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Book: The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos
Series: Talisman #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Young Adult
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Available Formats: Ebook / Paperback
Publication Date: March 24th, 2010
First Sentence: "What kind of secret superpower would you want Julia?"
How Did I Get This Book: Purchased
Description: To be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother's mysterious disappearance ten years earlier - an event she witnessed, but can't remember. Julia's situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience--past and present. Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves.
I enjoyed the character of Julia. She is a heroine that is interesting and actually uses her brain. She tries to think her way through things, which I really appreciate. I’m not saying things always work out for her, but she’s tries. She doesn’t just rush into situations without worrying about what it means. Plus, she can read people’s emotions. Which, is just awesome.
Early on in the story Julia means two new boys – Nicholas and Phil. She meets Nicholas after she is attacked by something in the woods. He comes to her rescue and helps her home. He is also smoking hot. So obviously, Julia falls for him. But, he starts pulling that hot/cold act and Julia is left feeling rather cold.
But, then things start looking up when she meets a new boy at school, Phil. Now, I liked Phil I did. But, I just happened to like Nicholas better. I’m not going to explain the plot lines from here, because this is about when all hell breaks loose. Let’s just say that things (and people) get crazy and excitement and adventure ensue.
Pandos does a wonderful job keeping the story entertaining. Sure, some plot elements are predictable, but there are enough twists and turns that you still will be surprised.
There were however, two major elements that put me off a bit. The first of which was some of the writing; mainly the descriptions. Look, the majority of the writing was superb, but at times I would read something that just sounded off. When I was looking back through my notes, I saw that all of the passages I marked were descriptions. So it’s not that the writing is wrong, it’s just that some of the descriptions are strange. Like this one, “his comfort infused me like I'd just crawled under a pile of warm laundry fresh from the dryer.” What? What is that. Do any of you crawl under piles of freshly laundered clothes? I mean, I get where the author is going with this, but it just doesn’t work for me.
The second issue I had with the book was Julia’s instant and overwhelming attachment to Nicholas. Like I said before, I liked Nicholas, it is just that their “connection” was so forced. After he saves her, she falls into a sort of hero worship. Honestly, her crazy, earth tilting reaction to him isn’t justified. This seems to happen a lot in YA vampire books, but I still can’t let it slide. I prefer for the characters to work up to their obsessive love and to have it justified.
That being said, I did enjoy the Emerald Talisman. Sure, I found a few things to nitpick, but that’s my job. Overall, the story was exciting and the characters were entertaining and likable. It was a good read and I will be continuing on with the series.
I screamed as I fell, knowing I was about to die.
That last thing I expected was to have someone catch me.
I didn't make friends with liars, especially compulsive ones.
Where was my better judgement?
Why did he have to be sensible? This maddened me. It was my body. I should be able to decide when and if I needed medical attention. I let out a determined huff. They could try to make me go, but I wouldn't be forced.
We felt no shame as we stuffed our faces in silence.
The last thing I expected to happen was for him to jump over the cliff, carrying me with him in the process.
I am woman, hear me roar.