derkein is not revealed until the ending of the book. It could've made the book much more interesting with some more thing left open. All in all I give this book 3.5 not because it's bad. I just felt that it was still not yet the best it;s just average for me. BUT!! a big BUT. I will definitely continue reading this series and will look forward to book 2.Rating: 3.5 Whales

  • Tammy
    2019-02-02 01:57

    In a word: action-packed, creative, engaging, but needs editingIndependently 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, 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.This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy.

  • Myth
    2019-01-26 02:59

    One word: OtherworldlyAll I have to say is that it has been a long time since I read a book in just one day.I don’t know where this book came from, but I am glad it fell into my hands. My 16 year old son won a copy of this book and he wouldn’t stop yapping on about it. Now I don’t read young adult books but I do read many fantasy books particularly ones featuring mythology, so because my son was adamant that I would love the book, I thought I’d give it a try. I actually decided to read it to keep him from bothering me every second talking about this kid named Charlie and his adventures.So I opened the book to the first page and read the prologue. Right away, I was pulled in. I had no idea what was happening, but I wanted to find out. This, I must say, is the way to start a story. So I kept on reading and the more I read, the more I became enthralled by the story. By the end of the book, my son and I were talking like we have never talked before. We have never connected on such a level before and all because of this book called Talisman Of El. We are fighting over the one copy he has, so clearly I have to get my own. Now everyone in our house wants to read it. There is a war currently going on in our household.The story is set in England in 2013 and follows the life of a young orphan named Charlie Blake. I’m a person who loves mythology so any book that delves into the world of ancient civilizations and mythical beings is bound to grab my focus. Talisman Of El, however, does not deal with mythology in the way I was expecting it to. The mythology presented in this book is not the kind I’ve grown up loving. This is something different entirely. Stone’s imagination surpasses reality.There are mythologies in this book I have never come across before, and I thought I knew it all. In fact, I thought most of the events and names mentioned in this book were made up until I did a little research. Sephirah, Annus Magnus ... these are all intriguing topics and I’m looking forward to finding out more. The most fascinating thing about this book is how everything comes together. I’ve never read a story that was so logical. I’m still going over the events in my head. My son and I had a blast discussing this amazing story.I have never heard of this author before, but she has a writing style that is truly captivating. Stone’s writing is so visual and most of all she doesn’t drag on with unnecessary details. The one thing I always have problems with in stories is the issue of TELLING. That’s not the case here. The story flies off the pages. There are no coincidences in this book.I will be keeping an eye out for the next instalment. If this is what young adult fiction is like, then clearly I have been missing out. I can’t stop thinking about this book so, of course, I had to comment about it. I’m looking forward to talking to people about this book. The one question that keeps running through my mind when I think of this story is: What goes on in the mind of a person who can create something like this? That, I would love to explore.

  • Best
    2019-01-21 00:45

    THIS REVIEW ON B'S BOOK BLOG! + Guest Post: The Language of Arcadia by Alecia Stone.A digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher and NetGalley for review.What if your whole life was a lie? One Planet. Two Worlds. Population: Human ... 7 billion. Others ... unknown.  Talisman of El is a debut book from Alecia Stone. It's a fantasy fiction for the children to young adult age groups, but really, anyone can read it. This is one of the most gripping novels I've read this year and I very much enjoyed it.Charlie Blake, aged 14, is an orphan. When he gets adopted by Jacob, who's being real nice to him, he thinks maybe he's finally found the place he belongs. Charlie's always been hearing weird noises that seem to come out of nowhere and having weird visions and nightmares, but what he doesn't know is that it's not because he's a freak, but because he's different. There are things he doesn't know about his past and the world, and he doesn't realize that until one day he runs into a man he's been having nightmares about, who has the Talisman of El. The man, Derkein, is in search of open gateways to Arcadia, the world beneath the surface of Earth. Derkein takes Charlie, Alex and Richmond with him on an exciting and unpredictable adventure to find and enter Arcadia. There they meet the Arcadians, and Charlie gets to learn about his past and who he really is, and then comes the time when he realizes that the future of mankind lies in his hands.It seems like that's all much I can say in this review without including spoilers. Talisman of El had me hooked since page one. It's a mysterious and adventurous and kept me wanting to know more. This action-packed fantasy is very well written. I love how one thing just leads to another and another and how the story seems to endlessly progress, always surprises and twists and turns. The characters are very well portrayed and I love the connection between them. I was quite surprise to see mythology in this book as well, but it only adds to the awesomeness of the book.Although there were times when I felt like this book was longer than it really needed to be, it wasn't a big deal and didn't really bother me. I recommend this book to those of you who love fantasy and adventure, as this book is full of them!Talisman of El is the first book in a planned trilogy. The second book, currently untitled, is expected to come out in 2013. 

