Talisman of El begins with a prologue. We’re in Manhatten, New York on 25th January 2013 at 11.15pm. We find out how the talisman was found and witness a fight with assailants who can’t be seen and where one person just disappears with the other being injured. The injured person, Darkein Odessa is a key person as the story unfolds.
We begin with getting to know Charlie’s background and how his first day at school goes. On the school bus he meets Alex, a girl who comes across as sassy as she stands up to a bully. Alex is another key character. Apart from the dream, the first intimation we have of Charlie’s power is during a scene in the school canteen when he is being bullied by the same peer.
Charlie’s new foster parent Jacob has his own reasons for wanting him around and we find out that Jacob is part of the puzzle too.
When Derkein and Charlie’s paths cross, Charlie realises he’s already seen him … in one of his dreams. Derkein is another key character who first introduces the concept of ‘Arcadia’.
Charlie’s confusion about who he is and where he belongs is a factor throughout the story. He sees an apparition, Candra, at times of crisis and isn’t sure whether she is there to protect him or make things worse. To further confuse things, Charlie finds a letter from his dead mother which ends with a ‘ps’ Arcadia awaits your return.
I found Talisman of El fast-paced and once we shift from the surface of the earth, there is a host of mystical/spiritual elements, which held my interest. The angelic hierarchy is one that most people will identify with. The earth’s precessional cycle of 26,000 years is a key point in time and used to good effect.
The characters are well developed. They draw you in and have you running by their side, experiencing what they do. The banter between Charlie and Alex and the jealousy is at the level you would expect from a YA perspective.
This is a paranormal/fantasy story involving the age-old fight of good against evil in the need to save mankind. All the different threads are woven together making it an interesting and sometimes thought-provoking read. A brilliant start to the series for this debut author. The foundation is laid with, I feel, a lot more to come. I’ll be looking out for the next book to find out how the characters develop and the storyline progresses.
I would like to thank the publishers, Centrinian Publishing, for approving my request on Netgalley.