February 9, 2013

REVIEW, INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY : Talisman of El

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Talisman of El (Talisman of El #1), by Alecia Stone
Published May 20, 2012
Publisher:  Centrinian Publishing
Format:  Kindle e-book - own
Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Rating:  3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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.

Talisman of El certainly was a feast for the eyes. You like Greek mythology? You got it! Angels and demons more your speed? They're there! Magic? Fights? Puppy love? Yes, yes, yes!

Talisman of El reminded me a little of the Gregor the Overlander series. A kid finds his way underground and discovers a whole other world with a different race of people. Talisman of El is like that on steroids.

Charlie is a kid who has been dealt a rotten hand. I felt so bad for him in the beginning, but then he sucked it up and tried to do something about it. I prefer main characters who don't lay down and die (proverbially, that is). Charlie knows something in his life is wrong and incomplete, and then people are put into his path who can help him do something about it. I like that he took that and ran with it even though the trip was a little unbelievable.

The supporting characters were pretty well developed, although I'm still not quite sure what Rich added to the story. He seemed to be there just for the food.Where did he come from? Why did he stick around? What did he add to the story? None of that was ever explained.

My biggest problem with Talisman of El is that the worldbuilding was very complex. TOO complex. There are Rulers and Elders and Lightbearers and a bunch of other people with different titles. They all have different abilities and non-abilities. Some could go here but not there. Group A could date Group B but not Group C. It was all very confusing - I couldn't keep them all straight. And, it seemed significant to the story in some way, which made me frustrated, because I just didn't get it.  

There are elements of mythology, religion, and fantasy. I wish the author had just picked one and gone with it. Instead, there was a little of everything, but not enough of any one thing.

Even so, after a slow start, Talisman of El picked up and kept moving at a lightning pace. There was lots of action, mysteries to be solved, a new world to discover. There were a lot of great moments and an endearing ending. I did feel satisfied at the end and am looking forward to the next book in the series. Arcadia's secrets have only started to be revealed, and I look forward to find out more of them, as well as a further understanding of the people who live there.


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Author Alecia Stone - Interview

1. Dreams play a big part in Talisman of El. Did the concept for the book come to you in this way? If not, how did the ideas for the plot and characters come to you?

I’ve always been fascinated by dreams, but no, the concept for Talisman Of El didn’t come to me in this way. The character of Charlie Blake yields a lot of special abilities – having the ability to see things before they happen in the form of dreams being one of those abilities. Charlie was actually influenced by someone I know who has a unique ability – not quite to the extent of Charlie’s – to see things before they happen. The story started with the main character and just developed from there. The characters drive the story through their actions and interactions.

2. Do the words come easily most of the time? How do you unblock your writer’s block?

Thankfully, I haven’t experienced writer’s block just yet. Fingers crossed, things remain that way. For the most part, the words do come easily to me, which I’m thankful for.

3. Talisman of El features characters with special abilities. Do you wish you had a special ability? If so, which super power would you want?

Oh, yes, I do wish I had a special ability. I would want the ability to manifest my thought into reality.

4. Do you have any plans for a new series after Talisman of El trilogy is finished?

I currently don’t have any plans for a new series, but who knows, when I finish the trilogy, something could pop into my head. For now, I think I’ll just focus on finishing this trilogy.

5. If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be, and what would you like to talk about?

I would like to have dinner with George Orwell. I loved 1984, and what we would talk about is the mysterious Room 101.

'You asked me once,' said O'Brien, 'what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.'

I wonder what Orwell would say is the worst thing in the world.

“Fast Ten” questions!

1. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla.

2. Favorite color? Navy Blue.

3. Look up, and tell me what the first thing is you see. Darkness. It’s night right now.

4. Do you love roller coasters? Nope. Not a fan of theme park rides – or rather my stomach isn’t a fan.

5. Summer or winter? Summer.

6. Favorite book? Pride and Prejudice & Peter Pan (I’m indecisive okay).

7. How many pets do you have? None.

8. Country or city? Country.

9. What was your first job? Customer Service Rep in a courier company.

10. Have you visited another country? I’ve been to about three different countries.

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.





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2 comments:

Alecia Stone said...

Thank you for having me today, Krista. It was a pleasure answering the interview questions :)

Krista said...

And, thank you, Alecia for writing such a fun book! I'm eagerly awaiting the next one!