  • Christine H
    2019-01-29 03:59

    Talisman of El is one of those surprising treasures that you stumble upon by chance and you think about even days after the last pages have been turned. From its opening chapter, Stone captures her reader’s attention with the mysterious disappearing act of Derkein Odessa from Manhattan, NY, and his connection to Charlie Blake in West Sussex, England. It is difficult not to feel sympathy for Charlie whose mother and father both passed away on his birthday, 10 years apart. With such pain in his life, it is no wonder that he experiences nightmares on a regular basis. His guardian, Jacob, offers him a comfortable new home, and Charlie’s main goal becomes keeping his head down, and trying to blend in a small town. He meets Alex Dench, a no-nonsense girl who is just the friend he needs to make his new life bearable. Their meeting is especially fortuitous once Charlie’s prospective adoptive parent shows his true colours and demands that Charlie become his accomplice in midnight burglaries. Once Charlie and Alex befriend Richmond, an orphan with an insatiable appetite, and Derkein reappears, the mysteries from the first chapter are finally solved … And this is only halfway through the book! So what happens in the other half? It’s a whirlwind of magical and mythological creatures, classical architecture and modern technologies, remnants of the past and visions of the future, and so much more. For every question that Stone answers, she introduces corresponding mysteries to keep the reader intrigued until the very last page. I waddled back and forth between reading quickly to find out what would happen next and then going back to re-read scenes of great import!Stone writes with the passion of a life-long book lover and the fanciful creativity more commonly found in the unfettered imaginations of young children. In short, she has written a story that can be placed squarely in the genre of YA fiction with enough intricacies to make adults who also love this genre appreciate and admire her great work. Her characters are endearing: Charlie is charmingly clueless about girls and uneasy with the weight thrust upon his shoulders; Derkein is a kind uncle figure who is both paternal and friendly to the trio; and Avaran, Oren, and Candra are just so intriguingly mysterious! Despite occasional typos (in the ARC version) and some minor unexplored/unexplained plot points, this book is a rare jewel that attracts your attention and keeps you hanging around long after the fiction has closed because you just can’t get enough of it. I can’t wait to read the second and third installments in the series to delve into Stone’s wonderful worlds again.

  • Danie
    2019-02-10 05:50

    Charlie Blake is a 14-year old orphan who, after four years of hoping for a family to take him in, goes to live with a man named Jacob. Jacob is nice, caring, and opens up his home to Charlie. Charlie goes to school, and while he is bullied, he befriends a girl named Alex, and his life starts to take a turn for the better. Charlie soon realizes, after being forced by Jacob to participate in a robbery, that his new life may not be as great as it seems. During this robbery, Charlie meets a homeless boy named Richmond, and becomes friends with him.Charlie, Alex, and Richmond accidentally stumble across a man that Charlie has dreamed about, Derkein Odessa. But this Derkein is a little different - he's a 27 year old man trapped in the body of a 60 year old, and he keeps aging. The foursome enter Arcadia, a world in the core of the earth, filled with angels, demons, gods, and magic, to try and stop Derkein's aging before he dies, and to find Derkein's father. While there, Charlie finds out that everything he has thought about himself and his deceased parents might not be the truth.I loved this book. The world building of Arcadia was phenomenal. All the descriptions were so vivid, and I almost wanted to draw everything, because I felt like I was seeing it all play out right in front of me. The names were inventive (I might name my first child Derkein. If Mike will agree...) but at the same time not too unique where I stumbled over pronouncing them. The characters were all lovable and had me wishing I knew them all personally. If I had to choose a favorite, I don't think I could decide between Ash, Derkein, or Richmond. I loved that Alex wasn't a cookie cutter girl, like in so many fantasy novels. She wasn't a damsel in distress, wasn't too "princess-y", but wasn't tough to the point where she was a stone wall. I also loved that the angels, demons, and gods weren't too biblical, and kept more along the lines of mythology. I've always loved reading about Greek and Roman mythology, so I was extremely happy to see it in the world of Arcadia.My only complaint was the hierarchy of Arcadia had me a bit confused at times. I couldn't keep straight which level had which abilities. I had to write it down and refer back to it quite a bit. But that was so minor, it didn't detract from the plot itself.Mike, my boyfriend, literally had to force me to put the book down at night because he wanted to sleep and I wanted to keep reading. As soon as I finished, I told him he had to read it, despite the fact that he doesn't read much. I can't wait until he does, so he can be a new fan of this trilogy like I am.4/5 stars!

  • Eve (Functioning Insanity Reviews)
    2019-01-21 03:02

    I did finish Talisman of El, by Alecia Stone last night. I know this is why you’re reading anyways. I got this ARC from Netgalley.com by way of kindle from Centrinian Publishing. This book is more of a younger YA book, which is different for me but I still enjoyed it very much. The book centers around Charlie a young orphan who seems might finally be getting a normal life. Then of course it turns out not to be the case. His adoptive father isn’t what he seems and the dreams he has he is no longer able to pretend they don’t have meaning. He’s different. What if your whole life was a lie? That is the tag line that first caught my attention and made me read further. One plant, Two worlds. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Well it made me wonder what would happen and so I began to read. As I said Charlie is different and has dreams. He and his friend Alex (girl) come upon a new friend Richmond who is hiding out, a run away and Derkein, a man in his 20’s who looks to be going on 90. This is when Charlie discovers his dreams are not just dreams as much as he wishes they were. There is another world, Arcadia, and they have to find it. The gang set off on the adventure to find Arcadia and save Derkein, Charlie also being led by something inside him telling him he needed answers. So this story is a fun little adventure with lots going for it and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I’m invested in the characters. Charlie who has been through so much, Alex who from the first few pages she’s grabs hold of you. Little Richmond always makes me hungry, be warned, and Derkein who reminds me of that uncle who is more of a friend even when you disagree. The adventure was to me well paced and added enough action and suspense that I didn’t want to stop reading until I finished. The world painted before you is pure magic and I wish I could see it, be it the streets of Sussex or Arcadia itself with all of the colorful and amazing characters and creatures. This book is part of a series and I myself can’t wait for the next installment. This is the start of a journey and begins May 20th, will you join? I’m giving this book 5 stars, so check it out and tell me what you think because I don't think I did it justice. Do you like Charlie? What’s your favorite thing about him? Is Candra good or bad? Share your thoughts, I love to read them!http://functioninginsanity.blogspot.c...