By Alecia Stone
Published by Centrinian Publishing Ltd
Release Date: May 20th 2012
Review copy from Publisher (via NetGalley)
"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." - Goodreads
Talisman of El took me to an unexpected place, through an unexpected way with unexpected circumstances. It is quite the unique read!
The characters in this book were awesome and I loved the ease in which the reader can just sink into this story. Charlie Blake is an orphan who turns out to be more than he seems. I really connected with Charlie and he made an impression on me but I have to say, the secondary characters were my favourite. Especially Alex, who is a feisty, free-willed girl that befriends Charlie. Their relationship as best friends and the conversations they had made this book feel real. This is a mythology book, and the conversations between Charlie and Alex, or Charlie and Richmond, or all three together - they ground the story. Through all the adventure, these three friendships stay the same and grow stronger. I simply fell in love with all the characters.
Talisman of El is an adventure story to the max. There is never a dull moment but what I found was that the action/reveals were perfectly spaced. So it wasn't bang, bang, bang in a row. I did get a lost for a few moments in between just because there is a lot of information and quite a bit to take in. I can't testify that the mythology is based on real myths but it was really detailed! That brings it to the writing. Very smooth, the descriptions weren't too overwhelming and the dialogue was witty at times (eased up the heaviness of the book). We do travel to many different settings and the plot unfolds in a way that is logical, one event leading to the other. It was nicely paced. I can't go into too much detail without giving anything away!
This book surprised me, I did not expect to like it as much as I did. Although it is out of the norm for me to read, it was very interesting. Don't let the cover fool you! There is quite the story locked between the pages! I'd recommend this to fantasy, mythology, and adventure lovers. Be warned though, this is going to be a trilogy (but the ending isn't too bad)!
He glanced at her outstretched hands and then looked back at her face, puzzled.
'Okay, I'll choose." She looked at both fists, her expression pensive, and then lowered her left hand. Opening her right fist, she revealed a circular sweet in a shiny golden wrapper. "It's chocolate with a marshmallow centre - Chocomallow." She gestured for him to take it. "It's not poisoned, I promise." When he didn't take it, she rolled her eyes and placed the sweet in his hand. She then opened her other fist and revealed a matching sweet.
Charlie smiled. "Thanks."
Alex gasped. "He does speak!"
A weird, fluttering feeling churned in the pit of Charlie's stomach. "I'm Charlie."
"I know. We're in the same French class. Welcome to Oakwood."